Americans Abroad 2019-20: A New Hope

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
He gets almost zero press in the US, but there will be an American born-and-raised manager in the Bundesliga next season. Pellegrino Matarazzo & VfB Stuttgart have finished second in the 2.Bundesliga and been promoted. Matarazzo took charge in late December.

He's from NJ, went to Columbia, played for German lower-division clubs in the first decade of the 2000s, became a youth coach for Nürnberg, and eventually became an assistant at Hoffenheim before getting the Stuttgart job.
 

speedracer

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,478
This is good news.

Can anyone tell me why Germany seems so much more receptive to American players and Coaches?
Easier to obtain authorization to work (e.g. in the Premiership you pretty much have to be a national team regular or close to it) and popularity of English as a second language would be my guesses
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Easier to obtain authorization to work (e.g. in the Premiership you pretty much have to be a national team regular or close to it) and popularity of English as a second language would be my guesses
Yes, it's all about legal barriers. Players who have a second passport from a country that allows them to work in the EU have a lot more options. For everyone else:

England
You need a work permit. To qualify for a work permit, you need to appear in a certain percentage of non-friendly NT games over the last year or two. So basically, if you aren't an NT regular, you aren't going to get a WP unless you get in on appeal. The ease of getting a WP via appeal has waxed and waned over the years, but certainly an unproven American kid is never going to get it.

France & Spain
France and Spain have a limit on the non-EU players they can register in their squad. These slots tend to be used for imports from African or Latin America, rather than on unproven American kids. If an American player has a passport from certain African countries, they can get into France as a "domestic" player. If an American player has a passport from signatories to the Cotonou Agreement (many countries in Africa + Caribbean), they can get into Spain. But this hasn't come up often in either country.

Italy
Serie A has a quota on the number of non-EU players that can be signed from teams outside Italy in a given year. I'm not 100% sure of the details but it also makes it hard for Americans to go here.

Netherlands
There is no roster limit on non-EU players, but there is a salary floor for non-EU players. It's not that high for youth players, but at age ~20 or so it reaches a level that is quite expensive for the bottom half of the league. Even for the bigger clubs, they really want to be sure you are worth it. Dutch clubs will sign good prospects like Richie Ledezma, but they aren't going to take flyers on any random guy.


In Germany, there are no rules about foreigners. Bundesliga clubs, who on average have a vastly smaller transfer budget than EPL clubs, also have more incentive to focus on player development as a source of top talent, and revenue. German clubs understand that you can get very good prospects for basically nothing from America, because lots of our best teens aren't locked down on professional contracts. And at this point, I think it's fair to say that success begets success. With guys like Pulisic, McKennie, and Reyna doing well in the Bundesliga, it's not a one-off fluke. Sargent also holds promise, and Adams is a very good import that RB Leipzig brought in from RBNY.

There are four Americans who have been involved with big clubs in Germany in recent years in various capacities and all have specific reasons that drew them there, but it should be noted that all wound up in their roles for specific situations and weren't just plucked out of the US like an 18 year old prospect out of the Development Academy.

David Wagner (Schalke) is a German-born-and-raised dual national. He played for the USMNT in the 90s but isn't a product of the American system in any way.
Pellegrino Matarazzo (Stuttgart) is US born-and-raised, but has been in Germany for two decades. He holds two nationalities, and local German press often refers to him as "the Italian" anyway.
Steve Cherundolo (ex-Hannover, ex-Stuttgart, youth & assistant roles) got jobs because he played for Hannover for 15 years
Jesse Marsch (ex-RB Leipzig assistant, current RB Salzburg) got a job due to his Red Bull connections.


Marsch won the Austrian double today, btw.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,731
Young winger Konrad de la Fuente has signed a new contract with Barcelona. He had a few appearances for Barça B this year, but I think he'll feature more regularly next season.

