Americans Abroad 2019-20: A New Hope

Titans Bastard

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Former US U17 defender Nico Carrera has signed with Holstein Kiel of the 2.Bundesliga. The well-sourced Dallas-based 3rd Degree says he turned down a USL contract from FC Dallas, as well as offers from Santos Laguna, Pumas, Tigres, and Pachuca.

FC Dallas is running into a challenge where they are generating more solid prospects than they have room for on their MLS roster. They are trying to convince guys to sign USL deals, so they can lock them down now, before bumping them up to the MLS roster when they are ready. However, a number of players aren't biting.

Since losing McKennie to Schalke a number of years ago, they've retained most of their very best prospects (e.g. Pomykal, Ferreira, Tessmann, Pepi), but they've lost a few other blue-chippers like Jonathan Gomez (signed with Louisville and will probably go overseas when he turns 18) and a lot of players whose potential is viewed as maybe one notch lower like Carrera, Johan Gomez (Porto), and Diego Letayf (Tigres).

It's a problem, but not the worst problem to have. Hopefully they'll sell Cannon very soon, and then probably Pomykal. The only thing they are missing is solid proof-of-concept that signing with FCD is a good developmental choice that will ultimately get you to Europe. Until they have that, players will be rightly skeptical. And anyways, they need to steadily sell players to make room for the next wave or else the prospect backlog will be totally swamped.



A rather obscure American winger named Joe Efford quietly spent three seasons in the Greek second division with Ergotelis on the island of Crete. In this past abbreviated season, he was the league's leading scorer. He just moved to Belgium on a free, signing with Waasland-Beveren. He even got a three-year deal out of it — nice security for a lower division player — but the club were just relegated so he'll begin year one in the Belgian second flight.

View: https://twitter.com/WaaslandBeveren/status/1285243570304286727
 

Titans Bastard

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Oh, and one of Carrera's U17 teammates and fellow '02 Adam Armour signed with Nürnberg a week or two ago. Armour is a left back. Only one player from the 2019 U17 team hasn't signed a pro deal (and he might — he was in the NYCFC academy...and he's going to Yale, who definitely won't be playing soccer this fall. OTOH, it's a Yale degree.)

View: https://twitter.com/ArmourAdam/status/1278781601246306313
 

Titans Bastard

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Here, a report that Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hoffenheim, and Eintracht Frankfurt are looking at Brenden Aaronson. I think I read that Freiburg was scouting him too.

 

Titans Bastard

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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
Busio is starting for KC this morning. On the broadcast, Twellman just said that AC Milan, Juventus, and Feyenoord are watching him in person right now.
 

67YAZ

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Busio is starting for KC this morning. On the broadcast, Twellman just said that AC Milan, Juventus, and Feyenoord are watching him in person right now.
Maybe the bubble will be good for American prospects? If these scouts are there - especially Feyenoord who do a really nice job developing players - having gotten COVID tested, quarantined, and all that...they have ready access to almost everyone (Dallas being the BIG exception given their young talent).
 

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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 watched a couple of Schalke games to see McKennie and Jonjoe Kenny ( RB on loan from Everton).
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The US Havertz, huh?
Classic in the genre of "an article said it once and now all transfer rumor sites will use it".

Should go nicely for the USMNT along with Pomykal as our Frenkie De Jong from that one Marca article.
 

Kliq

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Classic in the genre of "an article said it once and now all transfer rumor sites will use it".

Should go nicely for the USMNT along with Pomykal as our Frenkie De Jong from that one Marca article.
Don't forget about Josh Sargent, the American Harry Kane, up front.
 

67YAZ

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I thought “...is the American...” was shorthand for “plays the same position but has 1/70th the transfer price.”
 

Titans Bastard

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I thought “...is the American...” was shorthand for “plays the same position but has 1/70th the transfer price.”
That's sometimes true, but sometimes it's shorthand for "I'm a European sports journalist which means that I'm very lazy and sloppy, so I'm just going to go with the first misbegotten, sensationalist idea that pops into my head".
 

