Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
An adductor injury kept Adams out of the USMNT Gold Cup squad, and it now looks like the same problem may keep the 20-year-old sidelined for the beginning of the Bundesliga campaign. New Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann recently called Adams’ recovery “complicated”, though he is back in individual training. The midfielder had a stellar first season in Germany after arriving in the winter, putting together a superb run of form over the final stretch of the season as he played in 10 games, tallied two assists, and helped Leipzig seal a
In his first healthy season with Wolfsburg following a big-money move from Hertha Berlin, Brooks was a stalwart at center back for the Wolves, who finished sixth and qualified for the Europa League. Brooks played in 29 of 34 Bundesliga games last season, and provided he stays healthy, the 26-year-old should get similar run this season. It’s not a given, though, as Brooks has struggled with injuries throughout his career, which included a knock that kept him off of the Gold Cup roster this past summer.
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
McKennie is one of the brightest starlets in the USMNT setup, and he’s one of the most versatile, too. In 30 games last season (23 starts) across the Bundesliga and Champions League, McKennie was recorded as having played seven different positions. Predominantly a central midfielder, McKennie netted two goals and assisted on five for the season. The 20-year-old will certainly be looking to improve both marks this year, and Schalke will look to improve as well after a poor 14th-place finish a season ago. Expect McKennie’s role to continue to grow as well, with the German club showing a real investment this summer by agreeing a two-year contract extension to keep the youngster in Gelsenkirchen until 2024.
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride of a summer for Sargent, who was excluded from the U-20 World Cup in May so that Gregg Berhalter could, in theory, take him to the Gold Cup. That didn’t happen, though, as he just missed the cut behind Gyasi Zardes. It’s not all bad, however, as Sargent got a full offseason of work with Bremen and is bursting with confidence after impressing manager Florian Kohfeldt. He’s probably not the first-choice striker, and finding consistent minutes might be tough for the 19-year-old, but he should see a step up from the 10 appearances and two goals he had last season. He doesn’t need a breakout season, but it is critical that he gets first-team minutes and keeps moving in the right direction.
Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf, on loan from Manchester City)
It’s gone from 0 to 100 real quick for Steffen since he agreed a permanent move to Manchester City last December. Steffen was realistically never going to touch the City lineup this year with Ederson and Claudio Bravo in front of him. That’s not bad news, though, as City sent him on loan to Fortuna Dusseldorf, and with Michael Rensing –– Dusseldorf’s number one and starter in 32 of 34 league games last year –– injured to start the season, Steffen is in line to be in net day one. It could be a critical stretch for the top choice in goal for the USMNT, who also was the Gold Cup starter, as he hopes to impress while Rensing recovers. If he doesn’t, it could be a dogfight in net. At 24, and returning to Europe after a failed stint in 2015-16, it’s critical that Steffen finds himself getting valuable minutes. He should have the chance to prove himself this year.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
It’s nothing short of a prove-it year for Pulisic after a big-money move to Chelsea made the Hershey, Pennsylvania native the most expensive American all time by quite some margin ($77 million, far surpassing the $22 million Wolfsburg paid for John Anthony Brooks). What's more, with the Blues’ transfer ban, Chelsea are stuck with their current roster for the next two windows, so Pulisic will need to immediately step into at least a rotation role along
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)
It’s anybody’s guess what is in store for Yedlin in 2019-20. Like Pulisic, he too has to work with a new boss after Newcastle and Rafa Benitez fell out of love, leaving Steve Bruce to pick up the pieces that many think he won’t. Benitez is certainly the better manager, but the change might not be the worst thing for Yedlin, who fell out of the side late in the season, playing in just four of the last 11 games and missing five straight to end the campaign. His pace makes him a great option moving forward, but with one goal and two assists last season (and just a single assist after game four), Yedlin’s offensive production has come into question. There’s competition at right back in the squad, too, so Yedlin will need to bring his game right from the start — at both ends of the pitch — to earn his spot back as the clear starter.
Timothy Weah (Lille)
One of the most exciting moves of the offseason saw Weah depart PSG for Ligue 1 runners up Lille. Yes, it’s a step in the “wrong” direction, but breaking into the PSG side at 19 is nearly impossible to do (unless you’re Kylian Mbappe). Weah made two appearances for PSG last season and scored in one before being loaned to Celtic, where he made 15 appearances and, despite a large majority of those coming as a sub, managed four goals and an assist while garnering some high praise. Lille now present Weah with the chance to earn regular first-team minutes in a high-level league, two things he was starved of last season. And, after the move of Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal, there’s a gap of 22 league goals to fill, some of which will have to reside on Weah’s shoulders.
Turkish Super Lig
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Boyd was quite literally non-existent in the USMNT player pool before filing a one-time switch from New Zealand to the USA in May. A few months later, after being a major bright spot at the Gold Cup, where he scored his first two USMNT goals, Boyd has risen rapidly and was rewarded with a move to Besiktas in Turkey. The regional powerhouse, which finished third in the Super Lig last year, will give Boyd the chance to help his team in a perennially competitive league race, as well as in the Europa League. The 24-year-old was previously stationed in Portugal at Vitória de Guimarães but starred on loan in Turkey with Ankaragucu to conclude the 2018-19 campaign. His numbers haven’t always been great, but Boyd has shown flashes to be a dynamic playmaker. He’s a big question mark, but an exciting one nonetheless.
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
An absolute rock for the USMNT U-20 team at the World Cup this past summer, Dest has flown up the right back rankings in the USMNT as well as at Ajax. The 18-year-old has spent the entire offseason with the first team and has appeared for them in nearly all of their preseason friendlies. That culminated last week with Dest going 90 minutes at his less-preferred left back spot in a 2-0 Dutch Super Cup win over PSV, his first trophy as a professional and his first senior appearance for the Dutch powerhouse. He did not feature in Ajax’s opening league game, a 2-2 draw against VVV-Venlo, watching from the bench, but Dest is clearly on the cusp of first-team minutes and is on the roster for Ajax’s Third Round Champions League Qualifier against PAOK, which kicks off on Tuesday. Perhaps a first European appearance would be the cherry on top of a very good summer for Dest and the start of a very strong first senior season.
After starting Brugge’s first two league games of the year, Horvath got bad news on Monday when the club signed Simon Mignolet from Liverpool in a move that will almost surely force Horvath out of the number one role. That’s not to say he can’t win it back, but it will certainly not be as straightforward as his path looked just a few days ago. Horvath is no stranger to having to battle for his spot, as it took 13 league matches last year before he broke into the Brugge lineup. Once he got in, the 24-year-old never let the spot go, playing 34 total games between the Jupiler, Champions, and Europa Leagues, posting 14 clean sheets. Another battle is in for Horvath this season, though.