View: https://twitter.com/FCBmasia/status/1277259249882726402
The Segunda Division is probably a good level for him right now and getting to train in world class facilities with world class coaches is huge. But I’m worried that without a real shot at the first team, he’s going to get stuck in loan purgatory eventually. Hope Konrad and his team can successfully advocate for him and navigate the next few years with some savvy.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Anyone remember Ben Lederman? He's a California kid who moved at a relatively young age to La Masia and got a bunch of lengthy writeups in the US media over his youth career. He was never going to make it at Barça, but his career that got cut extra short because he was one of the illegal youth transfers that got the club in trouble. He followed it up with an unsuccessful stint at Gent, but finally just made his pro debut a week or two ago in the Polish Ekstraklasa. He signed a new, four-year contract today. Go forth and conquer, Ben.

View: https://twitter.com/Rakow1921/status/1278015692869111810
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,257
The pandemic has sucked for million different reasons, but Pulisic turning into Lionel Messi during it might end up making it all worth it.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
The pandemic has sucked for million different reasons, but Pulisic turning into Lionel Messi during it might end up making it all worth it.
I think that the lack of recent NT games and, before that, the various injuries to some of our top young players, have masked how fun the USMNT is going to be very soon.

I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the number of games that Pulisic, Adams, and McKennie have started together is either one or zero. But now throw in Gio Reyna, who is very much being fast-tracked and treated like a true blue-chip prospect by BVB. Dest transformed from someone viewed as a middling prospect in the Ajax academy to being linked with Bayern and Barça. And I could go on!
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
A local makes the case that Cameron Carter-Vickers is the best loan signing in Luton history. I'm not sure who his competition for that title is, but hey.


Reading announced they signed three academy players to professional contracts, including the spectacularly-named American forward Augustus McGiff.

 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,975
Pittsburgh, PA
I think that the lack of recent NT games and, before that, the various injuries to some of our top young players, have masked how fun the USMNT is going to be very soon.

I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the number of games that Pulisic, Adams, and McKennie have started together is either one or zero. But now throw in Gio Reyna, who is very much being fast-tracked and treated like a true blue-chip prospect by BVB. Dest transformed from someone viewed as a middling prospect in the Ajax academy to being linked with Bayern and Barça. And I could go on!
Well don't let us stop you, man! This is the weekend for metaphorical patriotic boners! How's the rest of the defense? I see Yedlin getting regular starts. CBs still a mess? How's Steffen doing these days? Any good articles about Sargent?

edit: Hope Tim Weah's over them growing pains by now...
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
The summer transfer market is going to be very weird for obvious reasons. A few notes early on:

Sebastian Soto has moved from Hannover to Norwich City. Soto had a nice U20 World Cup, but had a real lost year in Germany. He refused to sign a contract extension, a summer deal fell through, and in true spiteful Euro club fashion, he was buried. He also had some black marks on his record (publicly called out by coach for lack of effort, disciplined for a mask-wearing violation) that speak poorly of him, but one can hope it's a case of a frustrated 19 year old. I'm not a big fan of how he and his agent are managing his career, frankly. The bet on a summer 2019 transfer failed, and now he's going to England, where he won't be eligible for a work permit so he'll have to take his chances on loan for at least a year and probably more.

In retrospect, he should have signed with RSL.

Some speclation:


Reggie Cannon is still with FC Dallas, though there is strong reporting that they are trying to sell him this summer. Reportedly some mid-table Bundesliga clubs are interested, which I think is the right sort of next step for him. I've read/heard that FCD want $3m, which is totally reasonable and hopefully COVID financial issues don't cause problems. FCD have finally had their come-to-Jesus moment where they now understand that top prospects will stop signing with them if they don't sell their successful players to Europe eventually.

Schalke are mired in a deepening financial crisis, so even though Weston McKennie is on a long-term contract, I think we'll see a lot of transfer speculation around him this summer. Schalke is going to suck for a while, possibly even more than they did this year, so it's probably a good time to get out. McKennie is young and has value, so Schalke may have an incentive to cash him in given their budgetary woes.

Wigan Athletic went into administration and are now likely to be relegated, which IMO means it is even more likely that Antonee Robinson will be sold. Since returning from his heart defect-related absence relatively recently, he's been in the Championship Team of the Week at least three times. The dramatic collapse of his move to AC Milan was disappointing for him, but it also creates that sort of mystique around him that will amplify interest. I'm very curious to see where he lands. He was awful for the USMNT in his caps, but he was also a young kid going up against Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado.