Titans Bastard

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Here's the exciting transfer news you've all been waiting for: Sidney Friede, a 22 year old German-American midfielder, has moved to DAC Dunajská Streda. Friede came up through Hertha's system, had a loan stint in Belgium with Mouscron, and moved to Wehen Wiesbaden this past January. He only made one appearance as Wehen were relegated from the 2.Bundesliga down the stretch, and now he moves on to the next opportunity. Friede once played for Germany at the U19 European Championship, but as you can tell is not currently on an NT trajectory.

View: https://twitter.com/DAC_1904/status/1286330622668165122
 

Titans Bastard

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Barça B lost 2-1 to Sabadell today in their final promotion playoff match, Konrad will be suiting up in Segunda B next season instead of the second tier. Ah, well.

In "how the mighty have fallen", I saw that Deportivo La Coruña have been relegated to the Segunda B for next season. I guess "Super Depor" really was a long time ago now.
 

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Pulisic becoming a key player for Chelsea is everything I hoped would happen to Matt Miazga.
 

Titans Bastard

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On the bright side, Pulisic gets Champions League next year.
Oh yeah. That!

Euro qualifications:

CL group stage:
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Zack Steffen (Manchester City) [seems like a solid chance he'll stay with the club as a backup next season]
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) [note: I hope he moves this summer though]

Notes
Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City): will be loaned or sold
Matt Miazga (Chelsea): ditto
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich): could be loaned, maybe there's a chance he's kept with Bayern as a backup CB

CL qualification:
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Jesse Marsch (Red Bull Salzburg)
Jordan Siebatcheu (Rennes) [note: he's likely being shopped as he's disappointed in his two years at the club after they spent a solid chunk of change on him]
Henry Wingo (Molde)
Josh Gatt (Dundalk)

EL group stage:
Tim Weah (Lille)

Notes
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur): will be loaned or sold; Spurs will enter group stage if Chelsea wins the FA Cup; if Arsenal wins, Spurs have to qualify

EL qualification:
Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş)
Jonathan Klinsmann (St. Gallen)
Aron Jóhannsson (Hammarby) [note: yes, he's still alive]
Josh Cohen (Maccabi Haifa)
Kyrian Nwabueze (KF Laçi) [note: this guy, who no one has ever heard of, is the leading scorer in the Albanian league this season. Props.]
Dembakwi Yomba (KF Laçi)
Tim Murray (FC Honka) [note: hometown alert - Murray is from Haverhill, went to St. John's Prep and Providence College and was the #3 GK for the Revs for a little while]
Sanoussy Baldé (Differdange)

Notes
Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven): potential to break into the first team next season
Uly Llanez (Wolfsburg): ditto
 

Titans Bastard

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Josh Perez, who recently signed a deal with C.D. Castellón in Spain, got a little bonus today: the club won a promotion playoff to earn a spot in the Segunda division next year. Perez is trying to get his career back on track after stints with Fiorentina and LAFC that didn't really go anywhere.
 

Titans Bastard

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I don't even want to talk about Pulisic. Hopefully he's able to bounce back quickly.


Haji Wright, who arguably got more attention than Pulisic at the beginning of their U17 cycle, has signed with SonderjyskE of the Danish league. They avoided relegation by finishing 11th of 12, but won the Danish Cup so they'll get a crack at Europa League qualifiers. Wright's career has been one of downward mobility thus far, going from Schalke to VVV Venlo in the Eredivisie, to a lesser Danish Superliga club.

 

Titans Bastard

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Luca de la Torre has signed with Heracles Almelo.


DLT made a few appearances for Fulham over the last few years, but was never able to gain a foothold into the first team squad. He's now 22 and I wish he had left the club a year or two ago. Nonetheless, signing for a midtable Eredivisie club isn't a bad move for a young attacking midfielder.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Luca de la Torre has signed with Heracles Almelo.