Danish Super League
Jonathan Amon (Nordsjaelland)
Amon has been out of action in the early part of the new season, reportedly due to injury, though there have also been plenty of rumors this summer that the exciting winger is headed for a transfer before the window shuts. The 20-year-old from South Carolina scored four goals and had two assists in 25 Super League games last year, solid totals that allowed the youngster to build on the USMNT debut he had made in October. He’s still extremely raw, and he’ll need to get back into the squad or find himself a new home in order to sharpen his game, but he’s a talented youngster who seems ready for a chance at first-team football.
Sebastian Soto (Hannover)
It’s hard to know what this year holds for Soto. The striker broke into the Hannover side towards the end of last year, making three substitute appearances as the club was relegated from the Bundesliga, and he followed that up with a very solid U-20 World Cup showing in which he scored four times in five games. That garnered plenty of attention from other clubs, and it still seems very possible that the 19-year-old could move on before the end of the month, as he has refused new contract offers amidst interest from Dortmund and PSV, among others. He is set to be part of Hannover’s first-team squad if he stays, as he was an unused substitute in their opener before coming on as a late sub in their second match, but it’s very unclear whether or not he will indeed stick around this year. If he does, he should be in line for a bump in minutes in 2019-20, and he’ll hope to continue showing the scoring touch he had over the summer.
Bobby Wood (Hamburg)
It’s been a long time since Wood put together a magical 2. Bundesliga campaign, which consisted of smashing in 17 goals in 31 games for Union Berlin in 2015-16. Since then, in the top flight with both Hannover and Hamburg, Wood has scored only 15 goals across the league and Cup, and his side last year, Hannover, paid the price with relegation (after Hamburg did the same the previous year). He’s back with Hamburg this season in the second tier, hoping to regain the form that had a few clubs and fans chomping at the bit to see more of the flying Hawaiian, but he seems to be buried on the depth chart early in the campaign. The 26-year-old has 45 caps for the USMNT, but his fall out of form hasn’t seen him take the field with the USA in 2019, and frankly, he was a pretty easy choice to be left out of the Gold Cup roster. It’s getting to be make or break time for Wood.
Duane Holmes (Derby County)
In his first season at Derby, Holmes battled injuries at times and was hugely impressive at other times, finishing with two goals and four assists in 33 games in all competitions as the Rams came up short of promotion via a loss in the playoff final. He seemed to win over his manager, Frank Lampard, but after the England legend departed for Chelsea in the summer, Holmes will have a new boss to impress this year in former Dutch international Phillip Cocu. Now 24 and coming off his first two USMNT appearances this summer, Holmes will be expected to continue his progression this year, and doing so could push Derby into another fight for promotion this time around. He missed out on their season-opening win over Huddersfield with the same quad injury that kept him out of action during the Gold Cup, but he should be back on the field before the end of the month.
Matt Miazga (Reading, on loan from Chelsea)
Miazga’s 2018-19 was a mixed bag, but he has already been put in a far better position to succeed this year. After an up-and-down loan to Ligue 1’s Nantes in the fall, which ended with an ugly and public spat between he and the club, the center back was a stalwart in the center of Reading’s defense during the second half of the campaign, starting 18 games and helping pull the Royals from the brink of danger up to safety in 20th place. It was therefore unsurprising to see him rejoin Reading on a loan for the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign, and the 24-year-old found himself right back in the starting squad on the opening day as his side lost 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday. Miazga was the best of a bad bunch of defenders on the afternoon, but it’s nonetheless hugely positive to see him back and having an impact after being on the fringe of the USMNT Gold Cup starting XI (he played in three games and sat in three) this summer. With consistent minutes and a comfortable spot in the squad, Miazga could flourish over the coming months.
Novakovich made a step up last season, spending the campaign with Eredivisie side Fortuna Sittard after a previous year in the Dutch second tier, and he didn’t seem overwhelmed by the jump. The 22-year-old striker put up a solid total of 11 goals in 30 games in all competitions and nine in 27 Eredivisie matches, helping promoted Sittard stay up by the skin of their teeth as they finished 15th, a point from a relegation playoff place. Now back with his parent club Reading, Novakovich is looking to make his real breakthrough into the first team, and it looks like he’ll have the chance to do so after coming on as a substitute in the Royals’ opener, his first competitive game for the club since 2015. He’ll have to impress with the minutes he receives, but this does feel like a big season for the 6-foot-4 target man, and he’ll hopefully be given the opportunity.
Tim Ream (Fulham)
Despite playing in 26 Premier League games for Fulham in 2018-19, Ream had a season to forget. He wasn’t the worst of the Cottagers’ mediocre stable of defenders, but the 31-year-old was also far from good, often looking lost in the center of a back line that conceded an almost-unthinkable 81 goals, easily the worst in the league. He was better during the summer, playing five of the USMNT’s six Gold Cup games, mostly serving as a stay-at-home left back. Still, his club performances will need to improve if the veteran wants to be involved in the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying campaign. It remains to be seen what his club future holds as well, as Ream was noticeably absent from the Cottagers’ 18-man squad that lost to Barnsley on the opening day. It wouldn’t be too surprising if a transfer back to the U.S. was in the works.
Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic)
Following a solid loan season with Wigan in which he started 26 games (every match he was available for, as he also missed time with an ankle injury) and recorded one assist, Robinson returned to the DW Stadium this summer on a permanent deal from boyhood club Everton, joining for a fee in the range of £2 million. The left back, who turns 22 later this week, has already picked up where he left off last season, starting and going the distance as the Latics beat Cardiff 3-2 in their season opener. The England-born Robinson, who has been capped seven times by the USA, should be a consistent starter once again this season as Wigan try to improve upon last season’s 18th-place league finish.
Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, Bundesliga)
A devastating knee injury suffered late in the 2017-18 season limited Chandler to just one substitute appearance of 16 minutes last year, but the 29-year-old fullback looks set to go this year and has already made one appearance in a Europa League qualifier for Frankfurt. Before getting hurt, Chandler had been coming into his own, though the injury stifled his progress. Nonetheless, the German-American has shown his skill and versatility in the past, appearing 29 times for the USMNT, and it’s not inconceivable to think that he could get himself back into the setup should he prove to be past his injury problems. This will be a big season to show that he is indeed fully healthy.