There are persistent rumors about Sergino Dest (particularly Bayern and Barça). I think he'd be best off with another year at Ajax under his belt before moving to a truly massive club, but sometimes the moment comes when it comes.


Every transfer window there's a flow of youth players picked up by clubs (mostly in Germany). I'm curious to know if the EU travel ban on Americans will affect that.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Well don't let us stop you, man! This is the weekend for metaphorical patriotic boners! How's the rest of the defense? I see Yedlin getting regular starts. CBs still a mess? How's Steffen doing these days? Any good articles about Sargent?

edit: Hope Tim Weah's over them growing pains by now...
Yedlin: not a good year for him. One start in 2020, as he's fallen out of favor. I've said it before, don't be shocked if Cannon starts over him for the USMNT, with Dest at LB... But regardless of your preferred pecking order, that's a great depth chart at RB by USMNT standards.

CB: The guy with the most blue-chip potential is Chris Richards, who just made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern. Whether he has the quality to make it there is an unanswered question, but he's good and I think even if Bayern doesn't happen he has a good chance of landing at a pretty solid club. Another one to keep track of is Owen Otasowie, a CB/DM at Wolves. He's the sort of guy where I feel like I'm always "hearing good things" and he's made the bench in EPL games a few times, but I've never seen him play. Domestically, the best hopes are Miles Robinson (above-average starter with Atlanta) and Mark McKenzie (Philly, younger, still a bit more inconsistent defensively, but a very good passer). Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien on loan from Man City) is a long-time favorite of many whose career has neither taken off nor taken a nosedive so we'll see.

Steffen: Had a good year for Fortuna Düsseldorf but missed a lot of time with knee tendonitis. Hopefully it doesn't become a theme. Like with Sargent at FW, I think we have a lot of eggs in Steffen's basket since we don't have other forward or GK prospects who seem likely to emerge as above-average NT players in the near-term future.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
You beat me to the punch! Rotundo is an attacker (obviously not a big center forward, as you can see in the pic). I've never seen him play, but the craziest sort of fans — the ones who watch streams of U17 DA games where available and grainy YNT friendly feeds — say he's potentially one of the better U17 players for the upcoming 2021 cycle (Rotundo is a 2004). Rotundo is signing abroad earlier than most because he has a second passport that allows him to go at 16 rather than 18. There's still a long way to go. A hell of a lot can happen to a player's relative standing among his peers between 16 and 18.




Elsewhere, Dest is being linked to just about every big club in Europe at this point.

View: https://twitter.com/cmdotcom/status/1281181568816431105



Yedlin is likely to leave Newcastle, per a report from CBS Sports.

 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,731
Yedlin is likely to leave Newcastle, per a report from CBS Sports.

Anyone who saw yesterday’s thrashing by City will know that Yedlin will do well to get away from Bruce. That kind of stodgy English pragmatism has no place for a fullback with pace and attacking abilities. There’s a number of Bundesliga teams where Yedlin could be put to good use.

Which is important for the USMNT because he has a lot left in the tank. I know all the cool kids are on the Cannon/Dest bandwagon, but Yedlin has a huge role to play in qualifying and (hopefully) the finals. He’s been tangling with world class wingers for years now and he’s no stranger to CONCACAF knife fights.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,584
Here's a report that Steffen will stay with Man City next season as the backup GK.

How do we feel about this? I've seem some folks super worried that our best GK won't be getting regular starts, but on the other hand City do tend to rotate goalies for cups and, Steffen would be training weekly with and one injury away from starting games for one of the best teams in the world. I also feel like you see national team keepers doing just fine as starters while being club backups somewhat regularly, like current City backup Bravo, Sergio Romero, etc.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
How do we feel about this? I've seem some folks super worried that our best GK won't be getting regular starts, but on the other hand City do tend to rotate goalies for cups and, Steffen would be training weekly with and one injury away from starting games for one of the best teams in the world. I also feel like you see national team keepers doing just fine as starters while being club backups somewhat regularly, like current City backup Bravo, Sergio Romero, etc.
I'm wary of it. I'd rather Steffen be playing regularly because unlike Bravo (who joined Man City in his 30s), I think Steffen still has a bit of development to do. I also don't think Steffen is as good as Ederson and he's only two years younger, so at Man City he'll presumably be on a diet of relatively few minutes for years to come.
 