DLT made a few appearances for Fulham over the last few years, but was never able to gain a foothold into the first team squad. He's now 22 and I wish he had left the club a year or two ago. Nonetheless, signing for a midtable Eredivisie club isn't a bad move for a young attacking midfielder.
I feel like I have been gaslighting myself for the past couple months every time someone mentioned 19 year old Konrad de la Fuente and thinking wow this guy has been around awhile to only be 19. Mystery solved.
 

Kliq

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I feel like I have been gaslighting myself for the past couple months every time someone mentioned 19 year old Konrad de la Fuente and thinking wow this guy has been around awhile to only be 19. Mystery solved.
I too also originally read that as meaning Barca youth player Konrad de la Fuente and was wondering how he got to Fulham.
 

Titans Bastard

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Wow, obviously his 13 minute sub appearance for the USMNT against Ireland in one of those Dave Sarachan friendlies back in 2018 didn't make a big impression on you guys! (Note: I also forgot that he had one cap.)

De la Torre was part of the 2015 U17 team alongside Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams (McKennie was an outrageous snub, even at the time). People rated him as a prospect, though there were questions about how his athleticism would translate. DLT had game, though. It doesn't feel like he's on a NT track now, but you never know. I'll say this: if I were an agent, I'd almost never advise a client to sign a youth contract with a Premier League club (as Fulham were at the time).

Of course, if I were an agent I'd probably be a greedy bastard more interested in agent fees and commissions than the success of my client.
 

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Seeing reporting on Twitter that Nick Taitague is listed on the first team roster at Schalke. Pulling for him to stay healthy b/c I think he was at one time more highly rated than McKennie.
 

Titans Bastard

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Seeing reporting on Twitter that Nick Taitague is listed on the first team roster at Schalke. Pulling for him to stay healthy b/c I think he was at one time more highly rated than McKennie.
It would be quite a comeback story.

My prediction for Taitague is that he'll be completely out of soccer in three years, entirely because he seems very much like the kind of player whose body simply can't withstand the rigors of professional soccer.

I'd love to be wrong. Schalke seem to like him, as they've kept extending his contract for another year even when he's missed so much time. Taitague played 164 minutes in 2018/19 and 243 minutes in 2019/20 and was injured for the rest. It's a testament to Schalke's evaluation of him that they've kept him around. If he's somehow able to hold it together at this point, the path to Schalke's first team has never been easier given the dire financial straits the club find themselves in.
 

Titans Bastard

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Lennard Maloney has signed with BORUSSIA DORTMUND. Woo!!!

Okay, so he's a 20 year old German-American CB who didn't make it at Union Berlin and struggled to play while on loan at a bad 3. Liga team. He's here to round out the reserve team squad.

 

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If McKennie is indeed earning EUR 20k / week (i.e. 1.04M EUR / yr), I can see both why he'd want to leave and why Schalke would be desperate to keep him. OTOH, with his contract (bizarrely) running until 2024, Transfermarkt says his market value is EUR 22.0 M. Tough for both sides.
 

Titans Bastard

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McKennie signed a new five year deal last summer. Schalke may have an incentive to sell him if they finances really are that bad, as he is one of their more valuable assets.

McKennie has been linked to a zillion clubs. Southampton buying him as a replacement for Hojbjerg is what has come up most often lately.
 

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I'm eternally surprised at how low Big 5 league salaries are, especially compared to the transfer fees that get thrown around. I mean, the average NHL salary ($2.78M) is basically equal to the average EPL salary (GBP 50k / week), despite a massive difference in size of following. Average in the Bundesliga is about US $1.7M, and average at Schalke is $2.2. I don't know how they haven't all gotten up to NFL / MLB / NBA level numbers in at least a few leagues.
 

Titans Bastard

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A rather obscure American winger named Joe Efford quietly spent three seasons in the Greek second division with Ergotelis on the island of Crete. In this past abbreviated season, he was the league's leading scorer. He just moved to Belgium on a free, signing with Waasland-Beveren. He even got a three-year deal out of it — nice security for a lower division player — but the club were just relegated so he'll begin year one in the Belgian second flight.
In a nice bonus, Efford got promoted to the first division because Waasland-Beveren successfully sued the league to maintain their place, on the grounds that they shouldn't be relegated in a season cut short. The Belgian league is now running with 18 clubs.




