John Brooks stays dominant, Weston McKennie’s message makes headlines

John Brooks has been a dominant defensive presence for Wolfsburg since the Bundesliga returned last month. (Tobias Hase/Getty Images)

The Bundesliga is about to complete its fourth round of matches since returning last month from its coronavirus-caused pause, and most of the many U.S. men’s national teamers employed by clubs in Germany’s top soccer league have been heavily involved in the action so far.

Here’s a quick look at how those Americans performed over the last week.

D John Brooks, Wolfsburg

The USMNT’s top defender has been quietly excellent since Germany’s top league resumed on May 16. Brooks wasn’t at fault for either goal in Saturday’s late loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. The imposing 27-year-old center back was particularly dominant in the 4-1 trouncing of Bayer Leverkusen midweek. Most important, he appears to have earned the full confidence of manager Oliver Glasner, whose complicated system has required the lefty to adjust to a less traditional, stay-at-home role this season.

M Weston McKennie, Schalke

McKennie made headlines for his public support of George Floyd in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Werder Bremen, the Texan’s 10th consecutive Bundesliga start. But reeling Schalke lost its fourth straight match, dropping into the bottom half of the league standings as a result. And while the 21-year-old was his usual hard-tacking self, it came at a price; McKennie’s appearance streak will end next weekend against Union Berlin when he serves a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

F Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen

Sargent was in manger Florian Kohfeldt’s 11 for the third straight game in the victory over McKennie and Co. He still hasn’t scored since the Bundesliga resumed, but the 20-year-old’s relentless running up top has helped relegation-candidate Bremen post a 2W-0L-1T record since he rejoined the lineup. As such, there’s no reason to think the Missouri native won’t start again Wednesday against Eintracht Frankfurt.

M Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund continues to develop the 17-year-old son of former U.S. Word Cup captain Claudio Reyna (and onetime U.S. women’s team winger Danielle Egan) along at a deliberate, calculated pace. The younger Reyna may still looking for his first career start for BVB following Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of Paderborn. But he picked up a secondary assist in his 10 minutes as a sub continues to feature regularly; the crafty two-way midfielder has appeared in all but one of Dortmund’s 15 matches since making his debut in January.

M Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig

Adams wasn’t supposed to start in last Monday’s 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin, but got the nod at right back after teammate Kevin Kampl injured himself during warmups and played the full 90 minutes for the first time since February. We’ll soon find out if 21-year-old keeps his place when Leipzig visits Cologne on Monday.

M Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf

The good news? Morales made his 17th league start and just his second in Fortuna’s last seven games on Saturday. The bad? It came away from home against mighty Bayern Munich, which trounced Dusseldorf 5-0. There wasn’t much Morales could do, although all five of the hosts’ goals of were scored before Morales was subbed 12 minutes after halftime. The lopsided defeat comes on the heels of a crucial midweek win in which the 30-year-old came off bench, making one wonder if he’ll keep his place this weekend against Hoffenheim.

M Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt

Deployed as a right wingback as opposed to higher up the field where he’s played more recently, Chandler helped 10-man Frankfurt pick up all three points against Wolfsburg. For all the attention paid to the USMNT’s young German-based core, the 31-year-old World Cup veteran has arguably been the top American performer in the Bundesliga this season. Still, given his age; his historic inability to replicate his club performances with the U.S.; and international soccer’s uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s plans.

M/F Ulysses Llanez, Wolfsburg

Llanez made Glasner’s bench for the midweek win over Leverkusen, the first time he’s been in uniform since being promoted from the reserves in April. Alas, despite the scoreline, the 19-year-old Californian did not become the 10th American to see the field in the Bundesliga this season.

D/M Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach

The 32-year-old has played just one league minute since January and remains sidelined with an undisclosed muscle injury. With Johnson’s contract expiring at the end of the month, it’s possible that the versatile two-footed veteran — who has been eyeing a move to MLS since 2018 — has played his last match for ‘Gladbach.

G Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf

The USMNT’s No. 1 goalkeeper continues to sit out with a knee injury.