Alphonso Davies - Bayern Munich - 2019

MLS Exports: Late-season drama in England, Germany provides intrigue abound

Another eventful month has passed, so it's time once again to update you on all the latest exploits of Major League Soccer products playing around the globe.

The last month featured some key injury returns and goals, goals and more goals. In addition to club account openers from Taylor Booth, Alphonso Davies, Dilly Duka, Ben McKendry and Erik Palmer-Brown, we had a championship-clinching strike from Aaron Schoenfeld.


Tim Ream is hoping to end the season strong after Fulham was relegated. | Reuters

DeAndre Yedlin
SEA: 2013-14
After sitting a couple of games as February turned to March, Yedlin temporarily regained his Newcastle United starting place. He notched a last-minute, game-tying assist in a 2-2 draw while working up the wing at Bournemouth on March 16, but reverted to right back for a loss against Arsenal. However, the US international was guilty of the rash challenge that earned Crystal Palace's late winning penalty two rounds back and that cost him the start in Friday's 1-0 win at Leicester City. With four games left, the Magpies have nearly secured their EPL place for next season.
Tim Ream
RBNY: 2010-11
The inevitable from Ream's first full EPL season came to pass when Fulham were officially relegated by a 4-1 loss at Watford on April 2. That result stretched their losing streak to nine games, but the Cottagers busted the slump with a 2-0 home win over Everton on Saturday. Ream, who won eight aerial duels and contributed six total defensive stops as Fulham posted their first clean sheet of 2019, has vowed to help close out the season on a high note. "The team and the players owe it to the football club and fans to go out in the last five games and give something back," he recently told Yahoo Sports.
Emerson Hyndman
FC Dallas Academy
Although he was recalled from a Hibernian loan by Bournemouth over the winter, Hyndman has yet to dress for a Premier League contest since returning. Last week, Hammarby sporting director Jesper Jansson knocked back recent rumors of interest in the US midfielder.
Geoff Cameron
HOU: 2008-12
The QPR loan handyman returned from an ankle injury that had kept him out since December by working 56 minutes in defensive midfield in their 2-2 draw at Hull City on March 16. Cameron watched the next game from the dugout, but was back on the field for a loss at Norwich City and a draw at Millwall to start April. However, he was again left out of their weekend win over Swansea City. The Loftus Road side have all but clinched their Championship place with four games left.
Matt Miazga
RBNY: 2013-15
The loan defender put in his 14th straight full shift for Reading in Saturday's important 2-1 victory over Brentford. A 2-1-2 run since our last check has pushed the Royals clear of the drop zone with four rounds to play. Miazga was among the standouts in most of those games, but did endure a mighty struggle in a 3-1 loss at Hull City on April 6.
Matthew Olosunde
New York Red Bulls Academy

The Manchester United Under-19 defender took another big step on his road back from a long injury layoff on Monday. Olosunde made his first start in 14 months, going the distance at right back in a 5-0 victory at Newcastle.


