Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle United, EPL) The former SC Freiburg striker opened the scoring Saturday 10 minutes into Newcastle’s match at Crystal Palace, but the home side responded with five goals to down the visiting Magpies. It was the second goal in five matches for Newcastle this season, along with four assists for Cisse, who scored 37 Bundesliga goals at Freiburg while coached by Robin Dutt. Cisse, 30, joined the Magpies in the winter of 2012 and has featured in over 100 EPL matches.
Amin Younes (Ajax, Eredivisie) A native of Dusseldorf, Younes scored the opening goal for Axax Sunday in their 2-0 win over PEC Zwolle. The 22 year-old attacking midfielder was a longtime member of the Borussia Mönchengladbach youth system, and rose through the ranks to play 26 matches with the senior squad of Die Fohlen. Last season, Younes spent time on loan with 1.FC Kaiserslautern before joining the Dutch masters this summer. Younes was also an Ajax starter Thursday in their 2-1 Europa League win over Celtic. Scoring Ajax’ first goal that day was former Leverkusen man Arkadiusz Milik. The 21 year-old Polish international featured in only six matches for Leverkusen but spent a season on loan with FC Augsburg before being loaned to Ajax last yea, with the Dutch club paying a 2.8 million euro transfer fee for Milik in July. Milik has six goals in Eredivise play this season and Younes has scored three.
Former Gladbach forward Luuk de Jong had a brace Sunday in PSV Eindhoven’s win over AZ Alkmaar, giving de Jong 13 Eredivisie goals in 13 matches this season. PSV now trails Ajax by four points and Feyenoord by one in the standings.
Mario Mandžukić (Juventus, Serie A) Mandžukić scored the only goal in Juventus midweek 1-0 win over Manchester City in Champions League play. lifting last year’s CL finalists to the CL knockout stages in the new year. The goal by the Croatian international came in the first half as he volleyed in a cross from Alex Sandro. The striker almost had another goal shortly thereafter, but City’s Joe Hart made a fine save to keep the scoreline close. Mandžukić scored 53 league goals in his four seasons in Germany, the first two with VfL Wolfsburg, the second two with Bayern Munich. Mandžukić joined Wolfsburg from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2010 for a fee believed to be in the neighborhood of 7 million euros. The prolific striker played last season for Atletico Madrid.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, EPL) Belgian De Bruyne sparked Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Southampton Saturday. The former Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg midfielder scored the opening goal in the 8th minute and assisted on City’s two following tallies. Since coming over from the Wolves at the end of the summer of the transfer window, De Bruyne has scored four league goals and has nine assists. The 24 year-old scored 23 Bundesliga goals, 10 during his 2012/2013 loan at Werder Bremen. Also in the City starting lineup was Martin Demechelis, the Argentine who joined the club for the 2013/2014 campaign after playing in almost 250 matches in all competitions for Bayern Munich betwen 2003 and 2010. In the visitor’s starting lineup was Oriol Romeu, the Spainard who played for VfB Stuttgart in 2014/2015 on loan from Chelsea.
Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos, Greek Super League) Fortounis, a former Kaiserslautern midfielder, scored a brace Sunday to lead Olympiakos to a 3-0 home win over his old club, Asteras Tripoli. The 23 year-old from Trikala featured in over 70 matches for the Red Devils from 2011 through 2014 before signing a four-year deal with the Greek giants in the summer of 2014. He has 16 goals thus far in his return to Greece and also has 16 caps for the Greek national team.
Giovanni Sio (Stade Rennes, Ligue 1) Striker Giovanni Sio was a substitute in Rennes’ 2-2 draw with Stade de Reims Saturday. The French-born Ivorian international was brought into VfL Wolfsburg by Felix Magath in January, 2012, during Magath’s largely unsuccessful second stint with the Wolves. Part of a massive buying spree by Magath, Sio only played in ten matches in half a season for the Wolves before being loaned out to FC Augsburg for the 2012/2013 campaign. He ended up playing only the Hinrunde at FCA before being sold to Basel. Thus far this season, Sio has started 11 times for Rennes and has scored four goals. He spent of last season on loan to fellow French club SC Bastia, scoring five times.
Mesut Özil (Arsenal, EPL) Özil scored at the half hour mark for Arsenal Sunday, but it wasn’t enough for the Gunners to gain all three points as they drew with Norwich City 1-1. The German international was also on target for Arsene Wenger’s side on Tuesday, when he scored the opener in Arsenal’s 3-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb. Özil, formerly of Schalke and Werder Bremen, has been a starter in 13 of the Gunners’ 14 league matches this season, and already has amassed 11 assists. Teammate and fellow German international Per Mertesacker also started both Arsenal matches this week. The tall defender played for both Hannover and Werder Bremen before heading to England in August, 2011 and has 104 German caps.
Sal Zizzo (NY Red Bulls, MLS) Sunday night’s 2nd leg of the MLS semifinal match between the NY Red Bulls and Columbus Crew will feature some German football flavoring. The Red Bulls’ Sal Zizzo signed with Hannover 96 after playing college ball at UCLA. He featured in eight senior squad matches and 48 reserve side games for the 96ers between 2007 and 2010. Red Bulls’ starting GK all season has been Luis Robles, who began his professional career in Germany with 1.FC Kaiserslautern in 2007. Robles, a native of Arizona, played in 21 senior squad matches for the Red Devils and another 21 with SC Karlsruher before joining the NY side in 2012. Robles was named the 2015 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and played on a 2. Bundesliga championship side while with Kaiserslautern.
For Columbus, starting back Michael Parkhurst, a longtime veteran of MLS and Danish football, spent half of a season on loan with FC Augsburg. Now 31, Parkhurst has won a U.S. Open Cup early in his career with the New England Revolution, as well as a Danish league and cup championship with FC Nordsjælland, and has been named an MLS All-Star four times.