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga)
The versatile veteran Johnson scored once in 19 Bundesliga games for Gladbach last season, and he’ll hope to continue to earn somewhat consistent minutes as he ages out of his prime. Now entering his sixth season with the Foals, Johnson has become more of a defensive specialist towards the latter stages of his career, but he remains a solid contributor for a side that harbors hopes of a top-four finish each season. He’ll be 32 in December, so this could prove to be the season his playing time takes a major hit, but Johnson keeps defying the odds as he continues to show that he’s a useful squad member for his club.
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bundesliga)
Morales was solid, if unspectacular, in helping Dusseldorf remain in the Bundesliga last season. In 23 games, the central midfielder (who is a tri-national of Peru, Germany, and the U.S. but has played for the USMNT only at senior level) had a goal and an assist, though he was also consistently good in other areas to help Fortuna earn another top-flight season. His performances weren’t enough to get Morales back into the USMNT side, and at 29, he may have a harder time than many to fight into the squad, but he’s shown the chops before and could well be a Bundesliga starter once again this year.
Khiry Shelton (Paderborn, Bundesliga)
A 26-year-old striker from Colorado, Shelton joined 2. Bundesliga side Paderborn on a free transfer from Sporting Kansas City last winter. He played just two league games due to injury, but he benefited from his new club’s solid second half as Paderborn squeaked into promotion on the final day of the season. It’s unclear what role Shelton will have this year for Paderborn as they return to the Bundesliga. However, he’s been getting consistent minutes in the preseason, so it’s not out of the question that he becomes a Bundesliga regular in 2019-20, which could get him onto the national team radar as well.
Gboly Ariyibi (Nottingham Forest, Championship)
Ariyibi had a big second half on loan to Scottish side Motherwell, racking up two goals and five assists in 18 appearances. Those numbers (as well as some standout performances) had Motherwell interested in bringing the winger back permanently this summer, but so far, nothing has been finalized. That means the 24-year-old begins the campaign in something of a purgatory, as he’s never seen game action for Nottingham Forest at the senior level and seems unlikely to any time soon. He desperately needs a move; this week will be vital to where his career goes from here.
Geoff Cameron (QPR, Championship)
After a successful loan spell at QPR in 2018-19, Cameron made a permanent move to Loftus Road this summer, joining Rangers on a free transfer from Stoke City. The 34-year-old then seized the opportunity to remind his former club what he brings to the table when, in QPR’s season opener on Saturday, he sparkled in the midfield against Stoke, playing a major role in both goals as Rangers pulled out a surprising 2-1 away win. He got credit for one assist when he linked with Ebere Eze on what turned into a sensational goal from the youngster, but the far more impressive contribution was a brilliant curling ball forward that led to QPR’s opener. Cameron was a key figure when healthy last season for Rangers, and he looks set to provide leadership and calmness once again this year, especially if his opening-day performance carries forward.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham, Premier League)
It seems extremely likely that, by this time next week, Carter-Vickers will be with a Championship side. The 21-year-old defender has been training with Spurs, but following two consecutive solid seasons in the second tier, he has gained plenty of admirers from the Championship, with no less than eight clubs apparently seeking his services, either on a season-long loan deal or a permanent transfer. He was mostly very good in 30 league games for Swansea last year, so expect him to land with a side that harbors hopes of making a run at promotion in 2019-20, though which of the many interested clubs he does end up at remains to be seen.
Luca de la Torre (Fulham, Championship)
De la Torre, 21, enters a big year in his development after a 2018-19 campaign in which he played sporadically despite showing promise when he was on the field (which was exclusively in Cup competitions and the Premier League 2). Fulham dropping to the Championship should provide an opportunity for the attacker to earn more first-team minutes, though he was an unused substitute in Fulham’s opener.
Eric Lichaj (Hull City, Championship)
Lichaj had an excellent first season with Hull, becoming a stalwart in the side and appearing in 39 of 46 Championship games. His consistency earned the 30-year-old fullback an extra honor this year, as he was named the Tigers’ club captain before their season opener, a 2-1 loss to Swansea (in which he played 90 solid minutes at right back). Look for the veteran to play an important leadership role in 2019-20 as Hull, who finished 13th last year, try to get themselves back towards the playoff places.
Jann George (Jahn Regensburg, 2. Bundesliga)
In 2018-19, George was a consistent contributor on the wing for Regensburg, picking up five goals and two assists in 32 games, but the 27-year-old has found himself coming in as a second-half substitute in each of the club’s first two games this year. He’ll need to start to make a significant impact if he wants to get back into the starting XI.
Julian Green (Greuther Fuerth, 2. Bundesliga)
Last year was the best of Green’s career to date, as the now-24-year-old tallied four goals and three assists in a career-high 29 league games. The midfielder has picked up where he left off, too, playing 90 in each of Fuerth’s two games and scoring a long-range stunner in one. Still, the former USMNT starlet has a lot of work to do if he’s going to get himself back into the national team picture, though continuing his current form is probably a good way to do so.
Lankford, a 20-year-old winger, moved to St. Pauli from Heidenheim during the winter transfer window and made his way into the squad before season’s end, though he hasn’t been in the 18 for either of his side’s first two games this year. He seems to be highly rated by the club, however, and should receive chances to impress in the coming weeks (provided he’s healthy and available).
Joe Gyau (Duisburg, 3. Liga)
Gyau made a long-awaited return to the national team setup this summer after a solid campaign in which he was finally healthy and making an impact on the wing for Duisburg. However, he may not be long for this list; the 26-year-old hasn’t featured in any of Duisburg’s first four 3. Liga games after a handful of reports from this summer that indicated he was exploring options in the U.S. He seems like a good bet to move before the end of the month; we’ll continue to keep an eye on his situation as it unfolds.
Stephen Payne (Portimonense, Primeira Liga)
Payne’s name popped up on the radar this summer when 22-year-old Alabama native made an out-of-nowhere move from Portuguese second-tier side Varzim to Primeira Liga club Portimonense. He wasn’t in the 18-man squad that won the season-opening Cup match, and it remains to be seen just how much run the right back will get in 2019-20, but it’s nonetheless a notable move, and Payne will hope to open eyes in the U.S. soccer setup this year as he fights for senior minutes with his new club.
Desevio Payne (FC Emmen, Eredivisie)
Another right back with the last name of Payne who moved this summer, 23-year-old South Carolina native Desevio joined Emmen from Excelsior Rotterdam, where he played just four senior games in two seasons. The Dutch-raised defender was an unused substitute in Emmen’s opener and will need to win his place in the squad if he’s going to take a step forward and get into the USMNT picture.