Quintanariffic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2002
5,034
The City of Studios
I think that the lack of recent NT games and, before that, the various injuries to some of our top young players, have masked how fun the USMNT is going to be very soon.

I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I believe the number of games that Pulisic, Adams, and McKennie have started together is either one or zero. But now throw in Gio Reyna, who is very much being fast-tracked and treated like a true blue-chip prospect by BVB. Dest transformed from someone viewed as a middling prospect in the Ajax academy to being linked with Bayern and Barça. And I could go on!
Pretty sure it is 0 but IIRC they did play something like 23 mins together against Bolivia or Peru during the Sarachan era maybe?

Either way, the broader point stands. We have yet to see the power of this fully operational battle station, and that's before mentioning guys like Weah or Sargent who clearly belong in any 23 rt now IMO but who haven't gotten a chance to play with the full slate of elite USMNT talents due to injury, form or circumstance.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,975
Pittsburgh, PA
Anyone who saw yesterday’s thrashing by City will know that Yedlin will do well to get away from Bruce. That kind of stodgy English pragmatism has no place for a fullback with pace and attacking abilities. There’s a number of Bundesliga teams where Yedlin could be put to good use.

Which is important for the USMNT because he has a lot left in the tank. I know all the cool kids are on the Cannon/Dest bandwagon, but Yedlin has a huge role to play in qualifying and (hopefully) the finals. He’s been tangling with world class wingers for years now and he’s no stranger to CONCACAF knife fights.
I saw the highlights of the thrashing by City, but not the full game. But I did see that Yedlin started at RB and played the full 90 for the first time in months, so I'm very curious to get any scouting reports for how he looked out there. Maybe they were just showcasing his health for transfer purposes. The highlights suggested it was the CBs who really got pantsed, but for all I know he had a big role in it too.

If he shows well in the last few games of the season, I wonder if a to-be-promoted Championship team might be calling for him, moreso than the Bundesliga. Or some other low-table-but-not-relegated side. He's already got the UK work permit, and his presence will sell a lot of jerseys and get a lot of TV interest just because of how few Americans are playing at the EPL level.

How do we feel about this? I've seem some folks super worried that our best GK won't be getting regular starts, but on the other hand City do tend to rotate goalies for cups and, Steffen would be training weekly with and one injury away from starting games for one of the best teams in the world. I also feel like you see national team keepers doing just fine as starters while being club backups somewhat regularly, like current City backup Bravo, Sergio Romero, etc.
First off, even with a UK work permit, he's not proven enough to be the backup GK for a team that plays as many matches (and thus needs its backup for as many matches) as City. I'd expect him to be loaned out, even if it's just to another English team.

He's shown flashes of being really, objectively good - maybe not Man City world-class good, but definitely could end up being worthy of a starting spot in the EPL if he keeps progressing. And let's be real, the US depth chart at goalie is perhaps the shallowest of any position on the team. Who's our #2, Bill Hamid? Steffen's the only realistic prospect for us to not have goalie be a hole for us for the next few years.

So I'd say if Man City thinks enough of him to keep him as the backup over Claudio Bravo (who was of course Barcelona's #1 from 2014-2017 including winning the UCL), then I think that's great fucking news for Steffen, because it means a club of City's profile is willing to invest in him despite having the world to choose from. Even if he gets fewer minutes, it means he must be rocking in training, while of course getting some of the best coaching there is. I'll happily put up with that situation even if he never overtakes Ederson.
 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
If he shows well in the last few games of the season, I wonder if a to-be-promoted Championship team might be calling for him, moreso than the Bundesliga. Or some other low-table-but-not-relegated side. He's already got the UK work permit, and his presence will sell a lot of jerseys and get a lot of TV interest just because of how few Americans are playing at the EPL level.
Open question: how many Americans watch EPL games specifically to watch American players?

