Move over Barry, Robin and Maurice! It's the turn of Weston, Leon and Alphonso to take the Americas by storm this summer as the Bundesliga trio star for their respective nations at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
While Schalke's Weston McKennie will be pivotal in joint-host nation the USA's challenge, Leon Bailey of Bayer Leverkusen will spearhead Jamaica's charge, with Canada's hopes resting on Bayern Munich's teenage prodigy Alphonso Davies.
bundesliga.com follows the progress of this Bundesliga trio of stars who are hoping to keep their nation Staying Alive in the Americas this summer.
Minutes played: 164
McKennie made the transatlantic trip two-and-a-half years earlier than the injured Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), and it is one that — if he hadn't done it — he might not have even been able to answer Uncle Sam's call.
While Adams' performance against Ecuador ended in smiles, McKennie's game concluded early with a grimace and a ruptured ankle ligament that threatened to make it the last time we'd see him in studs in 2018/19.
"I thought I was gonna be out for the season, but German mentality…I came back here and then got it fixed up real quick. Whenever you're injured, it's like: 'I'm not doing anything to help my team. I'm not doing what I love to do.' I came to Germany to follow my dream to play soccer. Whenever I'm not doing that or I can't do that, it sucks."
But a bit like with Adams, where is that role? "The position that we've talked about me playing is what fits me the best," says McKennie of his discussions with Berhalter. "Playing a number 10 role offensively and then defensively almost playing like a double six."
And that is exactly how he started in the USMNT’s 4-0 win over Guyana, to begin their Gold Cup campaign in style. He was substituted after 74 minutes, but not before getting the assist for the USA’s first goal and controlling the game from his deeper midfield position.
A 6-0 win followed in the second group stage game for the US against Trinidad & Tobago, with McKennie playing the full 90 minutes in midfield once again. His shot late on was rebounded home by Aaron Long to complete the six-goal thumping.
With tougher fixtures to come in the tournament, McKennie’s role could still be altered to fit whichever system is needed. But that indeed is the beauty of the Royal Blues' versatile workhorse: he’ll play anywhere and everywhere for his team.
USA group stage fixtures and results
Guyana (4-0 win), Trinidad & Tobago (6-0 win), Panama (26 June)
Minutes played: 180
"I promise to wear the colors black green and gold with honor, pride, and dignity while aiming to be a positive role model for kids with a dream," wrote 21-year-old Bailey in an Instagram post featuring him wearing a shirt half in the colours of his country, the other half in the colours of his club.
And in the Leverkusen winger’s first competitive game for his country, he did not disappoint. His chipped pass over the Honduran defence was the pass-to-assist for the opening goal against Honduras on 17 June.
It was a historic night for Jamaica as they hosted their first Gold Cup match with 17,874 spectators in Kingston witness to Bailey’s debut in the competition.
Bailey and his side followed up the opening win with a goalless draw against El Salvador, leaving them top of Group C, with only Honduras unable to progress. A draw against Curaçao will send Jamaica into the knockout stages, though.
Jamaica's group stage fixtures and results
Honduras (3-2 win), El Salvador (0-0 draw), Curaçao (25 June)
Minutes played: 250
In the six league appearances he has made since moving to Germany from Vancouver Whitecaps in January, Davies — just 18 years old — has confirmed there is gargantuan potential packed into his bantamweight boxer's frame.
"He's a diamond. He shows that every day in training," said Hasan Salihamidzic, the bowled over Bayern sporting director, who also saw his club's new arrival squeeze in a maiden top-flight goal in the 6-0 win over Mainz on Matchday 26.
In the space of just two short years, Davies has shed the 'promising youngster' tag to emerge as the (very young) man on whose broad shoulders the hopes of the 2000 champions - the only nation to win the competition other than the USA or Mexico - now rest.
And with the pressure heavily on with Canada playing out the opening game of the tournament against Martinique, Davies and Co. were up to the challenge. A 4-0 win, with Davies contributing an assist having won the ball from the opposition defence on the left wing before curling a delightful low cross with his “weaker” right foot for Junior Hoilett to poke home.
Gold Cup fixtures don't come much bigger than the Canucks' second game against Mexico at the Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium, where the Bayern winger played 90 minutes in the 3-1 defeat. However, Canada remain in position to progress to the knockout stage.
Davies started at left back in Canada's final group game, a comfortable 7-0 win over Cuba in Charlotte, North Carolina, and provided an assist for Lucas Cavallini to make it 4-0 in first-half stoppage time.
Canada's group stage fixtures and results
Martinique (4-0 win), Mexico (3-1 loss), Cuba (7-0 win)