Haji Wright (VVV-Venlo, Eredivisie)
Wright emerged as a first-team option in the middle of an injury crisis for Schalke last season, scoring once in seven Bundesliga games, but the 21-year-old striker looked out of his depth for the most part, and his offseason move to the Eredivisie and VVV-Venlo seemed to make a ton of sense. On cue, Wright proved that to be the case in his debut for the side, winning a penalty in an impressive 90 minutes as Venlo beat Waalwijk 3-1. He’s still young, so this could be the perfect move to jump-start Wright’s European career, though he’ll need to take advantage of the opportunity.
Brendan Hines-Ike (Kortrijk, Jupiler League)
Quietly, Hines-Ike was one of the better Americans in Europe last season, notching a goal and three assists — while playing right back and center back — in 28 appearances for Kortrijk. The 24-year-old has started well this year, too, going the distance in his side’s first two contests. Eligible for the U.S. and Ireland, Hines-Ike may have a chance to play his way into a bigger league next season, but that could also lead to interest from Ireland. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up in the future.
Kenny Saief (Anderlecht, Jupiler League)
Saief, 25, spent the second half of last season on a loan at FC Cincinnati that was expected to continue through the end of the MLS season, but the Israeli-American winger returned to Anderlecht after a mediocre spell that saw him flatter to deceive for the expansion side. Now back in Belgium, Saief wasn’t included in Anderlecht’s opening-day 18, and while there haven’t been any rumors of a transfer, it’s possible that something could be in the works for him.
Phillipe Sandler (Anderlecht, Jupiler League, on loan from Manchester City)
Sandler is a new entrant on the U.S. soccer radar, as it was reported this summer that the Manchester City youngster (who played in two Cup games last year for the treble-winning Citizens) has American ties through his mother. The Dutch-born center back, who is 22, has played for the Netherlands’ U-20 team in the past, but hasn’t featured for the Oranje since 2017. Now on a season-long loan with Anderlecht (for whom he started next to player-manager Vincent Kompany and went 73 minutes in an opening-day scoreless draw), Sandler will look for a campaign of consistent senior minutes in Belgium and he tries to win admirers at City, as well as in both the Dutch and American setups.
Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien, Austrian Bundesliga, on loan from Manchester City)
Another on-loan Manchester City defender, Palmer-Brown joined Austria Wien for the season on Monday and could make his debut as early as Thursday, when the Violets face Apollon Limassol in Europa League qualifying. He’s coming off a campaign in which he was an on-and-off starter for Dutch side NAC Breda, but the center back wasn’t able to prevent the side from finshing at the foot of the table. Now 22, he still has a lot of time to develop, and this stage should be a good opportunity for Palmer-Brown to do so.
Shaq Moore (Tenerife, Segunda Division)
Moore, who had burst onto the season two seasons ago when he appeared for Levante in six La Liga contests, spent the first half of last season on loan to CF Reus before returning to his parent club due to Reus going bankrupt. The right back — who has five USMNT caps — was solid enough in his nine appearances for Reus, but spending the spring with Levante’s reserves represented something of a step back. He needed a new start, and the 22-year-old got one when he joined Tenerife in the summer on a permanent transfer. The Canary Islands side finished 16th last year in the second tier, and Moore will hope to help his new club make a jump up the table this season.
Christian Cappis (Hobro, Danish Super League)
A Texas-born U-20 USMNT player, Cappis moved to Danish side Hobro in November of 2018 abd played in eight senior games while establishing himself as a first-team squad member. The 19-year-old midfielder (who turns 20 next week) has continued his ascension early this year, playing in all four of Hobro’s games thus far, starting two and entering as a substitute in two. He looks set for a much bigger role in 2019-20.
Emmanuel Sabbi (Hobro, Danish Super League)
Sabbi’s stock rose massively last year, particularly in the spring, when the 21-year-old forward scored in three consecutive relegation playoff contests to keep Hobro in the top flight. That trend has continued this year as Sabbi started Hobro’s first three games and scored twice, but he may well have made his last contribution for the club, as rumors are swirling that Hobro have braced themselves for an impending transfer to a bigger team, likely either another Danish side (though Belgian clubs have also been mentioned). Watch this space, but either way, look for a season of continued development for the Italian-born long-time USMNT youth international.
Yosef Samuel (Hobro, Danish Super League)
Samuel, a former Atlanta United academy player, joined Hobro last weekend and promptly made his first-team debut the same day, coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 win over Silkeborg. The Ethiopia-born midfielder has previously been involved in USMNT U-20 youth camps, but it’s unclear whether or not he would consider representing his birth country at an international level. Nonetheless, the 22-year-old joins a host of Americans in the first team setup at Hobro, and it looks like he’ll be given a chance to earn a place in the side.
Matt Polster (Rangers, Scottish Premiership)
Polster made something of a late move to Rangers last year, joining the Scottish side in January at the age of 25. Now 26, the versatile midfielder/defender will try to break into the squad, although it’ll be tough with the Glasgow club hoping to challenge rivals Celtic for the Premiership title. Early indications aren’t particularly promising, as he’s played just one of five games so far (in the Europa League qualifying rounds, when Rangers already had a 4-0 advantage), although he did record an assist in his only match of the season. Still, he may have a long road ahead as he tried to work his way into the squad.
Romain Gall (Malmo, Allsvenskan)
French-born winger Gall is another who may well be on the move before the end of the window, as he appears to have fallen out of favor at Malmo having not started a game since April. The 24-year-old has shown plenty of promise in his career so far, but he needs consistent minutes if he ever hopes to add to his one USMNT cap.
Aron Johannsson (Hammarby, Allsvenskan)
After an injury-riddled spell with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, Johannsson signed as a free agent with Swedish side Hammarby this summer and has already appeared twice as a substitute for his new team. The Icelandic-American striker is still only 28 and may well have a future with the national team, but that will be dependent on whether or not he’s able to stay healthy and start scoring again. He’s had a good start to life in Sweden, though.
Jonathan Klinsmann (St. Gallen, Swiss Super League)
The son of former USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann, 22-year-old goalkeeper Jonathan left Hertha Berlin this summer (for whom he made one senior appearance) in search of consistent playing time in the Swiss Super League with St. Gallen. Early indications are that he will back up starter Dejan Stojanovic, which he has done in each of the first three games. Still, the move should provide much more of an opportunity for Klinsmann to earn senior minutes in the near future.