I think the answer with Pulisic is probably "more and more as time goes along".

But for everyone else — guys who are just cogs in the machine at the EPL level like Yedlin and most Americans who have played in this league — I can't imagine there's all that much of a draw. I wouldn't mind being told that I'm being pessimistic, but I feel like most American soccer fans just don't care about American soccer all that much.


Personally, I'm not too bothered about whether Yedlin winds up with a lower/mid EPL team or somewhere in the Bundesliga. I'd be a bit annoyed if he wound up in the Championship, though.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Pretty sure it is 0 but IIRC they did play something like 23 mins together against Bolivia or Peru during the Sarachan era maybe?

Either way, the broader point stands. We have yet to see the power of this fully operational battle station, and that's before mentioning guys like Weah or Sargent who clearly belong in any 23 rt now IMO but who haven't gotten a chance to play with the full slate of elite USMNT talents due to injury, form or circumstance.
They started together against Ecuador and had a brief moment against England when Adams came off the bench, before McKennie was subbed off.

I'm really excited to see where we are in four years, between the guys who have already "made it" to some extent and the number of irons in the fire we have with legitimate prospects.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
12,520
California. Duh.
Open question: how many Americans watch EPL games specifically to watch American players?

I think the answer with Pulisic is probably "more and more as time goes along".

But for everyone else — guys who are just cogs in the machine at the EPL level like Yedlin and most Americans who have played in this league — I can't imagine there's all that much of a draw. I wouldn't mind being told that I'm being pessimistic, but I feel like most American soccer fans just don't care about American soccer all that much.
I think Fulham got a bit of a following for a while in the McBride/Dempsey days. I knew a lot of people that had adopted them as their "second team". Everton got a bit of a boost after Howard's acrobatics in the 2014 World Cup as well. But yeah, I doubt too many people are adopting the Toon just because of Yedlin.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,975
Pittsburgh, PA
Open question: how many Americans watch EPL games specifically to watch American players?

I think the answer with Pulisic is probably "more and more as time goes along".

But for everyone else — guys who are just cogs in the machine at the EPL level like Yedlin and most Americans who have played in this league — I can't imagine there's all that much of a draw. I wouldn't mind being told that I'm being pessimistic, but I feel like most American soccer fans just don't care about American soccer all that much.


Personally, I'm not too bothered about whether Yedlin winds up with a lower/mid EPL team or somewhere in the Bundesliga. I'd be a bit annoyed if he wound up in the Championship, though.
Well, the plural of anecdote is not data, but speaking for myself I definitely root for teams with US players in them preferentially, and prioritize watching them when I don't have enough time to watch every game that might interest me. Half of it is trying to get a feel for how our USMNT players are shaping up and what prospects I can discern for the team. The other half is that I just don't have a longstanding history of rooting for any team, so in the absence of deciding I hate one player in particular or some other event that decides it for me, that's as good a tiebreaker as any.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,257
Well, the plural of anecdote is not data, but speaking for myself I definitely root for teams with US players in them preferentially, and prioritize watching them when I don't have enough time to watch every game that might interest me. Half of it is trying to get a feel for how our USMNT players are shaping up and what prospects I can discern for the team. The other half is that I just don't have a longstanding history of rooting for any team, so in the absence of deciding I hate one player in particular or some other event that decides it for me, that's as good a tiebreaker as any.
I'm in a similar boat, when the Bundesliga was the only game in town I definitely looked to see who was starting for the teams and if Sargent, Gio, McKennie, etc. looked to be involved, I would turn it on. Rooting for those teams is maybe a stretch, but I certainly root for the Americans to play well and by the extension of that, I'm rooting for the team. With Pulisic in form, Chelsea is must watch TV at the moment. With the exception of Spurs winning, nothing makes me happier as a soccer fan than seeing American players do well.

