The U.S. national team has seen a significant increase in players moving across the Atlantic to play their club soccer in Europe.
With the increased draw of the Premier League and other ‘Big 5’ European leagues proving tough to turn down, and the rise in the level of talent in the USMNT player pool, this influx of American talent to the European club scene has been hailed as an enormously positive sign of future success.
Many of the European-based American internationals are young, either still developing as players or entering the prime of their careers, and fans have shown a willingness to tune in and watch their favorite USMNT stars on the pitch for their clubs.
The Sporting News brings you a look at the most prominent USMNT-eligible players currently contracted to European clubs, including those on the Champions League scene in England, Italy, Spain, and beyond.
USMNT players in Premier League, Championship (England)
Folarin Balogun (ST, 22 y/o, Arsenal)
Following a wildly successful loan spell at French club Stade de Reims in 2022/23, where he finished the campaign near the top of the Ligue 1 scoring charts, Folarin Balogun has returned to his parent club Arsenal as a wanted man. The 22-year-old committed to the USMNT in the summer of 2023, and will now sort out his club future, unlikely to stay at Arsenal given the depth chart at The Emirates.
Tyler Adams (CM, 24 y/o, Leeds)
After starring in his first season at Leeds United before a hamstring injury ruined the back half of the 2022/23 campaign, Tyler Adams caught the eye of top Premier League clubs. As Leeds suffered relegation to the Championship, Adams has been a leading candidate to depart, and despite his injury lingering through the summer, he seems to be on his way back to the top flight.
Antonee Robinson (LB, 26 y/o, Fulham)
Full-back Antonee Robinson has quietly developed into one of the most important and consistent players for both his club Fulham and his country. Whenever Robinson is off the pitch, his absence is heavily felt. Born in the UK, Robinson committed to the United States back in 2018 and has become a steady presence. That Fulham have managed to keep him this long is a wonderful bit of business by the Premier League club, signing him to a new contract this past summer through June 2028.
Tim Ream (CB, 35 y/o, Fulham)
Nearing 300 appearances for Fulham, Tim Ream joined Fulham in the summer of 2015 from fellow English club Bolton Wanderers, and was a key part of multiple promotion pushes with the Whites. It seemed his chances of becoming a consistent Premier League player were dwindling after two failed stints in the English top flight, yet his 2022/23 season was a revelation, helping to earn Ream a late call-up to the USMNT World Cup squad that winter in Qatar.
Matt Turner (GK, 29 y/o, Nottingham Forest)
A move to Arsenal from the New England Revolution put starting USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner on the international map. While he didn’t play much for the Gunners in the league during his one season there (2022/23), he did see time in cup action, and that has earned him a switch to fellow English club Nottingham Forest, where Turner is now the starter in 2023/24.
Chris Richards (CB, 23yo, Crystal Palace)
Still just 23 years old, Chris Richards has shown promise as a consistent starter at the international level for the United States. If he can shake off injury troubles, Richards should develop into a top player for Crystal Palace, as well. Richards’ first season in England was ruined by injuries, however, and the Crystal Palace squad is loaded with quality defenders, so he has work to do to secure minutes moving forward.
Zack Steffen (GK, 28 y/o, Manchester City)
Zack Steffen was at Championship side Middlesbrough on loan from Man City in 2022/23, but an injury ended his season early and ruined his chance of making the U.S. roster for any of the 2023 summer tournaments. Now looking for a new club ahead of the upcoming season, it would seem counterintuitive for Steffen to remain at Manchester City, something he’s been public about. A knee injury complicates the search for a new home.
Ethan Horvath (GK, 28 y/o, Nottingham Forest)
While 28-year-old Ethan Horvath is with Nottingham Forest for now, his club future is up in the air. Horvath spent last season on loan at Luton Town, where he played a huge role for the club in securing a Premier League place via the Championship playoff. Yet the club surprisingly declined to activate his buy clause, seeing him return to Forest this summer. With Forest spending good money on Horvath’s international teammate Matt Turner, it feels unlikely that Horvath will remain at the club. If he does, he’ll be stuck on the bench, which is detrimental to his ambitions.