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland, League 1)
Gooch, 23, has remained faithful to Sunderland, a club he joined in 2012, as the Black Cats have slipped down the Football League. Now in the third tier, Sunderland started the year with a 1-1 draw, with Gooch winning and scoring the penalty that represented their only goal. The forward will need to continue producing in the final third as he works to lift Sunderland back into the Championship.
Charlie Kelman (Southend United, League 1)
Following the half-field debut wonder goal that sent his stock into the stratosphere last January, Kelman played nine more times in 2018-19 without scoring for Southend. Still only 17, the striker will hope for more minutes and many more goals this season, though his season started as an unused substitute in a defeat to Coventry. There were whispers of Premier League and Championship interest this summer, but the England-born youngster looks more likely to stay at the club as he tries to become a starter this year.
Matthew Olosunde (Rotherham United, League 1)
Former Manchester United youth player and once-capped USMNT right back Olosunde dropped down two divisions to Rotherham this summer as he looks for his first consistent senior action. On cue, the 21-year-old started in the Millers’ opener, a 2-1 win over Wimbledon, and he’ll hope for more as the season rolls on. He may have a ways to go if he ever wants to get back into the USMNT picture, but this was a solid start.
Giles Phillips (Wycombe Wanderers, League 1, on loan from QPR)
A 22-year-old center back, Phillips made the squad for QPR on the final day of last season, but with playing time unlikely in 2019-20, he moved to League 1’s Wycombe in the hopes of breaking into senior football. He was an unused substitute on the opening day for Wanderers, but the move seems a smart one for a young player who needs consistent minutes this year.
Ian Harkes (Dundee United, Scottish Championship)
Son of former USMNT midfielder John Harkes, 24-year-old Ian joined Scottish Championship side Dundee United in January and quickly established himself as a valuable squad player. His team fell agonizingly short of promotion, but Harkes excelled nonetheless and has already been used three times as a substitute in the opening stages of 2019-20. A USMNT call seems a long way away, but the former D.C. United midfielder comes with an impressive pedigree and has already had one solid season in Europe. Perhaps another (ending with either a promotion or a transfer to a bigger club) will get him to the fringes of the national team picture.
Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich, Bundesliga)
In a long-rumored move, Booth joined Bayern Munich on a two-and-a-half year deal in January after securing an Italian passport and began his European career with the Bavarians’ U-19 outfit. The former Real Salt Lake youth player, 18, is expected to spend this season with the U-19s.
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich, Bundesliga)
Richards broke out at this summer’s U-20 World Cup in Poland after a fantastic first season in Germany, which led to Bayern making his loan from FC Dallas permanent in January. The Alabama-born center back was the subject of transfer rumors this summer, but he instead looks like he’ll make the jump into Bayern’s reserve side, which will play in the fully professional 3. Liga this season. He’s still young, but there’s a legitimate chance that the 19-year-old could earn a first-team debut this year as well if Bayern (who are
Malik Tillman (Bayern Munich, Bundesliga)
After a strong first half of the season for Bayern’s U-17s, Tillman moved up to the U-19 side and didn’t miss a beat, tallying a goal and two assists in 10 games. The 17-year-old attacking midfielder (and brother of Timothy) is likely to stick with the U-19s this season as he continues to progress. Born in Nurnberg, he is eligible for the U.S. and Germany but has mostly played with the German youth teams.
Timothy Tillman (Bayern Munich, Bundesliga)
Last year was a weird one for Tillman, who spent the year on loan with his hometown club, Nurnberg, and seemed unlikely to make a first-team appearance before he suddenly broke through to play six Bundesliga games in the spring. At 20, the forward seems like a candidate to be transferred this summer, but for now, he looks like he’ll start the season with the Bayern reserves in the 3. Liga. He too has mostly played for German youth teams.
Quincy Butler (Hoffenheim, Bundesliga)
Formerly of Sacramento Republic, Butler joined Hoffenheim in June and has played for the club’s U-19s in preseason friendlies. The 17-year-old striker, who has played for the U.S. U-18s, looks likely to spend the year with his new team’s U-19 setup.
Maxi Dietz (Freiburg, Bundesliga)
A German-born midfielder, Dietz played mostly for Freiburg’s U-17 side last season but has made the jump to the U-19s (for whom he played twice) to start this year. The 17-year-old has been called into multiple USMNT camps and is currently with the U-17s at a two-week training camp ahead of the World Cup, which takes place in Brazil from October 26 to November 17.
Niklas Dossmann (Mainz, Bundesliga)
Dossmann, a center back from Northern California, joined Mainz in June from De Anza Force. The 16-year-old has played for U.S. youth national teams in the past and is likely to begin with Mainz’s U-17s. Reportedly, his parents are German and Dossmann speaks German fluently, which should make for a reasonably smooth transition as he starts his career in Europe.
Michael Edwards (Wolfsburg, Bundesliga)
Edwards, 18, is a highly touted center back who trained and played in preseason with Wolfsburg’s senior side this summer. The former D.C. United youngster joined the Wolves in 2018 and looks like he’ll start the season with the reserves, though he is currently injured. Still, he may be in the first team sooner rather than later.
Uly Llanez (Wolfsburg, Bundesliga)
Llanez is a California native who was long-rumored to be heading overseas when he turned 18, which happened when he joined Wolfsburg on his birthday in April. He was a spark plug playing mostly as a substitute in a variety of attacking roles at the U-20 World Cup. As he begins his Wolfsburg career (he only trained with the club after signing in April due to the World Cup), Llanez is another highly touted prospect who should be given the chance to rise quickly, though he’ll likely start with the U-19s.
Sidney Friede (Hertha Berlin, Bundesliga)
It’s hard to know what to expect for Friede this season, as the 21-year-old boosted his stock significantly during a loan to Belgian top-tier side Royal Excel Mouscron over the second half of last season in which he scored twice in 10 games. The German-born central midfielder has only featured for German youth teams in the past, but he’s recently popped up on the USMNT radar. He may end up starting the season with the senior team, in which case he may move up higher on our list, though it’s unclear whether or not he’ll become a genuine first-team player for his hometown club of Hertha.
Mike Grimm (Augsburg, Bundesliga)
Grimm, an 18-year-old left back, moved to Augsburg this summer after spending four seasons in the RB Leipzig setup. Born in Germany, Grimm has reportedly expressed a desire to play for the United States in the past. He looks set to start with Aubgsburg’s U-19s.
Maurice Malone (Augsburg, Bundesliga)
An 18-year-old striker who turns 19 later this month, Malone was tremendous in 2018-19, scoring 18 goals for Augsburg’s U-19s. He’s only played for German youth sides but is very much on the USMNT radar. Malone has played with the Augsburg senior side this summer (he’s listed on their first team) and seems like he may get a chance to play senior minutes in the Bundesliga at some point this year.