As for Yedlin, Spurs could use some help at FB, just saying.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,731
As for Yedlin, Spurs could use some help at FB, just saying.
100% sure Jose would end Yedlin's career.

As long as Yedlin is in one of the top-5 leagues & is part of the regular starting XI, it's all good. And I'm sure that's what he and his advisors are looking for. I do think the Bundesliga has more mid-table teams with creative attacking strategies than the other 4 leagues (YMMV). Thinking about it briefly, Koln, Ausberg, Gladbach, Mainz, Freiburg, and Wolfsburg are all teams that get the fullbacks way up the pitch and might be realistic landing spots for Yedlin.

In any case, it's good for Yedlin to proactive now. If Steve Bruce stays as manager, Yedlin will remain a backup. If Newcastle gets sold to the Saudis, then who knows what kind of cash is going to splash around for big-name players and coaches, again burying Yedlin on the bench.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
13,257
100% sure Jose would end Yedlin's career.

As long as Yedlin is in one of the top-5 leagues & is part of the regular starting XI, it's all good. And I'm sure that's what he and his advisors are looking for. I do think the Bundesliga has more mid-table teams with creative attacking strategies than the other 4 leagues (YMMV). Thinking about it briefly, Koln, Ausberg, Gladbach, Mainz, Freiburg, and Wolfsburg are all teams that get the fullbacks way up the pitch and might be realistic landing spots for Yedlin.

In any case, it's good for Yedlin to proactive now. If Steve Bruce stays as manager, Yedlin will remain a backup. If Newcastle gets sold to the Saudis, then who knows what kind of cash is going to splash around for big-name players and coaches, again burying Yedlin on the bench.
Yedlin can run fast, be left open in space and blow a bunch of crosses while never playing defense, which is what Serge Aurier does.
 

Quintanariffic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2002
5,034
The City of Studios
Open question: how many Americans watch EPL games specifically to watch American players?

I think the answer with Pulisic is probably "more and more as time goes along".

But for everyone else — guys who are just cogs in the machine at the EPL level like Yedlin and most Americans who have played in this league — I can't imagine there's all that much of a draw. I wouldn't mind being told that I'm being pessimistic, but I feel like most American soccer fans just don't care about American soccer all that much.


Personally, I'm not too bothered about whether Yedlin winds up with a lower/mid EPL team or somewhere in the Bundesliga. I'd be a bit annoyed if he wound up in the Championship, though.
Sample of one, but I find myself watching Chelsea games, seeking them out actually, solely b/c of Pulisic. And this is from a guy who has never really watched the Premier League and all I knew of Chelsea was the corrupt Russian owner and an anti-semitic shit fanbase. So not my speed, but I'm watching.

Just like I did BVB before that, and now once again.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Interesting, thanks for all your thoughts! That you are all posters reading and writing in a thread called "Americans Abroad" makes you perhaps a bit of a self-selecting sample. The only other "anecdata" I have are EPL fans I know in real life who are mostly just into their Big English Club.
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
1,588
Interesting, thanks for all your thoughts! That you are all posters reading and writing in a thread called "Americans Abroad" makes you perhaps a bit of a self-selecting sample. The only other "anecdata" I have are EPL fans I know in real life who are mostly just into their Big English Club.
Okay so I think I can expound a bit even if late to the party. I have 3 main types of soccer friends that I'm exposed to, probably mostly to do with my family's cultures but also cause I'm just friends with a lot of soccer people from different message boards over the years.

Group A - The elitists: These people have favorite European teams and eschew anything American whether MLS or Landon Donovan at Everton or Dempsey at Fulham. You just get the cries of they're not Man United (ignore the fact Tim Howard was a starter there). These people wouldn't ever be caught watching Hoffenheim to watch FabJo unless it was to watch Bayern steamroll them.

Group B - The scouts: Probably the group I aligned with most when I was younger and had lots more time. They watch pretty any clip/game with anything remotely to do with US Soccer. An Alejandro Bedoya Nantes game? Get me that stream. This group is pretty diverse in who they support it seems more of group that hopes for progress without much snobbery but definitely some (what why did he sign for such a shit club?)

