Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, EPL) The Belgian international was a starter Saturday for City as they easily disposed of Chelsea and former FC Augsburg fullback Baba Rahman, 3-0. De Bruyne, the former Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg midfielder, had three shots for the Manchester side but wasn’t in the goals. But he was on Tuesday, scoring the lone goal as Manchester City eliminated PSG and former Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in their Champions League quarterfinal match. Longtime Bayern defender Martin Demechelis was on the City bench in Saturday’s match.
Lucas Barrios (Palmeiras, Brazil Premeire Liga) The 31 year-old former Borussia Dortmund striker had an assist Thursday in Palmeiras’ 4-0 Copa Libertadores win over Uruguay’s River Plate. Born in Argentina, Barrios plays internationally for Paraguay, the country of his mother. Barrios spent two plus seasons playing at Signal Iduna Park, scoring 49 goals in all competitions while winning two Bundesliga titles and a Pokal trophy under Jurgen Klopp. The well-travelled Barrios has played for 12 clubs in his career thus far, earning his wages in Argentina, Chile, France, China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Germany, scoring 181 total goals in club competition and another ten internationally.
Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan, Serie A) The former Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg attacker started for Inter Milan Saturday in their 2-0 win over Napoli. Perisic, a Croatian international, had one shot and received a yellow card in the match. Perisic played over four seasons in the Bundesliga after coming over from Club Brugge to Dortmund in the summer of 2011, scoring 27 goals in over 110 league matches. He was named Belgian Footballer of the Year in his last season in Brugge and won a league championship and two Pokals while playing in Germany. In his first season at Inter, Perisic has found regular playing time, starting 23 Serie A matches while subbing on in seven others. He’s scored six goals and added five assists.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool FC, EPL) After being part of Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI Thursday in their improbable comeback win over Klopp’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, Firmino capped off the week by scoring the opening goal for LFC in their 2-1 win over AFC Bournmenouth. Firmino tapped in a rebound from an amazing backheel shot from Daniel Sturridge to start Klopp’s side off to another victory. A former Hoffenheim striker, Firmino is beginning to pay off on the big transfer fee LFC paid last summer to bring the Brazilian over. Firmino leads the club with nine EPL goals, and has also provided seven assists. Only 24 years old, Firmino scored 38 Bundesliga goals for the Sinsheim club in four and a half seasons.
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, MLS) Bradley was a starter for Toronto in their 1-0 win Saturday against DC United. Bradley, in his third season with Toronto, started his 57th match for the Canadian club. Born in New Jersey, the central midfielder started his career in MLS before heading to SC Heerenveen in the Eredivisie. A big 2007/2008 season for the Dutch club, during which he scored 16 goals in 36 matches, led to a contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach after the season. The 28 year-old featured on a pretty regular basis for Die Fohlen during his two and half seasons with the club, playing in 76 Bundesliga matches while scoring ten goals. He left the club for an unproductive loan stint at Aston Villa, before finding greater success in Serie A with Chievo Verona and AS Roma. Bradley has become arguably the best American international of recent vintage, featuring in 113 senior USMNT matches. Texan Jared Jeffrey, 25, who played in over 80 matches for FSV Mainz 05’s reserve squad between 2010-2013, was an unused sub for DC United.
Luuk de Jong (PSV, Eredivisie) The lanky striker had a brace Saturday for PSV in their 3-0 win at Roda JC. PSV is jockeying with Ajax for the Eredivise title and de Jong has been a bigtime contributor to PSV’s fight for the title, with 22 league goals this season in 31 matches, in addition to seven assists. A Netherlands international, de Jong was never able to approach those types of numbers in his season and a half at Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he scored six goals in 36 Bundesliga appearances. Also joining in on the fun for PSV was defender Jeffrey Bruma, who featured in 40 HSV matches while on loan a few years back from Chelsea.
Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar, A League) The Munich native scored the dramatic game-winner Friday as Brisbane roared back to score a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory. Broich, who came up in the SpVgg Unterhaching youth system, has played for Brisbane since 2010 after competing in Germany for SV Wacker Burghausen, Borussia Monchengladbach, 1.FC Köln and 1.FC Nürnberg. Starting for the Victory was longtime VfB Stuttgart defender Matthieu Delpierre, who was on Stuttgart’s 2006/2007 Bundesliga champions. Delpierre also played for Hoffenheim while in Germany after beginning his career with Lille in his native France.
Nick Proschwitz (St. Truiden, Belgian Jupiler League) The East German-born striker was a starter Saturday for St. Truiden as they lost away 1-0 to KSC Lokerun. Proschwitz joined the Belgian team in the winter transfer window from SC Paderborn 07, and began with a bang in his club debut, scoring a brace against Standard Liege in a 2-1 victory. The well-travelled 29 year-old came up in the youth system of SpVgg Greuther Furth and played for the reserve teams of Hoffenheim, HSV, Wolfsburg and Hannover before finding success in Switzerland at FC Vaduz in 2009/10, scoring 23 goals in 29 matches. The tall attacker then played for FC Thun and was with Lucerne briefly before his first stint at Paderborn, where he was Bundesliga 2 Top Scorer during the 2011/12 season with 17 goals. Proschwitz also played in England for Hull City, Brentford, Burnley and Coventry City before returning to Paderborn last summer.
Mario Gomez (Beşiktaş, Turkish Super Lig) The German international was in the goals again for Beşiktaş, scoring the first goal of their matchup with Sivasspor in the 58th minute as Beşiktaş won 2-1. Gomez has 22 goals for the Istanbul club this season after 29 league matches, and has found his way back to the German national team because of his prolific return. Gomez scored 138 Bundesliga goals in less than 240 matches while playing earlier in his career for VfB Stuttgart and Bayern Munich. Also starting for Beşiktaş Saturday was defender Andreas Beck, who was a regular for seven seasons at Hoffenheim. Olcay Şahan, who played for MSV Duisburg and 1.FC Kaiserslautern and former HSV man Gökhan Töre were substitutes for Beşiktaş. Both players were born in Germany but represent Turkey internationally. Tolgay Arslan, also formerly of HSV, was an unused sub.
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