Anyway, there are some unresolved issues for this summer:

  • Antonee Robinson. Wigan were relegated and are in financial trouble, Robinson had a great season and is one of their most valuable assets. Plus, he reportedly has a relegation release clause in his contract that makes him very affordable.
  • DeAndre Yedlin. Steve Bruce doesn't want him and he really needs to leave Newcastle. It sounds like this is likely, but where?
  • Weston McKennie. On a long-term deal with Schalke, but selling him could raise a lot of money. He likely won't be thrilled with spending years on a club that is going to suck for at least a few years. Southampton, Hertha, Monaco?
  • Sergino Dest. Lots of transfer rumors around him, but I definitely don't see him as a lock to move. I think another year at Ajax would be good for him, actually.
  • Matt Miazga & Cameron Carter-Vickes. Find a permanent home where you will be valued, please. No more loan army.
  • Ethan Horvath. Buried behind Simon Mignolet at Club Brugge. Hopefully someone fishes him out of that situation.
  • Chris Richards. Will he be something like the #4 CB at Bayern or be loaned out?
  • Sebastian Soto. Moved to Norwich on a free (stupidly, IMO) and needs to be loaned out for work permit reasons. Telstar (Dutch 2nd div) is the rumor.
  • Christian Cappis. Younger CM who built a solid reputation at a Danish club that got relegated. Should be in line for a modest upgrade of a move.
  • Jordan Siebatcheu. Once a darkhorse FW prospect after scoring a ton in Ligue 2, his move to Rennes has been a bust. Could be moving on.
  • Bobby Wood. His contract with Hamburg is a total albatross and they'd love to get rid of him. Wood doesn't seem to want to give up the best contract he'll ever have, so can they work out a salary sharing agreement with a club that takes him on loan?
  • MLS to Europe: there usually aren't a boatload of transfers, but the likeliest move is probably Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), followed by maybe Brenden Aaronson (Philly). Who knows, maybe someone else?
 

Titans Bastard

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Cellar-Door

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Rumors gaining steam that Antonee Robinson is heading to Sheffield United.

View: https://twitter.com/MirrorAnderson/status/1292751923171536897


David Anderson
@MirrorAnderson


Sheffield United have won the race to sign Antonee Robinson from Wigan for £2million after reaching agreement with the Latics’ administrators, beating off competition from the likes of West Ham and West Brom. #sufc


5:17am · 10 Aug 2020 · Twitter for iPad
Interesting move for him. Must have been sold on the opportunity. AC Milan were in again, but that's a bench role. Probably would start at either Sheffield or West Ham, but Sheffield might be a better fit with their 3 CB system letting him attack more.
 

Kliq

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US defenders getting consistent starting work in the EPL is basically the best thing I can think of for the future of the USMNT. Great news if it all works out.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Interesting move for him. Must have been sold on the opportunity. AC Milan were in again, but that's a bench role. Probably would start at either Sheffield or West Ham, but Sheffield might be a better fit with their 3 CB system letting him attack more.
On the one hand, I don't see him starting immediately at Sheffield United because Enda Stevens started literally every EPL game for them at left back, and some if not all of the cup games as well, and seems like he'd be tough to dislodge.

On the other hand, that same statistic implies that they could really use a good rotation option, and that also doesn't seem like a statistic that Stevens is likely to keep up the further north of 30 he climbs.
 

Titans Bastard

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Jonathan Klinsmann has left St. Gallen for parts as yet unknown.


In his one season in Switzerland, he made one appearance: he started in an early round cup loss to second division team in which he was red carded in the first half.
 

Titans Bastard

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EL qualification:
Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş)
Trabzonspor were thrown out of UEFA competitions due to FFP violations and the fact that they aren't a rich & powerful super club that can buy their way out of such sanctions.