Tyler Adams is enjoying a meteoric rise in the Bundesliga | Reuters

Weston McKennie
FC Dallas Academy
We have great news for all those who worried the Schalke midfielder would miss the rest of the season, if not also the Concacaf Gold Cup, after suffering a nasty ankle injury during the USMNT’s win over Ecuador last month. McKennie resumed individual training late over the weekend and could be back with the full group on short order. That would also be welcome news for the Miners, who stand six points over the trap door with five games on the schedule.
Tyler Adams
RBNY: 2016-18
That train whistle you've been hearing is Adams’ hype rolling across Germany on a weekly basis. Wrapped around his most recent USMNT cap were shutout wins over Schalke and Hertha Berlin, with the latter success including his second assist from nine Bundesliga outings. The only thing that has slowed him down is the abductor ailment that has seen him miss their last two league wins and the DfB-Pokal quarterfinal victory from two weeks ago. With a Champions League invite to nail down and next Tuesday's cup semifinal at Hamburg, the club are hoping Adams will be back with the group in the coming days.
Alphonso Davies
VAN: 2016-18
The Canada flank phenom received his longest Bayern Munich assignment with a 31-minute sub shift against Mainz on March 17, and marked the occasion by scoring his first goal for the Bundesliga giants. Davies pounced on a Robert Lewandowski rebound to apply the capper to a 6-0 triumph. Unfortunately, a knee ligament strain kept him out of the draw at Freiburg and home rout of title rivals Borussia Dortmund that followed, but he was back on the Bavaraians' bench for Sunday's away defeat of Fortuna Dusseldorf. Bayern have both a one-point league lead with five games remaining and a DfB-Pokal semifinal date against Werder Bremen set for next Wednesday, so there could be more first-time celebrations to come for Davies.
Khiry Shelton
NYC: 2015-17
SKC: 2018
The striker continued his recovery road back from a knee injury by putting in a full shift for Paderborn II shortly after the last update. Shelton then made his second appearance for the second flight outfit by coming on for the final 16 minutes of a 3-1 win at Union Berlin on March 30. A few days later, he was on the bench as the hosts bowed out of the DfB-Pokal after a 2-0 loss to Hamburg. The North Rhine boys can now concentrate on league matters; with five games to play, they stand just one point shy of the promotion playoff slot and four back of the league's second automatic elevator to the Bundesliga.
Sebastian Soto
Real Salt Lake Academy
On the strength of a season that has seen him log 14 goals and six helpers for the Hannover 96 Under-19's, Soto has now enjoyed his Bundesliga debut. The 18-year-old striker came on for the final 10 minutes of a 3-1 loss at Wolfsburg two weeks ago and did likewise in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Kianz Froese
VAN: 2014-17
Both the Canadian winger and Fortuna Duesseldorf II came out of the Regionalliga West winter slumber rather slowly, but they've heated properly in recent weeks. Froese notched a goal and an assist in a 3-3 late collapse draw away to title contenders Rot-Weiss Oberhausen on March 22. He helped the club snap a seven-game win drought the following week against Wiedenbrueck, and then put up another goal and helper in a home win over Bonner SC on April 6.
Chris Richards
FC Dallas Academy
The Alabama native has been a near constant in the Bayern Munich Under-19 lineup all season, but is now battling a minor knock. Richards went the full route in their 1-0 loss at Stutggart Kickers that capped March and was all set to do the same in the following week's tilt with Augsburg, only to be scratched due to a warm-up injury. He was on the bench for this weekend's win over Heidenheim, but did not see action.
Alex Mendez
Chivas USA Academy
LA Galaxy Academy
It seems the US Under-20 midfielder needed less than two months to claim a starting place for Freiburg's U-19 side. Mendez went from whistle to whistle to help them end a four-game losing streak with a 4-0 rout of Kaiserslautern on March 30. The following weekend, he scored his first two goals in Germany before departing late in a 3-3 draw with Heidenheim. On Saturday, he went the distance again as the sixth place visitors battled FC Nuremberg to a 2-2 draw.
Taylor Booth
Real Salt Lake Academy
The 17-year-old midfielder made his second appearance for the Bayern Munich U-19 side by working the final 20 minutes of a wild 3-3 draw against Augsburg two weekends back. This past Saturday, Booth got the start and used the occasion to open his club account. The youngster ran onto a cutback at the top of the area and lashed home a one-timer with his unpreferred left peg to chalk up the home side's second in a 5-1 humbling of Heidenheim that kept them solidly in third place.
Ulysses Llanez
LA Galaxy Academy
Though the club has yet to make an official announcement, the US Under-20 ace revealed on Twitter that he had signed a deal to join Wolfsburg on his 18th birthday. The wing talent has already played several friendlies for their U-19 team.


