We decided to take a look at each American who is making a major impact for a European side right now, as well as all current USMNT players, but those who have the potential for future USMNT call-ups, and, in one case, those who will help create the next generation of American soccer fans by helping grow the game on television (but we wish his accent was so weird).
Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)
Halfway through the season, Altidore has played in 13 games for the Black Cats, starting four up front. But his struggles from last year have carried over into this season, as the New Jersey native has only scored once, against Stoke City in a Capital One Cup loss. In reality, what Altidore most likely needs is a change of scenery. Whether that happens in the January transfer window or he has to stick around for the rest of the season remains to be seen.
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
At 29, Cameron has developed into a consistent squad player for the Potters. He hasn’t scored or assisted on a goal this year, but Cameron has been a mainstay for Stoke, splitting his time between the back line and center of the midfield. He’s played in 13 league games, as well as three cup matches for Mark Hughes’s side.
Big Bad Brad Friedel (Tottenham Hostpur)
While he hasn’t played for Spurs since the 2013-14 season, Friedel has nonetheless become a major ambassador the club, helping grow Tottenham’s presence in America. He has been present on television in the US since the summer and will likely join Fox Sports’ broadcast team some time in the very near future.
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
America’s new number one keeper while Tim Howard takes a year off has been on a tear for much of the season. Guzan has played every minute of every game for Aston Villa and has kept eight clean sheets. He’s a huge part of the reason why Villa is comfortably above the relegation zone despiting scoring the fewest goals in the league.
Tim Howard (Everton)
Meanwhile, Howard’s excellent run of form culminating in his huge World Cup performance didn’t carry over to the Premier League season, as Everton have struggled to get any positive momentum going. Howard is responsible for at least some of that, as he’s been poor at times and the Toffees have allowed the second-most goals in the league.
DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
Yedlin made his move (which you can read all about here HYPERLINK) to Tottenham at the end of December and was in attendance at White Hart Lane for Spurs’ 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day. He’s officially a Tottenham player now, and while it remains to be seen how much Yedlin will play this year, we’ll keep providing updates as he settles in London.
Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal)
While he hasn’t announced what national team he’ll play for yet, 17-year-old starlet Zelalem acquired American citizenship at the end of December, and it’s believed that he’ll announce his intentions to play for the USMNT in the near future. Arsenal are understandably excited about the Berlin-born, Maryland-bred midfielder, who has made one appearance so far this season, a 45-minute cameo appearance in a Champions League win over Galatasaray.
Regular national teamers not in the Premier League
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)
Bedoya has been arguably the most impressive of the Americans playing in Europe this season. In 15 Ligue 1 appearances for Nantes, Bedoya has a goal and an assist, and he has been in excellent form recently. He scored a screamer from outside the box in a loss to PSG in December, and followed it up with an assist and man-of-the-match award in a win over Bordeaux a week later.
Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)
While he hasn’t been used all that much for Belgian side Anderlecht, the 29-year-old Kljestan has been good when on the field, scoring two goals for the club. He was present in the center of midfield four times during his squad’s Champions League campaign and has played 10 times in the league for the reigning Belgian champions, who are current in second place.
John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
Like Bedoya, Brooks has been a consistent player for his club side and has put in some impressive performances among his 13 appearances for Hertha Berlin. Brooks had a very eventful December, scoring the opening goal in an eventual 4-4 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt followed by an own goal a week later in a 5-0 home loss to Hoffenheim. He also was named man of the match by whoscored.com in wins over Dortmund and Cologne in the final month-and-a-half before Germany’s Christmas break started.
Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Chandler has played 14 times at right back this year for Frankfurt, helping lead his squad into the top half of the table. Another of the German contingent on the USMNT, Chandler has won 17 caps for the national team, but he didn’t play in Brazil and will hope to re-establish himself in the pecking order at right back.
Julian Green (Hamburg, on loan from Bayern Munich)
One of the most talked about players on the USMNT squad, Green hasn’t been so talked about this year. He’s made just one start and four substitute appearances for Hamburg while on loan from Bayern Munich, but the winger hasn’t played since Nov. 29.
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach)
After playing in all four games at the World Cup, Johnson has been decent for a good Monchengladbach team that’s fighting for a Champions League place. In 16 total appearances, Johnson has played both at the left wing and right back spots and has one assist for his new team, which he moved to in the summer from Hoffenheim.
Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)
Johannsson has started seven of Alkmaar’s 17 matches this year, scoring twice in the Eredivisie and once in the cup for the Dutch side. After making the permanent switch from Iceland to the US last year, Johannsson played in one game at the World Cup, the win over Ghana.
Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg)
Diskerud helped Rosenborg to a 2nd-place finish in the Tippeligean, which ended its 2014 season in November. He scored two goals in 19 league games for Rosenborg and added a Europa League tally as well.
Others on the USMNT fringes (or other notables)
Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers-currently injured)
Sadly, Holden’s brutal injury problems have continued over the first part of this season. The now-29-year-old returned from a knee injury last March for Bolton, but he was injured again in his first reserve team appearance and hasn’t played this season.
Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
An 18-year-old midfielder with a bright future, Hyndman has worked his way into the London side, starting nine Championship games and two Capital One Cup matches. He hasn’t scored or assisted, but he has been an effective player for the Cottagers and has massive potential.
Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
A former New York Red Bull, Ream has played all but one of Bolton’s 24 Championship matches, starting 21. Ream has one assist this year from his spot in defense, and he has been one of the Wanderers most consistent performers.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)
Former Aston Villa defender Lichaj, now 26, has been an important part of Nottingham Forest’s defense this year, making 17 starts and five substitute appearances in the Championship for Forest.
As of right now, none of the other Championship players are playing enough to warrant a full update, especially considering how far most are from the USMNT setup. We’ll let you know if that changes, though.
Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig)
Boyd, a Bremen-born forward playing in the 2. Bundesliga for Red Bull Leipzig, was named to the preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup, but didn’t make the final roster. This season, Boyd has two goals in six appearances for Leipzig.
Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)
A young striker prospect, Wood has not scored in six league appearances for 1860 Munich this year. Wood was born in Hawaii, but the now-22-year-old moved to Germany in 2007 to start playing with Munich’s reserve set up.
Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht)
The 18-year-old Rubin was first called up by the USMNT in September and made his first appearance for the squad Nov. 14. For Utrecht, Rubin has developed into a consistent starter and a dangerous piece in attack, with two goals and five assists in 14 Eredivisie appearances for the ninth-place team.
Freddy Adu (Currently unattached)
Adu’s long journey in Europe is on hold for the time being, as the former big-time prospect played just one match with Serbia’s FC Jagodina before being released in late December.
That’s it for the midseason update on the Americans abroad. We will continue to provide progress reports on these players over the rest of the season, as well as any others who work their way consistently into their club squad’s set-up. Think there’s someone we’re missing? Let us know at email@example.com.