That means Boyd & Beşiktaş will partake in Champions League qualifiers instead of Europa qualifiers. In the "League Path" of qualification, they have been drawn with PAOK, in a game that will be very strangely bereft of the massive off-the-field tensions you'd expect because there will be no fans.
 

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The League Path is bullshit, after the qualification changes in the last few years that gave an auto-bid to the group stage to the 4th place teams in Leagues 1-4. There's now only 2 group stage bids for the entire League Path, right? Before 2018-19 there were 5. (and there's now only 4 bids even for the Champions path, vs the old 5).

So what I'm trying to figure out is, how many rounds, how many matches, does that change advance his team? I think the answer is "minus 2". It looks like Besiktas is now in the CL Q2 round, whereas before they were directly into the Europa League Group Stage (Wikipedia disagrees with you that they were qualifier-bound, TB). If they fail to win their CL Q2 round, they drop to the EL Q3 Champions Path, and they'd have to win that plus the EL Playoff Round against (probably) a CL Q3 loser, just to get back to the EL Group Stage.

So yes, in theory, they could now fight their way up to the CL Group Stage (by winning CL Q2, Q3, and Playoff) and get that sweet sweet cash, but my bet is that the team would rather have just stayed in the EL Group Stage. I think they just got a booby prize.
 

Titans Bastard

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The League Path is bullshit, after the qualification changes in the last few years that gave an auto-bid to the group stage to the 4th place teams in Leagues 1-4. There's now only 2 group stage bids for the entire League Path, right? Before 2018-19 there were 5. (and there's now only 4 bids even for the Champions path, vs the old 5).

So what I'm trying to figure out is, how many rounds, how many matches, does that change advance his team? I think the answer is "minus 2". It looks like Besiktas is now in the CL Q2 round, whereas before they were directly into the Europa League Group Stage (Wikipedia disagrees with you that they were qualifier-bound, TB). If they fail to win their CL Q2 round, they drop to the EL Q3 Champions Path, and they'd have to win that plus the EL Playoff Round against (probably) a CL Q3 loser, just to get back to the EL Group Stage.

So yes, in theory, they could now fight their way up to the CL Group Stage (by winning CL Q2, Q3, and Playoff) and get that sweet sweet cash, but my bet is that the team would rather have just stayed in the EL Group Stage. I think they just got a booby prize.
It was correct as of July 26 when I posted it!

The group stage slot was awarded to the Turkish Cup winner. If Alanyaspor had won the cup on July 29, they'd have the group stage slot, but they lost the final to Trabzonspor. When cup winners qualify for Europe through the league, the cup slot goes to the cup final loser (Alanyaspor). However, they get bumped down the country's access list to the lowest slot.

Old access list:

CL GS: champion
CL Q2: #2
EL GS: cup winner
EL Q3: #3
EL Q4: #4

but when the cup winner qualifies another way:

CL GS: champion
CL Q2: #2
EL GS: #3 (Besiktas)
EL Q3: #4
EL Q4: cup loser

So the latter access list is what happened, then on top of that Trabzonspor (#2) got booted, everyone moved up a slot, and Galatasaray got on the bottom of the list.

And yes, it's a good question as to whether Besiktas would have rather just taken the guaranteed EL group stage slot.
 

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Dortmund is playing Altach in a friendly and our boy Reyna started and just scored.

The lineup has Gio basically as a #10, but it's weird - in reality, he looks like he's almost a holding midfielder. He's been really deep pretty much the whole time I've been watching. Maybe just an experiment they're trying.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Andrija Novakovich scored for Frosinone in the Serie B promotion playoffs today, giving them a 2-1 aggregate win over Pordenone. They play Spezia home and away for a place in Serie A next year.
 

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Jonathan Klinsmann has left St. Gallen for parts as yet unknown.


In his one season in Switzerland, he made one appearance: he started in an early round cup loss to second division team in which he was red carded in the first half.
At first, I just saw the last name and read the second sentence and was very intrigued but Jurgen's comeback...