Omar Gonzalez
LAG: 2009-15
After starting 24 straight league matches for Atlas (dating back to the Apertura season), Gonzalez was relegated to the subs bench for their 2-0 loss at Toluca on March 17. He has remained there for the club's ensuing three matches, which included matching 1-0 victories over fellow table stragglers Santos Laguna and Veracruz that temporarily revived hopes of reaching the Liguilla. However, Saturday's home loss to Necaxa brought those aspirations back down to Earth and they would now need a near-miracle to qualify.
Rogelio Funes Mori
FC Dallas Academy
It was an eventful month for the striker and his Monterrey teammates since our last check. For starters, Funes Mori notched a double in the clinching road return win as Los Rayados brushed Sporting KC aside to reach their first Concacaf Champions League final since they completed a rare three-peat back in 2013. On the other hand, he also went scoreless in three straight as Monterrey's league win drought reached four games. That is until Monday, when Funes Mori busted out with a second-half hat trick to steer a 4-0 cruise past Santos Laguna. The team has all but clinched a Liguilla berth, while their No. 7 shirt is now just one strike away from the top of the Clausura scoring chart.
Rafael Baca
SJ: 2011-14
The veteran Cruz Azul defensive midfielder has withstood some challenges to his starting spot this season, but keeps winning out in the end. A few days after our last update, Baca raced into the box late to supply a terrific finish for his first goal of the Clausura. It sent La Maquina on their way to a 4-1 rout of Pachuca, which counted at the time as their third straight win. The former Earthquakes regular then started a draw at Monterrey and a win over Queretaro, which saw him pick up a red card and the one-game ban that comes with it. The team extended their unbeaten run without him this past weekend, posting a scoreless draw at Club America to stay within reach of a Liguilla seed.
Tony Alfaro
SEA: 2016-18
After being limited to two Cup appearances for nearly three months, Alfaro finally made his Liga MX debut for Chivas at left back in their 2-1 loss at UNAM Pumas on the last day of March. It has been a forgettable Clausura campaign for the Goats, who have now dropped four in a row to fall out of Liguilla contention.
Lalo Fernandez
RSL: 2012-17
The netminder has continued sharing the back-up role as second-place Tigres makes a beeline for the Clausura Liguilla.


Ballou Tabla
Montreal Impact Academy
Since making his debut for loan side Albacete in early March, the young Canadian winger has been on the outside looking in for a club chasing promotion to La Liga.


Erik Palmer-Brown
SKC 2009-17
The US defender has rounded into form over the last month, culminating in his best outing of the season for loan employers NAC Breda on Saturday. Palmer-Brown (who has now started nine straight games) punctuated a strong all-around showing against FC Emmen by scoring the 1-1 equalizer two minutes from time and walked away with Man of the Match honors for his efforts. Though the Yellow Army are still eight points shy of safety and four from reaching the survival playoffs, their 1-1-2 run in recent weeks has gently lifted hopes of staying up in Breda.


Andy Najar
DC: 2010-12
The Anderlecht handyman made his return from injury in their 3-2 Jupiler League championship playoff loss to Club Brugge on April 4. Najar then took up the right back spot from the start in their next game, setting up the opener in what would eventually be a tough 2-1 home loss to Royal Antwerp. Last Friday, he was on the bench as their derby clash at Standard Liege was abandoned after 30 minutes (with the hosts up two goals and a man, mind you) due to away supporters raining flares down on the field. The suddenly-slumping Mauves will try to hang on to the last Europa League spot when fellow strugglers Gent visit on Sunday.


Cyle Larin
ORL: 2015-17
Playing time at Besiktas remains elusive for the Canada striker, who made his first Super Lig appearance in over two months with a late cameo in Saturday's 2-1 win over local rivals/league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir. Larin recently told that he's relishing the uphill challenge of fighting for his spot at a big club, but that hasn't slowed reports that he could make an MLS return. Turkish outlet Fotomac recently claimed that Vancouver were ready to move for the target forward.
Eric Ayuk
PHI: 2015-16
Though the weather is warming, things have gone ice cold for Ayuk and Osmanlispor since our last check-in. After hitting four times in a seven-game span, the winger is now goalless in six. His club also dropped three of four over the last month to fall 10 points off the second flight title pace and eight points out of the second elevator seat to the Super Lig. The good news is they still have an inside track on a promotion playoff berth with five games left in the regular season.