Matthew Hoppe (Schalke, Bundesliga)
Southern California native Hoppe moved to Schalke this summer after signing in June. The 18-year-old striker, who tore up the U.S. Development Academy while playing in the Barcelona residency program, is expected to start his European career with Schalke’s U-19s. He signed with the Royal Blues after prior training stints with Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
Nick Taitague (Schalke, Bundesliga)
Taitague spent much of last season out injured, but the attacking midfielder has impressed when he’s been available since joining Schalke in 2017. He’s set to start this season with the reserves. The 20-year-old Virginia native could be in line for a senior debut soon if he can continue the progress he’s shown.
Noah Jones (RB Leipzig, Bundesliga)
Jones recently popped up in USMNT circles, as he was named to the ongoing U-17 camp. The German-born striker has progressed through the Leipzig youth teams since joining from Wolfsburg in 2017 and is expected to start this season with the U-19s despite the fact that he won’t turn 18 until next March.
Mason Judge (Eintracht Frankfurt, Bundesliga)
Also with the U-17s at their current camp, Judge is a 17-year-old center back who moved to Eintracht in 2018. He played for both the U-17s and U-19s last season and looks set to move to the U-19s permanently in 2019-20.
Lennard Maloney (Union Berlin, Bundesliga)
It’s hard to know what’s next for Maloney, who didn’t play much last season due to academic commitments but had previously broken into the Union squad when it was in the 2. Bundesliga. Now in the top flight for the first time, Union are reportedly hoping to loan the 19-year-old center back out this season, though it’s not clear what the destination is at this point. He had played for both German and American youth national teams but more recently featured for the U.S.
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
Reyna opened a whole lot of eyes this summer as he shined for Dortmund’s first team during its U.S. tour, and he garnered praise from various players and coaches around the club with his performances. The son of former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna, Gio joined the Black and Yellows from NYCFC this summer after a drawn-out saga. He’s still likely to start his European career with the U-19s, but Reyna — who is still only 16 — could find himself on a similar trajectory to Christian Pulisic, who debuted for Dortmund at 17. He’s considered by some to be among the top players in the world in his age group.
Brady Scott (Koln, Bundesliga)
One of two goalkeepers to see action during the U-20 team’s World Cup run, California native Scott has been with the Koln senior side in the preseason. The 20-year-old has yet to debut for the first team and looks likely to start for the reserves this season, as he did in their season opener, but he also seems like he is on the fringes of the first-team squad. There were rumors of interest from a few other German sides this summer, but as nothing has come to fruition, it looks likely that he’ll remain with Koln for the time being.
Pablo Soares (Borussia Monchengladbach, Bundesliga)
Soares is a New York-born midfielder who is eligible for both the United States and Germany, though he’s only been called into U.S. youth camps in the past. The 17-year-old is expected to jump into the Gladbach U-19s this season after spending last year with the U-17s.
Blaine Ferri (Greuther Fuerth, 2. Bundesliga)
An 18-year-old forward from Texas, Ferri joined Greuther Fuerth last August and had an impressive debut campaign, shining for the U-19s before getting called into the reserve side and assisting on a goal in his first game for Fuerth II. He has started this season as a regular member of the reserve side and will likely remain there throughout the year.
Chris Gloster (Hannover, 2. Bundesliga)
Gloster was one of the biggest risers during the U-20 World Cup, as the 19-year-old left back was consistently solid throughout the tournament. His performances have earned him many admirers, with PSV reportedly eager to acquire him this summer. However, Hannover is reluctant to sell, and despite multiple bids from the Dutch club, Gloster has remained in Germany, where he appeared in the opening-day matchday squad before suffering a scary-sounding chest injury in a training session that kept him out of the second match. He seems likely to earn first-team football this year, but it remains to be seen where or when it will come.
Stuart Ritchie (Hannover, 2. Bundesliga)
Ritchie is a versatile young defender (most often playing left back) who joined Hannover this summer after a year and a half in the academy of Dutch side Groningen. Still only 17, the Californian is expected to begin his time in Germany with the U-19s.
Roberto Hategan (Nurnberg, 2. Bundesliga)
Hategan made the jump across the pond this summer, venturing from Sacramento Republic to Nurnberg, where he officially signed last week. The 18-year-old striker is another who is likely to start with the U-19 setup, but he could move up quickly should he impress there.
Tyler Taber (Nurnberg, 2. Bundesliga)
Just 16, Taber made the move this summer from Metz to Nurnberg, where he will likely begin with the U-17s. The midfielder is eligible to play for any of the United States, Japan, and Luxembourg, though he most recently represented the U.S.
Max Rugova (Nurnberg, 2. Bundesliga)
The third of the Nurnberg trio, Rugova is a 19-year-old striker with loads of potential, but he may be the least likely of the three to play for the U.S. as he has recently featured for Kosovo’s U-19s. He has been in USMNT youth camps before, but the Sporting Kansas City product would likely have a much more direct route to the first team if he sticks with Kosovo internationally.
Ian Hoffmann (Karlsruher, 2. Bundesliga)
Hoffmann is a 17-year-old winger/fullback who was born and raised in Connecticut but is eligible for the German and American national teams, and he has featured at youth levels for both. The former Koln youngster played for Karlsruher’s U-19 side last season, and given his age, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him remain at that level this year, though he’s another high-potential player who could move up quickly if he continues progressing.
Giona Liebold (Wehen Weisbaden, 2. Bundesliga)
Liebold, an 18-year-old German-born winger, rose through the ranks with Wehen and debuted as a substitute in their final 3. Liga game last year. Now in the second tier, Wehen may not give him the looks he will hope for this year, but he seems likely to at least be a peripheral member of the first-team squad, unless he goes out on loan somewhere.
Travian Sousa (Hamburg, 2. Bundesliga)
Another former Sacramento Republic player who moved overseas this summer, center back Sousa has joined Hamburg’s U-19s, though he won’t be eligible to play in any competitive matches until he turns 18 at the end of September. He’ll likely spend this year with the U-19 side as he acclimates to European football.
Justin Butler (Ingolstadt, 3. Liga)
Butler, 18, joined Ingolstadt this summer after spending three seasons in Bayern Munich’s academy. The forward is eligible to play for both the U.S. and Germany but has participated in USMNT training camps in the past. He’s likely to begin his time in Ingolstadt with the U-19s.