Group C - The filthy casuals - These friends really are lemmings that tend to just kinda half pay attention. Oddly if I'm like hey watch this game and focus on Pulisic (Dortmund days) they would be the first to put it on and actually comment. They watch pretty much whatever is on FS1 or NBCSN but they'll definitely lineup hunt or ask me if there's any americans on TV that day.

It's kind of an interesting split among my circle of soccer friends. Oddly I'd put a lot of my Revolution friends in Group A where only the Revs matter just replace MLS with non-top 3 european leagues. My family is all firmly in group A. My dad will only watch The Turkish Super Lig or the Champions League. But there's a non-trivial amount that any american in a relatively decent league is a huge draw.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,584
Open question: how many Americans watch EPL games specifically to watch American players?

I think the answer with Pulisic is probably "more and more as time goes along".

But for everyone else — guys who are just cogs in the machine at the EPL level like Yedlin and most Americans who have played in this league — I can't imagine there's all that much of a draw. I wouldn't mind being told that I'm being pessimistic, but I feel like most American soccer fans just don't care about American soccer all that much.


Personally, I'm not too bothered about whether Yedlin winds up with a lower/mid EPL team or somewhere in the Bundesliga. I'd be a bit annoyed if he wound up in the Championship, though.
I’ll watch any random European games (or MLS, now that promising young Americans play there more) that have prospects with intriguing national team development potential, but less so just “any random former or current USMNT player who’s on TV”

e.g. I don’t watch much Yedlin at Newcastle because I don’t see much that I can learn there, but I did watch all too much Yedlin at Sunderland.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
39,354
I’ll watch any random European games (or MLS, now that promising young Americans play there more) that have prospects with intriguing national team development potential, but less so just “any random former or current USMNT player who’s on TV”

e.g. I don’t watch much Yedlin at Newcastle because I don’t see much that I can learn there, but I did watch all too much Yedlin at Sunderland.
Same here, have tried to watch every Pulisic/McKennie game I could the last couple years. I expect Tyler Adams, Gio, and Dest will join that club along with any of the other young guys trying to break through (Sargent, Weah, Llanez, etc).

Bouncing from team to team, league to league, and match to match has been more fruitful in recent years. Wasn't too long ago that our viewing pleasure relied mostly on Jozy Altidore doing nothing in Sunderland and, I dunno, Geoff Cameron being a capable RB for Stoke. It feels like a pretty significant sea change has taken place, although there are still a ways to go—most of these guys are still just potential/not quite established yet in the way Pulisic is becoming.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
11,253
The Dirty Shire
I’ll watch any random European games (or MLS, now that promising young Americans play there more) that have prospects with intriguing national team development potential, but less so just “any random former or current USMNT player who’s on TV”

e.g. I don’t watch much Yedlin at Newcastle because I don’t see much that I can learn there, but I did watch all too much Yedlin at Sunderland.
I am similar to this as well. I always look at the slate of games and try to check lineups to determine whether any Americans are playing. If they are, I make a concerted effort to watch them regardless of where they play.

Pulisic is appointment viewing at this point. For example, I will be streaming the game from my phone at a kid's birthday party tomorrow while my wife looks at me with disapproval.
 

teddykgb

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
7,689
Chelmsford, MA
I saw the highlights of the thrashing by City, but not the full game. But I did see that Yedlin started at RB and played the full 90 for the first time in months, so I'm very curious to get any scouting reports for how he looked out there. Maybe they were just showcasing his health for transfer purposes. The highlights suggested it was the CBs who really got pantsed, but for all I know he had a big role in it too.

If he shows well in the last few games of the season, I wonder if a to-be-promoted Championship team might be calling for him, moreso than the Bundesliga. Or some other low-table-but-not-relegated side. He's already got the UK work permit, and his presence will sell a lot of jerseys and get a lot of TV interest just because of how few Americans are playing at the EPL level.


First off, even with a UK work permit, he's not proven enough to be the backup GK for a team that plays as many matches (and thus needs its backup for as many matches) as City. I'd expect him to be loaned out, even if it's just to another English team.