South Korea

Sebastian Velasquez
RSL: 2012-14
NYC: 2015
It's a special thing to score on your debut for a new club, something Velasquez can tell you all about. The attacking midfielder deposited Suwon’s first in a 6-0 Korean FA Cup rout of Chungju Citizen on March 27. He made his first league start in a 1-1 share at Seoul E-Land two rounds back and came on at halftime as they posted an identical result against Jeonjam Dragons on Saturday. Through six games, the club stand four points off the top of the second flight standings in fourth place.


Anatole Abang
RBNY: 2015-16
The Chinese second flight season has not begun so well for Nantong Zhiyun, despite a solid start from their new striker. Abang bagged his second and third goals in four games with his new employers to key their first win of the campaign, a 4-2 defeat of guests Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard on April 6. Unfortunately, he also drew a red card late in the contest that saw him suspended for this past weekend's scoreless draw at Heilongjiang Lava Spring.

Costa Rica

Denis Castillo
COL: 2016
The Perez Zeledon right back has continued his solid play for the Clausura title chasers, even if their 12-game unbeaten run ended with a 4-2 home defeat against Alajuelense on March 29. Castillo wore the captain's armband the next time out, leading the club to a 1-0 win at Guadelupe that put them in first place. Since then, a draw and a loss have seen them drop to second on goal differential behind San Carlos heading into the April 29 season capper at Apertura champs Herediano. Regardless of what happens in that game, Castillo and friends have already clinched a place in the playoffs.


Aaron Schoenfeld
CLB: 2012-15
There's no denying that it has been a trying season for the Maccabi Tel Aviv striker when it comes to playing time. However, things have been looking up over the last month. After coming off the bench to bag the late insurance tally in a 2-0 win over Hapoel Hadera in their in their Ligat Ha'al championship round opener, he was offered the rare chance to play hero with a start against Maccabi Haifa on March 30. Schoenfeld responded by nodding home the lone goal that clinched the club's 22nd Israeli title.

Jonathan Bornstein
CHV: 2006-11
Though Maccabi Netanya has endured a difficult start to the Ligat Ha'al championship playoff by going 0-3-1 in the first four rounds, Bornstein celebrated a milestone in their 1-1 draw at Bnei Yehuda on March 30. The veteran left back fired home a long distance drive for his first goal in Israel. While the Diamonds remain three points shy of the last Europa League slot in league play, they will have the chance to earn an invite via the State Cup. Bornstein went all 90 as they edged Hapoel Hadera 1-0 in the semifinal two weeks ago, setting up a May 15 final date with that same Bnei Yehuda side.
George Fochive
POR: 2014-15
A few days after our last update, the Hapoel Hadera midfielder saw red near halftime of their 2-0 championship round opening loss at Maccabi Tel Aviv. After serving his suspension the following game (a harsh 4-1 home loss to Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Fochive returned to shine in a 3-1 victory at Hapoel Haifa on April 6. He was out of the lineup again this weekend as the upstarts fell 3-2 at home to Bnei Yehuda. With six matches left, the sixth-place side hold only a slim chance at rallying to earn a Europa League place.


Sam Adekugbe
VAN: 2013-17
The Canada left back started the new season right, setting up Valerenga's first goal of 2019 to put them on their way to a 2-0 opening day win over Mjondalen on March 30. Adekugbe has worked every minute of a 2-2 Bohemians start that has them in fifth place early on.
Oyvind Alseth
TOR: 2017
The Ranheim right back has worked every minute of their first three league contests of the season, but it's been a rough start for last year's surprise package. They blew a late lead before conceding a last minute decider in their 2-1 opening day defeat against Tromso, dropped another tight affair at Lillestrom the following week and then leaked twice in the waning moments to suffer a 2-0 home loss to FK Haugesund on Sunday.


