When it comes to sport, the relationship between Germany and the US is a funny old thing. If you look at the German Football League there are countless players dreaming of becoming NFL stars, whilst their soccer league, the Bundesliga, seems to be a hotbed for American talent.
Here we look at five players currently plying their trade in Europe – all of whom could shape the US Men National Team for years to come – and each of them have a touch point in Germany too.
Number 5. Weston McKennie
The MLS table were gutted to lose McKennie when he opted to join Schalke’s academy setup after spending time in Germany whilst his father was posted overseas on military duty. It’s fair to say he made the right choice though. Since turning 18 he’s become a big part of the senior side having racked up 87 first team appearances. He might lack the more obvious skills of a centre midfielder but defensively he’s very strong.
Across his time on the field he averages 1.5 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 1.4 clearances each game. That’s an important under the radar contribution that every team needs. At 21, those stats will likely get better too.
Number 4. Tyler Adams
RB Leipzig has been home to Adams since his $3m move from NY Red Bulls back in January 2019. When he first arrived in the Bundesliga, he made waves playing a starring role at the base of Leipzig’s midfield, which allowed their attacking talent to flourish going unbeaten in his first 11 appearances. An adductor problem confined him to the medical room through to the final match of the season with a recurrence setting him back at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
The enforced covid-19 break allowed Adams to get back fit though and he’s featured in each of their five games since the return. If he can get a full pre-season under his belt then Adamscould really shine next year.
Number 3. Josh Sargent
Everyone is familiar with the fire-headed attacker that is Sargent after he’s knocked in five goals in 12 internationals for the USMNT. Life in the Bundesliga, where he plays for Werder Bremen, isn’t going quite so smoothly though with his side battling relegation. Sargent is clearly highly rated by Bremen having received some glowing praise from the staff but head coach Florian Kohfeldt is only utilising him as a bit part player at the moment.
In a little over 1,100 minutes on the pitch across 23 league matches – the equivalent of 47 minutes per game – Sargent has scored three goals and two assists. Regardless, if Bremen do fall through the trap door to the lower league, Sargent will undoubtedly be on the move.
Number 2. Sergino Dest
Dest is making a name for himself in Holland, where he was born and raised. It’s only been the 2019/20 season where he’s broken into Ajax’s first team, but he’s very quickly pinned his name to the wall as a nailed-on starter. As is expected with the modern-day full back, Dest loves the offensive side of his duties.
He’s quick over the grass and can deliver and end product too, which is backed up with statistics of two goals and six assists in 35 matches. He’s unpolished in a defensive sense but a little bit of slack can be afforded here given he is only 19-years-old. Tottenham, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have all been linked with a move for Dest with the US international said to favour a move to Germany.
Number 1. Christian Pulisic
At number one is, of course, the most expensive American in history, Christian Pulisic. He’s in his first year at Chelsea where he is playing under the tutelage of Frank Lampard. After taking a few games to settle in, Pulisic began repaying the $73m fee paid to Borussia Dortmund with six goals and six assists in 1,576 minutes of action a very decent return for a man adapting to a new country.
His style of play was endearing him to the Chelsea fan base too, which is no mean feat given he was essentially a replacement for Eden Hazard who departed for Real Madrid. Injury prevented him adding to that early groundwork but when his sharpness comes back, he’ll be a big player for the Blues – and even bigger the US.
There you have it, five players who are all strangely connected via the Bundesliga and who will form the basis of the USMNT for years to come. Still, if soccer is not your cup of tea and you fancy other kind of football instead, check out BetAmerica.com for the best odds on the NFL: https://extra.betamerica.com/nfl/.