After a handful of quiet weekends, the German youth leagues returned to action and USYNT-eligible players had a weekend full of breakthroughs and debuts.
The highlight of the week was Timothy Chandler's outstanding performance in his first Bundesliga start. Moving from right back to right midfielder, he opened eyes by scoring a goal and assisting on two others in Nürnberg's 4-1 romp over Stuttgart.
It was a relatively quiet week among the ranks of youth national team players as a number of regulars were out of action or injured and the German U19 and U17 leagues remain on winter break until next weekend.
The two most widely-known names at the U23 level -- Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu -- spent their first matchday with their new Turkish clubs watching from the stands. Having recently arrived on loan, they haven't had much time to integrate and therefore will wait another week to make their debuts. Nonetheless, the second half of the season promises to hold much more playing time for the duo than they received during the fall.
American forward Eugene Starikov has started his preseason off in fine fashion for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg at the opening game of Marbella Cup by scoring the game winning goal for Zenit in their 2-1 victory over Bulgarian club Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the 72nd minute, Starikov entered into the game to give the team an offensive boost off the bench.
Eintracht Frankfurt announced on their website Friday that midfielder Ricardo Clark is expected to miss four weeks as he recovers from a broken cheekbone.
Clark broke his left cheekbone in training on Friday morning, and after an evaluation from team doctors he will undergo surgery in Frankfurt on Monday, with the estimated four weeks on the sidelines to recover.