Jalen Hawkins (Ingolstadt, 3. Liga)
Hawkins is a German-American dual national who has played for the U.S. U-19 side. The forward played for Ingolstadt’s U-19s last season after spending three seasons in the Bayern academy, which he actually had joined from Ingolstadt in 2015. At 18, he could be primed for a jump into the reserves this year.
Brandon Austin (Tottenham, Premier League)
England-born goalkeeper Austin was a staple for Tottenham’s reserve side last season, playing 26 games in the Premier League 2, UEFA Youth League, and EFL Trophy while often wearing the captain’s armband. The 20-year-old has been named to American and English youth national team camps, and it’s unclear whether he favors playing for either at this stage.
Folarin Balogun (Arsenal, Premier League)
A talented 18-year-old striker with an eye for goal, Balogun starred for Arsenal’s youth sides last season, scoring 25 times in 19 games in the U-18 Premier League and once in five games in the Premier League 2. He’s on track to play with the U-23s this season. His international future is very much up in the air, though, as the New York-born Balogun is eligible for Nigeria and England, for whom he has featured at the U-18 level, in addition to the United States.
Chituru Odunze (Leicester City, Premier League)
Odunze is a 6-foot-7 goalkeeper who joined the Leicester academy last week from the Vancouver Whitecaps academy. The 16-year-old has played for the U.S. U-17s extensively, and that’s the level he’ll likely begin his Leicester stay at. The London-born youngster is also eligible for Nigeria and had spells at Chelsea, Cardiff, and West Ham before joining the Whitecaps.
Owen Otasowie (Wolves, Premier League)
An 18-year-old midfielder also eligible for England, Otasowie spent much of last season sidelined as he recovered from a knee injury and eventually returned to play twice for Wolves’ U-18s. He was reportedly being tracked by a number of big clubs, including Juventus and Ajax, before suffering the injury. His future is unclear, but the most important thing for Otasowie will be returning to action on a consistent basis this season, no matter the level.
Matteo Ritaccio (Liverpool, Premier League)
Ritaccio, 17, joined Liverpool in August 2018 and had a solid debut campaign for the Reds, playing extensively with the U-18s, featuring for the U-23s, and helping the club with the FA Youth Cup. The New York-born midfielder, who has an Italian passport, should start this season with the U-18s but could well move into the reserve side quickly.
Kyle Scott (Newcastle, Premier League)
Scott joined Newcastle this summer after being released from Chelsea, where he spent 12 years in the academy. The 21-year-old appeared once for the Blues’ senior side, in an FA Cup match, and also spent the first half of last season on loan to Dutch second-tier side Telstar, for whom he scored twice in 14 appearances. It has been announced that the midfielder — who is eligible to play for England or the Republic of Ireland, but most recently represented the U.S. U-20s — will begin his Newcastle career with the U-23s, but he could move into the first team if he impresses at the youth level.
Peter Stroud (West Ham, Premier League)
A 17-year-old defensive midfielder, Stroud left the New York Red Bulls academy in August 2018 to join West Ham, for whom he featured mostly for the U-18s. He did play once for the U-23s, though, and it seems likely that he’ll be given chances to cement a spot at that level this season.
Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich, Premier League)
Texas native Tomkinson joined Norwich earlier this summer from Solar SC and is currently with the U.S. U-17 team at its camp in California. The center back will likely begin his English career with Norwich’s U-18s, though starting with the U-23s isn’t out of the question.
Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa, Premier League)
A versatile 18-year-old attacker, Vassilev is a Georgia native who joined Aston Villa in 2017. He played for their U-18s extensively over the past two years before jumping into the reserves late last season, for whom he played eight games. The Bulgarian-American will likely stick with the reserves this season as Villa return to the top flight.
Ethan Wady (Chelsea, Premier League)
Wady, 17, is a California native who joined Chelsea’s academy midway through the 2017-18 season. The goalkeeper played for Chelsea’s U-18s last season during the periods he wasn’t on loan, as he also spent time with non-league club Tooting & Mitcham United and Stevenage. He’ll likely begin this year with the U-18s.
Marlon Fossey (Fulham, Championship)
Injuries have prevented Fossey from rising into the Fulham first team thus far in his career, but now that he’s healthy, the 20-year-old right back — who returned from an ACL tear to play three games in the PL2 last year — may be on the verge of a breakthrough. Fulham’s relegation could be a benefit for the fullback, but he also could be a target for a loan move this year. He seems set to start the year with the U-23s.
Dillon Keane (Stoke City, Championship)
Keane, 17, is a striker from California who signed with Stoke in July of 2018. He has so far played for Stoke’s U-18s, and will likely continue with that side this year.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith (Lincoln City, League 1)
A California-born forward, Adebayo-Smith has moved up to the Lincoln first team ahead of the 2019-20 season and looks set for a first season of senior football. The 18-year-old — who is also eligible for England and Nigeria — was an unused substitute on the opening day but seems like he’ll be playing for the Imps soon.
Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal, La Liga)
Akale has been with Villarreal since 2014, but now at 22, he’s running out of time to break into the first team before it becomes imperative that he leave for senior football. The Minnesota-born winger played extensively for the B side last year and will likely do so again barring a move or a promotion into the senior squad.
Jack Imperato (Villarreal, La Liga)
A 17-year-old attacking midfielder, Imperato moved from Southern California to Villarreal last summer, and he’s made some waves since joining. He’s starting this season with the Juvenil A side, for whom he tallied two assists in the preseason opener.
Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona, La Liga)
One of the highest-touted young players in the USMNT pool, de la Fuente, 18, joined Barcelona in 2014 and has steadily risen through the ranks of La Masia. He spent most of last year with the Juvenil A side but made the jump to Barca B at the end of a very successful 2018-19 campaign. He struggled as one of the youngest players at the U-20 World Cup, but the talented winger remains one of the brightest prospects in the USMNT setup, and his status will only continue to improve if he impresses with Barca’s B side this year.
Kosuke Ide (Leganes, La Liga)
Ide is a 21-year-old left back who played for Leganes B after joining in February. The dual Japanese-American national can also play on the right. He will likely spend the season with the B side, barring an unexpected rise in stature over the coming months.
Rayshaun McGann (Getafe, La Liga)
A former Atlanta and Philadelphia academy prospect, McGann joined Getafe last season and impressed with their Juvenil A side. The 19-year-old, who has played a number of different positions since joining the Spanish club, may be in line for a jump to the reserves in 2019-20.
Akil Watts (Mallorca, La Liga)
Watts is a 19-year-old defender who played for Mallorca’s U-19s and their reserve side last season after moving from the Portland Timbers academy. Mainly a right back, Watts will likely spend this year with the reserves as Mallorca returns to La Liga after a six-year absence.
