There was a time when Americans grew up and there was only one shape of ball was acceptable to play with; that tide started to turn a number of years ago and now you can see that coming to fruition.
Of course, over the years there have been some star quality trading the US for Europe and the prestigious world of “football”. Now, more than ever, there are a shed load of players that side of the pond and that are playing in the leading favorite teams in Europe, according to the best sports betting bookmakers. Here we are taking a look at the five best American soccer players in Europe right now.
5 Best American Soccer Players In Europe
Number 5. Josh Sargent
Kicking off our list of the best American soccer players in Europe is Josh Sargent; he can perhaps count himself a tad fortunate to be included but we’ll come onto that in a mo.
Sargent has longed been hyped as a potential star and after grabbing 10 goal contributions (seven goals and three assists) in Germany last season he earned a move to the Premier League; that was to join Norwich City. The Canaries had a pretty horrid start to the campaign and, clearly, that spread like a virus into Sargent who cut a frustrated and confidence lacking figure at times.
A change of manager has since occurred at Carrow Road and, with Dean Smith at the helm, Sargent has begun to look something like the player we know he can be. He’s always happy to put himself about in the final third and regularly pops up in good positions; the magic touch has been lacking though. Well, it had. Sargent bagged a brace last time out – including one very good goal – and that is the reason he sneaks in our top five.
Number 4. Gio Reyna
If Sargent was fortunate to be on this list then Gio Reyna can consider himself unfortunate not to feature much closer to the top. The 19-year-old has taken to Europe like a duck to water since joining Borussia Dortmund from New York City back in 2019. He has missed a lot of football lately though; the youngster injured his hamstring with the USMNT back in September and has only just taken back to Bundesliga action.
Reyna made his long awaited comeback at the weekend and whilst the result – a 5-2 defeat – was a disaster, Reyna showed everyone exactly what they’ve been missing. He was only out on the field for 30 minutes but during that time he showcased his ability to win the ball, get off shots and, most impressively, he had a 100% pass completion. If his hamstring holds up over the next few weeks then we fully expect him to be back in the international fold and he’ll have a huge role to play for Dortmund in the second half of the campaign.
Number 3. Sergino Dest
Sergino Dest is another USMNT player that isn’t exactly ripping things up right now but, that said, he still deserves to be on this list. Dest was sensational during his time in Holland with Ajax; that earned him a big money move to Barcelona but it’s not worked out as expected just yet. In fact, there have been such question marks over his consistency – or lack of it – that Xavi Hernandez opted to bring in veteran right wing back Dani Alves.
You could argue that Alves is the perfect role model for Dest with both very much forward thinking full backs who like to make their main contributions in the oppositions territory. The trouble is, rumours linking Dest with a Barca exit suggests that is perhaps not the long term plan Xavi has in mind. All that said, you can tell Dest is still making waves in Europe because the clubs linked with him – Bayern Munich and Chelsea – are very much big time players.
Number 2. Weston McKennie
Taking the silver medal of our American soccer players in Europe is Juventus man Weston McKennie. Even on the surface of it all you can see McKennie has the trust of Massimiliano Allegri; Juve have allowed three midfield players – Aaron Ramsey, Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski – to leave the club in January. You can see why too because the 23-year-old is a reliable pair of feet in the middle of the park.
In addition to the defensive qualities that McKennie brings through his ability to win aerial duels and his reading of play, which aids his blocking and interceptions stats that combine to equal 2.6 per 90, it’s his availability and willingness to take the ball that really stands out. He ranks amongst the best midfielders for collecting the ball in progressive stages of play; from there, McKennie is someone that drives his team forward with the ball too. It’s little surprise that other big clubs are interested in him.
Number 1. Christian Pulisic
We don’t care if injuries can hamper the amount of time he spends on the pitch. When Christian Pulisic is on the grass he is not only the best and most exciting American soccer player in Europe but he shows the raw qualities of being someone that could go on to achieve anything that he wants in the game. And yes, there is more to come from the man that already boasts the soccer equivalent to the Super Bowl – a Champions League medal.
This season Pulisic has only managed 12 league appearances for Chelsea but, even so, he’s scored three goals giving him a strike rate of a goal every 250 minutes; it’s not that terrible given how disrupted his game time has been. It’s when you look at his per 90 stats that you start to understand how high his ceiling is.
Pulisic wants the ball in tight areas, he can use it too hence his 82% pass accuracy and his progressive carries of 6.6 per 90 puts him well above average too. He excels in almost every area, he just needs to stay fit.
There you have it, the best American soccer players in Europe right now. Did we miss any name? Let us know.