Timothy Weah
New York Red Bulls Academy
While the Celtic loan forward has mostly been used off the bench, he got the starting nod at St. Mirren on April 3 and responded with his first goal in two months to open a 2-0 win. The Hoops are up 11 points as the top six enter the final championship round, putting Weah on course to become the fourth American to celebrate an SPL crown. He could also match DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Claudio Reyna as Scottish double winners after working the final quarter hour of their Cup semifinal win against Aberdeen over the weekend. The Hoops will face Hearts for the crown at Hampden Park on May 24.
Matt Polster
CHI: 2015-18
Although he's still waiting on his first Rangers outing, Polster has returned from the thigh ailment that scuppered a planned debut in late February. The right back did draw special praise from Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard on Monday after helping the reserve team take the top spot in their league with a weekend win.
Ian Harkes
DC: 2017-18
After sitting out a March 19 win over table-toppers Ross County, Harkes has appeared in five straight and started three of them as Dundee United tries to chase down the Championship title. The midfielder helped set up the Tangerines' rally starter in a big 2-1 win over Ayr United this past weekend that clinched their place in the promotion playoff semifinal.
Ian McGrath
Chicago Fire Academy
The attacking midfielder got his first Queen of the South start on March 23, and helped the club snap a six-game losing slide with a 1-1 share against Falkirk. McGrath kept his spot the following week as the relegation fighters scored a 2-1 win at Dundee United. The Doonhammers are precariously dangling over the trap door with three games left on the season, so survival could well come down to their closing day visit from last place Partick Thistle on May 4.


Romain Gall
CLB: 2014-15
The Malmo winger made his first (and, to date, only) start of the young Allsvenskan season against former employers Sundsvall on April 6. Gall's corner kick serve teed up the Sky Blues' 79th minute equalizer, but they'd collapse late to suffer a 3-1 loss. Through three rounds, the 20-time Swedish champs stand middle of the pack with four points.
Ben McKendry
VAN: 2016-17
The young Canadian opened his European account by tapping home the 65th minute winner in Nykoping's 2-1 opening day victory over visiting Gefle on April 7. McKendry also went the distance in last weekend's 1-all draw at Sollentuna as the third flighters continued their solid start to the new season.
Ian Garrett
Chicago Fire Academy
The Michigan native made his Nykoping debut with a late wing cameo in that same win over Gefle.


Luis Silva
TOR: 2012-13
DC: 2013-15
RSL: 2015-18
The FC Honka newcomer has quickly become a fixture in the Veikkausliiga side's lineup. He worked 105 minutes on his March 30 debut, a heartbreaking 5-4 penalty shootout loss to Suomen Cup visitors Ilves. Silva also started their first two league games of the season up top, a 2-1 win at RoPS and last weekend's 3-1 home loss to IFK Mariehamn that saw him notch the assist on their early opener.


Dilly Duka
CLB: 2010-12, 2016-17
CHI: 2013-14
MTL: 2014-15
RBNY: 2017
The Partizani Tirana midfielder scored his first goal for the club as the early opener in what would end up a 3-1 loss to April 6 guests Luftetari. Duka & Co. bounced back with a pair of wins in the seven days that followed to open up a 12-point lead on the Superliga pack. The American has now made seven straight starts in central midfield.


Nicolás Samayoa
NE: 2018
The defender had rode the Comunicaciones bench for five games until getting the start at next-to-last Deportivo Sanarate on the last day of March. Samayoa helped them post a 1-0 victory, but was back in the dugout the following week for a 3-1 home loss to Municipal. After not dressing for a pair of wins, he then came off the bench late in this past weekend's 1-0 home defeat against Guastatoya. With five rounds to go, Comunicaciones stand three points off the top in fifth place.


Chris Cortez
CHV: 2011
The striker scored his first goal for loan side Ayutthaya United on April 6 to earn the second flight survivalists a 1-1 share away to title chasers Lampang. Despite climbing out of the basement with the result, they still remain winless in six. Next week, the club make a League Cup visit to face mites Singburi.