Andre Costa (Rayo Vallecano, Segunda Division)
Costa, a Brazilian-born dual national, joined Rayo Vallecano last year after spending a season in the Real Madrid academy. The 17-year-old forward is likely to spend the season in the club’s youth teams, though a promotion to the B side isn’t out of the question.
Cade Hagan (Sporting Gijon, Segunda Division)
Hagan, 17, joined Gijon’s academy from his native California in the winter. The winger is highly regarded, and while he probably won’t reach the senior squad this season, it’s not inconceivable that he moves up Sporting’s ranks quickly.
Gennaro Nigro (Roma, Serie A)
Nigro is a 19-year-old defensive midfielder who joined Roma at the beginning of last season, which he spent mostly with the U-19s. The New Jersey native should be with that side again this year after he recently extended his contract.
Raphael Iacovelli (Padova, Serie C)
Iacovelli is a New York City native who has bounced around Italy for a few years and joined then-Serie B side Padova in the winter, though they were relegated to the third tier at the end of the season. The 19-year-old split time between the U-17 and U-19 levels last season and should be in line for a more permanent jump to the latter in 2019-20.
Niko Gioacchini (Caen, Ligue 1)
A 19-year-old striker, Gioacchini scored for fun in his first year in Caen’s academy, tearing up the U-19 level before getting a midseason callup to the reserve side and scoring five goals over the remainder of the campaign. He also trained with the senior squad at the end of the season. He should start this year with the reserve side, but if he keeps finding the net with regularity, it won’t be long before the Missouri native earns his senior debut.
CJ Dos Santos (Benfica, Primeira Liga)
The USMNT U-20 team’s third goalkeeper at this summer’s World Cup, Dos Santos is a Pennsylvania native who joined Benfica in 2016. The 18-year-old, who signed a long-term contract extension last summer that ties him to Benfica through 2023, is likely to start the year with the U-19s.
Jamie Dunning (Sparta Rotterdam, Eredivisie)
Dunning is a dual-national attacking midfielder who has been called up by the U-17 teams of both the United States and Canada. The 17-year-old made a crosstown move this summer, joining Sparta Rotterdam from Feyenoord, and he’s expected to jump up to the U-19 level after previously playing with Feyenoord’s U-17s.
Richie Ledezma (PSV, Eredivisie)
A highly touted midfielder, Ledezma joined PSV in the winter and proceeded to shine at the U-20 World Cup in Poland. The 18-year-old is likely to start the season with PSV’s U-19s, but due to the Netherlands’ foreign player rules, which limit the number of non-EU players on each club, he should be given every opportunity to rapidly rise to Jong PSV and possibly even the first team.
Alex Mendez (Ajax, Eredivisie)
Mendez seemed set to start the season with Freiburg’s reserves, but that changed on July 30, when he sealed a move to Dutch powerhouse Ajax. One of the brightest young faces in the USMNT pool, the 18-year-old midfielder is viewed as one of the top USMNT-eligible prospects in the world despite struggling a bit at the U-20 World Cup. He played with Freiburg’s U-19s exclusively after moving to Europe from Southern California in January, but it seems very likely that he’ll start his Ajax career with Jong Ajax, the reserve side, who play in the Eerste Divisie. If things go well there, he may well be in line for a first team debut this season.
Joshua Pynadath (Ajax, Eredivisie)
Pynadath, 17, is a California native who is entering his fifth season at Ajax, where he moved after playing in the Real Madrid academy for two years. He’s expected to move up to the U-19 side after spending most of last year with the U-17s.
Coby Sultan (VVV-Venlo, Eredivisie)
Sultan is a 19-year-old midfielder who joined Venlo this summer from the Baltimore Armour. He’s expected to begin his European career with VVV’s U-19 setup.
Cameron Harper (Celtic, Scottish Premiership)
Just 17, Harper is a striker from California who has made a splash in Scotland since arriving in August of 2018. He recently trained with the first team for the first time, and while he’s likely set to start the season with the U-19s, he could rise quickly if he continues his development.
Nebiyou Perry (Ostersund FK, Sweden)
Perry, 19, is a New York-born forward who joined Ostersund from Koln’s reserve side this summer. He earned his first professional minutes last weekend, starting in the club’s season-opening loss to Eskilstuna, and the Swedish-American (who has represented both national teams at youth levels) will look to build on that in the coming months.
Jens Cajuste (Midtjylland, Danish Superliga)
A 19-year-old Swedish-American midfielder, Cajuste moved to Midtjylland last summer and has started to work his way into the senior side, for whom he has started twice in the early part of 2019-20. It’s unclear how much action he’ll get this season, and he may well be headed towards Sweden’s national team, but the youngster has nonetheless made an early mark in his time in the Midtjylland side and could see his stature continue to rise this season.
Deedson Vixamar (Hobro, Danish Superliga)
A former Atlanta academy player, Vixamar joined Hobro’s stable of Americans on Monday when he signed for the Danish club. At just 18, the striker seems unlikely to feature in the first team just yet, and he’s very much an unknown quantity, but this move is nonetheless an interesting one.
Zico Bailey (FC Helsingor, Danish First Division)
A former LA Galaxy youth player, Bailey joined Danish second-tier side Helsingor this summer, a club which is owned by an American businessman whose goal is to introduce young American players to the European game. The 18-year-old right back, who had previously been with Swedish Allsvenskan club Kalmar FF, should have a decent chance to earn his first senior minutes this season.
Aydan Bowers (FC Helsingor, Danish First Division)
Another of Helsingor’s new stable of Yanks, Bowers joined the club in July from USL II club San Francisco Glens. The 22-year-old center back signed a one-year deal with the club, and he too should be fighting for first-team minutes over the course of the campaign.
Jeremy Rafanello (FC Helsingor, Danish First Division)
Rafanello, 19, was the first of the trio to join Helsingor this summer. The striker, who made the move overseas from the Philadelphia Union academy, is reportedly set to begin the campaign with Helsingor’s senior side after inking a two-year deal.
Isaiah Young (Union St. Gilloise, Belgian First Division B, on loan from Werder Bremen)
Young is one of the few players in the Youth section who seems likely to be playing first-team football this year, though just how much remains to be seen. The 21-year-old forward was loaned to Belgian second-tier side Saint Gilloise, who have an option to buy at the end of the deal next summer, in July. He has never appeared for Bremen’s senior side, nor has he played for any U.S. youth side since 2016.