USMNT Player Tracker: Derby d’Italia turns American and Reyna shines again

There is only one place to start with our weekly look at the fortunes of the U.S. men’s national team players – San Siro and a top-of-the-table meeting between Milan and Juventus.

But American attention wasn’t just on Serie A. Germany, the Netherlands and Scotland also saw members of Gregg Berhalter’s squad in action on a busy weekend.

Ahead of next year’s home Copa America and the 2026 World Cup, we’re keeping tabs on how they perform each week on our player tracker.

Issue of the weekend

Sunday night’s game between Milan and Juventus at San Siro was always going to be a big one as the hosts hoped to go top in Serie A and their rivals looked to claw back ground just behind them.

The Derby d’Italia is a game that transfixes Italy but the presence of four USMNT players going gave it a unique twist – and served further proof that the influence of American players in some of Europe’s big leagues is only growing.

Milan opted to start with USMNT captain Christian Pulisic and midfielder Yunus Musah in their engine room, while Juventus had Timothy Weah and Weston McKennie in midfield.

Juve’s 1-0 win ensured Weah and McKennie were the ones left smiling while, for Pulisic, it was a doubly frustrating evening. He was sacrificed before half-time by coach Stefano Pioli after team-mate Malick Thiaw was sent off for a foul that denied Moise Kean a clear goalscoring opportunity.

“I removed an attacker to maintain the same defensive structure that we had prepared during the week,” Pioli told DAZN afterwards. “I decided to make [Rafael] Leao and [Olivier] Giroud work against the three Juve defenders and maintain the defensive set-up we had, as there were some good reference points against them.

“We believed that the contribution of the midfielders like [Yunus] Musah and [Tijjani] Reijnders, or Giroud holding up the ball for Leao, could allow us to continue being dangerous in attack.”

Yunus Musah takes on Adrien Rabiot (Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Pulisic looked understandably unhappy at making way, although he kept whatever frustration he was feeling bottled up afterwards, restricting himself to saying the result was a “tough one” on his Instagram feed.

As for the Americans of Juve, there were more positives to reflect on. Weah put in an eye-catching and influential shift (none of his team-mates eclipsed his six ball recoveries) and he created the game’s crucial moment: his 63rd-minute pass supplied Manuel Locatelli, whose deflected shot sealed victory. McKennie also had the highest passing accuracy (90 per cent) of any of his midfield colleagues.

The former Leeds midfielder completed the full game too, which will have pleased his father John, who vented his frustration on Twitter a few weeks ago when McKennie was subbed off during a game and replaced by Weah.

Great night at the office for all in white and black then? Well, almost. Juve manager Max Allegri got so wound up towards the end of the tense match that, incensed his players were not keeping the ball better, he tore off his jacket and tie in frustration and was even yellow-carded for rushing out of his technical area to shout orders.

A big three points presumably added more than enough consolation after he cooled down.

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Max Allegri loses his cool (Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)

Player of the weekend

Giovanni Reyna’s two goals lit up the USMNT’s impressive win over Ghana during the international break, with the 20-year-old stepping up his return to the fold under Berhalter following their high-profile falling-out and subsequent reconciliation.

The challenge for the midfielder now is to prove he can be consistently available and influential for his club, Borussia Dortmund, too.

A lot will depend on whether the pattern of injuries that have dogged Reyna’s young career so far can abate, but there were encouraging signs on Friday.

He may not have made the starting line-up but there was much to admire about his half-hour cameo after replacing Marius Wolf.

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Gio Reyna (left) continued his good form (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

He created two chances, completed 96 per cent of his passes, drew four fouls and was involved in the game’s only goal that secured Dortmund’s win, linking up with Emre Can who then played in Julian Brandt for the German to calmly convert.

Quote of the weekend

With four of his players involved in Milan on Sunday, Berhalter was an interested spectator and spoke beforehand about the quartet’s time in Italy so far.

Naturally, the questioning started about Pulisic and whether he was enjoying life at the San Siro but Berhalter wanted to sing the praises of all four.

“Very much so,” he said when asked about Pulisic. “But Musah and McKennie also told me that they’re happy in Italy. Christian is unquestionable in terms of talent, as well as his character and tactical ability. At Milan and with Pioli, he has found the confidence to get to the top.

“He defends, attacks, dribbles. He is a top player and I’m sure he will become even more complete in Italy. Tim Weah is everybody’s friend. McKennie is the funniest. And then there’s Musah, the bright light, everyone feels his warmth.

“Musah is a very strong character and he never leaves you alone. He is a complete, dynamic and versatile midfielder. Weston will make the most of his opportunity, he seems very determined. He can help the team in lots of different ways.”

How did other U.S. players get on?

Name: Malik Tillman
Club: PSV Eindhoven
Position: Midfield

He’s already been dropped from the squad for arriving late for a pre-game team meeting this season. Now in his most recent outing for PSV Eindhoven, Tillman cost his side a goal by conceding a daft penalty.

Fortunately for the attacking midfielder, his team still won 3-1 to maintain their unbeaten start to the Eredivisie campaign. Tillman had an otherwise quiet game but has the chance to atone this week when PSV face Lens in the Champions League.

Name: Cameron Carter-Vickers
Club: Celtic
Position: Defence
League appearances: 4

Celtic remained comfortably top of the Scottish Premier League after their win over Hearts on Sunday and Cameron Carter-Vickers played a big part in it.

His 13 successful duels, the highest of any other player in the game, caught the eye as the 25-year-old nears his best after a hamstring injury caused him to miss five games earlier in the season.

Name: John Brooks
Club: Hoffenheim
Position: Defence
League appearances: 8

Brooks has been in fine form for Hoffenheim this season but had a rare off day during his team’s 3-1 defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Withdrawn at half-time, the 30-year-old had struggled to cope with the visitors’ Omar Marmoush and was dribbled past three times, while winning just two of his six duels.

What’s coming up?

Keep an eye on the Champions League where Tillman, Ricardo Pepi and Sergino Dest could all figure for high-flying PSV against Lens (Tuesday 2pm EST, Paramount +). That day Gio Reyna will hope to feature for Dortmund in the same competition against Newcastle (also 2pm, EST Paramount +).

Then Pulisic and Yunus Musah will also be in Champions League action against PSG in Paris on Wednesday (2pm, EST Paramount +).

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