Auston Trusty (CB/LB, 24 y/o, Sheffield United)
Contracted to Arsenal in 2022/23, but on loan at Birmingham City, Auston Trusty has now earned his shot to start for a Premier League club after completing a permanent move to newly-promoted side Sheffield United in the summer of 2023.
Other USMNT players in England:
- Josh Sargent (FW, 23 y/o, Norwich City)
- Daryl Dike (ST, 23 y/o, West Brom)
- Haji Wright (ST, 25 y/o, Coventry City)
- Lynden Gooch (RW, 27 y/o, Sunderland)
- Duane Holmes (CM, 28 y/o, Preston North End)
USMNT players in Serie A (Italy)
Christian Pulisic (RW/ACM, 24 y/o, AC Milan)
Christian Pulisic, one of the most high-profile American players in the game, saw his minutes slowly deteriorate at Chelsea over the last three years, and this summer decided to secure a move to Italian side AC Milan with the hopes of reinvigorating his club career.
Alongside fellow U.S. international Yunus Musah, Pulisic looks to be a key figure for Milan in 2023/24, at both the wing and the No. 10 position.
Yunus Musah (CM, 20 y/o, AC Milan)
The young American midfielder also completed a move to AC Milan in 2023/24, saying goodbye to his previous home Valencia in Spain. He played out of position in a wide role at the Spanish club, but is expected to take over a more natural No. 6 central midfield role with Milan after the departure of Sandro Tonali to Newcastle United.
Weston McKennie (CM, 24 y/o, Juventus)
On loan at Leeds United for the second half of 2022/23, Weston McKennie returned to his parent club Juventus with the Italian club in turmoil ahead of the 2023/24 season. While it appeared for a while that McKennie would be on his way out, his preseason performances seem to have changed the tide, and he could stay at the Serie A giants, who are banned from European competitions this season due to financial irregularities back home.
Tim Weah (RW/RB, 23 y/o, Juventus)
A new teammate of Weston McKennie’s at Juventus, Tim Weah moved from French side Lille with the hope of replacing long-serving wing-back Juan Cuadrado at Juventus. He figures to play a key role at the Italian club in 2023/24 as they build themselves back into a contender for European places.
Other USMNT players in Italy:
- Gianluca Busio (CM, 21 y/o, Venezia)
- Andrija Novakovic (ST, 26 y/o, Venezia)
- Tanner Tessmann (CM, 21 y/o, Venezia)
USMNT players in Bundesliga (Germany)
Gio Reyna (CM/RW, 20 y/o, Borussia Dortmund)
The son of former USMNT star Claudio Reyna, Gio has become a top budding talent for both club and country — as long as he stays healthy, which has been a concern early in his career. Reyna has not yet established himself as a regular starter for Dortmund, but clearly has the talent to develop into such a player, able to play both in the middle as a No. 8 or No. 10, as well as showing proficiency on the wing. He’s a key player for the future of the U.S. national team.
Brenden Aaronson (RW, 22 y/o, Union Berlin)
With Leeds United relegated, Brenden Aaronson departed the club in search of top-flight action. While Leeds teammate Tyler Adams is likely to stay in England, Aaronson moved abroad, joining last season’s Bundesliga darlings Union Berlin. The surprise Champions League qualifiers earned their place last season with a stifling defense, and so Aaronson’s pressing genius is a great fit at a club that needs attacking talent, but also values defensive work rate.
Joe Scally (RB, 20 y/o, Borussia Monchengladbach)
While Joe Scally has yet to supplant Sergino Dest on the USMNT depth chart, he has long since proven himself to his German club, becoming a regular for Borussia Monchengladbach at full-back at just 18 years old.
