Christian Pulisic and the Americans at new clubs this year
As the European club season kicks into high gear with the beginnings of the La Liga and Bundesliga campaign, it ‘s time to stop and take stock of the plethora of moves made by American players this summer.
Some moves received plenty of attention, such as Christian Pulisic’s arrival at Chelsea, but it is easy to have missed many of the other moves completed by players, both in Europe, and some who left Europe to move to Major League Soccer.
U.S. national team fans will be paying particular attention this season as several top USMNT players find themselves in new locations.
Here is a closer look at the top American players who have made club moves this summer:
Christian Pulisic, Chelsea
The USMNT star completed his transfer to Chelsea in the winter, but spent the second half of last season on loan with Borussia Dortmund. He has hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge, impressing in the UEFA Super Cup and looking like a key weapon for Frank Lampard to build his attack around after the departure of Eden Hazard.
Tim Weah, Lille
A move away from Paris Saint Germain was inevitable, and Weah found an ideal landing spot in Lille, a club known for developing young talent. Weah impressed at the Under-20 World Cup and played his way into Lille’s starting lineup for its league opener. Regular playing time in Ligue 1 should help Weah break into Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT setup sooner than later.
Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf
The starting USMNT goalkeeper completed his transfer to Manchester City, but rather than being stuck on the bench behind Ederson in Manchester, Steffen will have his chance to start in the Bundesliga. Steffen is no stranger to Germany, having begun his professional career at Freiburg, so expect a smooth transition for the former Columbus Crew shot stopper.
Tyler Boyd, Besiktas
After impressing at the Gold Cup in his first official appearances for the USMNT, Boyd followed that up with a high-profile move to Turkish power Besiktas. The skilled winger has shown himself to be an effective midfield option for Gregg Berhalter, and steady playing time in Turkey could boost his chance of challenging for a starting USMNT role.
Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund
With Christian Pulisic having left Dortmund, it’s only fitting that a new American teenage sensation has arrived at Signal Iduna Park. Reyna has already made a big impression during Borussia Dortmund’s preseason, and while the 17-year-old isn’t slated to begin the season with the first team, don’t be surprised to see him break into the Bundesliga powerhouse’s squad at some point this season.
Haji Wright, VVV Venlo
After breaking into the first team at Schalke for a handful of appearances last season, Haji Wright found himself needing a fresh start. He has arrived in the Dutch League, where he has begun the season as a starter for the Eredivisie side. The 21-year-old striker is one to watch as a potential U.S. Olympic Team option in 2020 (if the USA qualifies).
Antonee Robinson, Wigan
Though he spent last season at Wigan on loan, Robinson completed a permanent move away from Everton to join the League Championship side on a full transfer this summer. The speedy left back established himself as a solid starter for Wigan last season, and will continue to develop as he pushes for a bigger role with the USMNT.
Alex Mendez, Ajax
The U.S. Under-20 standout spent just one season at German side SC Freiburg, but once Ajax came calling it was impossible to say no to one of the best clubs in the world for young talent. Mendez is still just 18, and will need time to adjust to his new club, but the ultra-talented midfielder could thrive at his new club.
Chris Gloster, PSV
Another player who made the jump from Germany to the Netherlands, Gloster is coming off an impressive Under-20 World Cup and will look to work his way closer to first-team action with the Dutch giants.
Ulysses Llanez, Wolfsburg
The 18-year-old speedster showed glimpses of his impressive ability at the Under-20 World Cup, and his long-awaited move to Wolfsburg became official this summer. He will start out on the youth level with the Bundesliga club, and he has already made a good impression there, having scored twice in the team’s first match of the season.
Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stoke City
Those hoping to see Carter-Vickers finally get his chance to stick with Tottenham’s first team have been made to wait a bit longer, with another League Championship loan seeing the young centerback joining the Potters. Carter-Vickers enjoyed a strong season at Swansea City last season, and while that didn’t lead to a spot on Tottenham’s first team, another good campaign at Stoke could lead to a permanent move to a new club.
Emerson Hyndman, Atlanta United
The early frontrunner for most successful move on this list, Hyndman has enjoyed an excellent transition to MLS since joining the MLS Cup champions on loan from Bournemouth. The skilled central midfielder has fit right into Atlanta’s high-powered attack, and should be on Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT radar for the team’s matches in the Fall.
Joe Gyau, FC Cincinnati
Having successfully resurrected his career after a devastating knee injury, Gyau left Germany to ply his trade in MLS, and FC Cincinnati will look to benefit from the speedy winger’s resurgence. Gyau earned a look with the USMNT, and if he can play well with regular minutes in Cincinnati, another call-up should be in his future.
Shaq Moore, Tenerife
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Moore in Spain, from the high of playing in La Liga, to the struggles of finding playing time in the second division. He left Levante in search of an opportunity and has found it with Tenerife. The 22-year-old right back will look to make his mark with the second-division club as he tries to play himself back into the USMNT picture after making a handful of appearances in 2018.
Erik Palmer-Brown, Austria Wien
The former U.S. Under-20 national team standout has done the loan shuffle since signing with Manchester City, and after some mixed results with Dutch side NAC Breda, Palmer-Brown has landed in Austria. The 22-year-old defender is age-eligible for the next Olympic cycle, and regular playing time in the Austrian Bundesliga should help put him back into contention for a place on that team.
Aron Johannsson, Hammarby
Another player who has had to endure injuries that derailed their career, Johannsson left Werder Bremen in search of a regular role and he has found it in Sweden. The 28-year-old should see steady playing time at Hammarby, and while a USMNT return seems unlikely, don’t be surprised to see him wind up in MLS eventually.
Kyle Scott, Newcastle United
The England-born midfielder is eligible for multiple countries, but the one-time U.S. Under-20 national team player is one to keep tabs on after he joining Newcastle after being released by Chelsea. The central midfielder will find first-team minutes tough to come by, but the Magpies consider him a good prospect.
Jonathan Klinsmann, St. Gallen
The former U.S. Under-20 national team goalkeeper left Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin in a quest for regular playing time, and that search has led him to Switzerland. He has begun the new season as St. Gallen’s back-up goalkeeper, but the 22-year-old will be looking to push starter Dejan Stojanovic.
Desevio Payne, FC Emmen
Another former U.S. Under-20 player who has found regular minutes tough to come by, Payne left left Excelsior after two largely unproductive seasons and recently signed with FC Emmen, which succeeded in staying in the Eredivisie last season after being promoted the prior season.
Matthew Olosunde, Rotherham United
The former Manchester United youth team player found himself looking for a new home after being released earlier in the summer. A move to MLS seemed like a possibility, but Olosunde ultimately wound up staying in England, joining League One side Rotherham, where he has already established himself as a regular starter at right back.