Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Rolling out the red carpet...

I promised to start this series yesterday, but some work came in and, yeah, there ya go. But we're here to kick off a retro award series by naming this year's American Abroad of the Year. I've handed out this type of accolade in a few stray columns through the years, and I'm not quite sure why I never made it an official regular thing.

To correct that continuous flub, I've gone go through each season all the way to the '80's and retroactively chosen a AAotY winner. This obviously took a while to put together, but I'm now ready to start unveiling them. Obviously, we must start in the present and that's what this post is here to do. Without further adieu, the clear choice for this year's American Abroad of the Year (as decided by me). 

20/21 Weston McKennie

Few people expected the young midfielder to waltz right into the Juventus line-up and become one of their most reliable players, but that's precisely what he's done. McKennie has six goals in 41 appearances (23 starts) across all competitions, including a few real dazzlers (one of those coming in a Champions League win at Barcelona). In addition to goals, he has posted career highs in: shots on target percentage, passing completion percentage, key passes, shots created per 90. He also leads Juve in xG on/off differential (Matthias de Ligt is the only regular even close to his 0.70 mark) and the entire Serie A in xG plus/minus per 90 with 1.33. The only thing missing is a trophy, and he could tick that box in the Coppa Italia final on May 19th.

- Greg Seltzer

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