Now in his third season as an everyday player for Gladbach, Scally is a good bet to challenge for a more regular place in the U.S. national team in the near future, so long as he pairs his attacking talents with improved defensive capabilities.
Other USMNT players in Germany:
- Jordan Pefok (FW, 27 y/o, Union Berlin)
- John Brooks (CB, 30 y/o, Hoffenheim)
- Paxten Aaronson (ACM, 19 y/o, Eintracht Frankfurt)
- Timmy Chandler (RB, 33 y/o, Eintracht Frankfurt)
- Ulysses Llanez (LW/RW, 22 y/o, VfL Wolfsburg)
- Terrence Boyd (FW, 32 y/o, Kaiserslautern)
- Julian Green (CM/LW, 28 y/o, Greuther Furth)
USMNT players in La Liga (Spain)
Sergino Dest (RB, 22 y/o, Barcelona)
For the last three years, Sergino Dest’s place within the U.S. national team has been nothing but assured, yet his place at his club Barcelona has been flimsy at best. Constantly flipping between having a place in the team (out of pure necessity and lack of funds), and being frozen out by Xavi and linked with a move abroad, Dest is still with the Spanish giants for now, but might eventually need to find a new home for more consistency and job security.
Other USMNT players in Spain:
- Luca de la Torre (CM, 25 y/o, Celta Vigo)
- Jonathan Gomez (LB, 19 y/o, Mirandes / on loan from Real Sociedad)
- Konrad de la Fuente (LW, 22yo, Eibar / on loan from Olympique Marseille)
USMNT players in Eredivisie (Netherlands)
Ricardo Pepi (FW, 20 y/o, PSV Eindhoven)
Acquired by German club Augsburg in the summer of 2022, Ricardo Pepi struggled mightily at his new home before securing a change of scenery in the winter on loan at Dutch club Groningen. He exploded back to life in the Netherlands, and it resulted in catching the eye of a more prominent Dutch club PSV, who swooped in and snatched Pepi up.
Malik Tillman (MF/RW, 21 y/o, PSV Eindhoven)
Contracted to German club Bayern Munich, 21-year-old Malik Tillman spent 2022/23 on loan at Scottish club Rangers and excelled, and while he could have stayed long-term by triggering a minuscule £5 million buy option, Bayern reportedly exercised a buy-back in his contract.
Sent back out on loan again in 2023/24, this time to Dutch side PSV, Tillman will team up with Ricardo Pepi to create chances and either earn himself a spot at Bayern or a permanent move elsewhere.
Other USMNT players in Netherlands:
- Djordje Mihailovic (CM, 24 y/o, AZ Alkmaar)
- Taylor Booth (MF, 22 y/o, FC Utrecht)
USMNT players at other European clubs
- George Bello (LB, 21 y/o, LASK)
- Sebastian Soto (ST, 23 y/o, Klagenfurt)
- Kenny Saief (RW, 29 y/o, Neftchi Baku)
- Mark McKenzie (CB, 24 y/o, Genk)
- Gaga Slonina (GK, 19 y/o, KAS Eupen / on loan from Chelsea)
- Sam Vines (LB, 24 y/o, Royal Antwerp)
- Bryan Reynolds (LB, 22 y/o, Westerlo)
- Owen Otasowie (CM/CB, 22 y/o, Club Brugge)
- Emmanuel Sabbi (FW, 25 y/o, Le Havre)
- Erik Palmer-Brown (CB, 26 y/o, Panathinaikos)
- Aron Johannsson (FW, 32 y/o, Valur)
- Josh Cohen (GK, 31 y/o, Maccabi Haifa)
- Sam Rogers (CB, 24 y/o, Rosenborg)
- Emmanuel Sabbi (ST, 25 y/o, Odense BK)
- Josh Wynder (CB, 18 y/o, Benfica)
- Cameron Carter-Vickers (CB, 25 y/o, Celtic)
- Joe Gyau (LW/RW, 30 y/o, Degerfors)