He's shown flashes of being really, objectively good - maybe not Man City world-class good, but definitely could end up being worthy of a starting spot in the EPL if he keeps progressing. And let's be real, the US depth chart at goalie is perhaps the shallowest of any position on the team. Who's our #2, Bill Hamid? Steffen's the only realistic prospect for us to not have goalie be a hole for us for the next few years.

So I'd say if Man City thinks enough of him to keep him as the backup over Claudio Bravo (who was of course Barcelona's #1 from 2014-2017 including winning the UCL), then I think that's great fucking news for Steffen, because it means a club of City's profile is willing to invest in him despite having the world to choose from. Even if he gets fewer minutes, it means he must be rocking in training, while of course getting some of the best coaching there is. I'll happily put up with that situation even if he never overtakes Ederson.
I wouldn’t read too much into it as a measure of quality. City are facing a bit of an overhaul and Bravo takes a foreign slot on City’s roster which is a colossal waste. I don’t think Steffen will qualify in any way to not also take a foreign spot but Bravo isn’t very good anymore and it may be just a matter of City keeping the spot warm while trying to get a HG backup keeper.

But I think that is a good thing. I don’t think it is too wasteful for him to spend a year in one of the most demanding systems in football for a keeper. The distribution of course will need to develop but City also play a high line with at times shambolic defending so the keeper really needs to be proactive and able to read play. Ederson has been fairly shaky this season as well. He could use credible competition and while I think it is very hard to imagine Steffen winning the job I could see him playing more than just cups if Ederson doesn’t increase his focus.

I wouldn’t be comfortable with him staying beyond 1 season as a backup. A solid educational year then back on loan or sold to someone would make way more sense for all parties I think
 

wonderland

lurker
Jul 20, 2005
333
Agreed. If City plays in the CL they will go deep in four completions; there will be plenty of games if he shows ability.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Boston-born CB/LB Kik Pierie has gone on loan from Ajax to Twente.

View: https://twitter.com/AFCAjax/status/1283805215259598849


Pierie racked up a lot of Eredivisie appearances for Heerenveen at a very young age. He moved to Ajax and things went poorly — he struggled to stand out even in their reserve team. Now he's out on loan, where he'll hope to get his mojo back. Pierie is provisionally cap-tied to the Netherlands. In order to play for the US, he'll need to hit that sweet spot where he isn't good enough for the Dutch but is still pretty good, and he'll also have to actually want to play for the US. Interest levels are always a wild card with a guy like Pierie, whose parents are Dutch folks who were working in the US for a stretch.
 

Domer

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,742
02148
Twellman, who I find to be quite reputable with these things, reports on Italian and Dutch clubs chasing SKC midfielder Gianluca Busio and that SKC turned down a $4m offer. (I think $4m is reasonable, but we'll see whether they can squeeze more out of it or whether they'll regret it.)

View: https://twitter.com/TaylorTwellman/status/1284249196065890304
This seems like EPB all over again. It’s one thing to hold on to a player who is an important part of the club, but Vermes won’t even let him on the field (25 minutes played in 2020).

Also, Busio holds Italian citizenship and eligible for a one-time switch, although he’s played for a USYNT.
 

Quintanariffic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2002
5,034
The City of Studios
Busio has been part of the US set up for years - he’s not going anywhere. But IMHO this is a mistake by SKC to turn down $4M. I haven’t seen anything from him that would lead me to believe he’ll ever be a starter in a Big 5 league in Europe. I think they’ll regret this in a few years when they end up selling him to Sacramento Republic for like $250K in GAM.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,422
Barça B are in the promotion playoffs in the Segunda Division B (third tier). Konrad de la Fuente, who recently signed a new deal at the club, made his second-ever start for the B team and bagged a brace. He mostly spent the year with the U19s but figures to play for the reserves next year, regardless of the division they wind up in. Segunda B playoffs are a bit wonky, but I believe Barça B have to advance through two more rounds to earn promotion.

View: https://twitter.com/DontTreadSoccer/status/1284940025340268546