The 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage began Tuesday with several US men’s national team players in high-profile matchups. In fact, it was the first time that five USMNT players have appeared on the same day in the competition.
Here’s the complete rundown:
Dynamo Kyiv 0, Juventus 2
After contracting COVID-19, the first UEFA Champions League match with Juventus for USMNT and ex-FC Dallas academy midfielder Weston McKennie will have to wait. McKennie previously played in six Champions League games for his former club, German side FC Schalke 04.
Juventus won the match without him, 2-0. Barcelona and Ferencvaros are also in Group G.
Zenit 1, Club Brugge 2
USMNT goalkeeper Ethan Horvath registered an unlucky own goal, but he also made two big saves down the stretch as Club Brugge won their opener in stoppage time.
Horvath, who started in place of starter Simon Mignolet sidelined due to COVID-19, maintains his undefeated record in four total Champions League games for Brugge (2W-0L-2D). It was his first competitive action for the club since 2019.
Talked with Brugge's Horvath after Champions League win over Zenit:— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) October 20, 2020
"It's been a very, very long and hard 13-14 months and just with all the hard work that I put it, it was just an emotional release. I haven’t seen my parents in almost a year, and yeah, it was happy emotions."
Lazio 3, Borussia Dortmund 1
Gio Reyna came off the bench at halftime with Borussia Dortmund trailing Lazio 2-0 and the NYCFC academy product and future USMNT midfielder promptly delivered an assist to Erling Haaland to cut the deficit. But Dortmund's comeback attempt fell short.
It was a third Champions League match for the 17-year-old Reyna, who previously had 41 minutes off the bench for the club.
Here's what Reyna had to say following the match:
"It's Champions League - You can't give any teams chances, you have to take every game serious for 90+ minutes..."— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) October 20, 2020
Gio Reyna joins @jennyachiu to discuss @BlackYellow's result versus Lazio. pic.twitter.com/4uQELdQmUX
Chelsea 0, Sevilla 0
Back healthy, Christian Pulisic got the start for Chelsea in their match against Sevilla, but it wasn't an inspired performance for Pulisic or the Blues in a scoreless home draw. Pulisic went 90 minutes with Callum Hudson-Odoi replacing him in stoppage time.
A season ago, the USMNT star had one goal and two assists in four Champions League matches – and he also shined in the competition during his prior stop at Borussia Dortmund.
FC Barcelona 5, Ferencvaros 1
Outside back Sergino Dest went the full 90 in his Champions League debut for FC Barcelona. He also started in their La Liga game last weekend, and continues to live up to the big expectations since arriving from Ajax.
As for Barcelona's US youth international forward Konrad de la Fuente, he’s a bit further down the depth chart and didn't make the squad for this one.
RB Leipzig 2, Istanbul Basaksehir 0
USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams came off the bench in the 58th minute for RB Leipzig with his team comfortably up 2-0 on their Turkish Super Lig foe and he helped see out the victory.
Adams, now in his third season with the Bundesliga club, has previously played in three Champions League games during his young career. The New York Red Bulls product memorably scored the game-winning goal in their 2019-20 quarterfinal game against Atletico Madrid that booked their semifinal spot against Paris Saint-Germain.