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Americans in the transfer window

With the Transfer Window in full swing for Europe’s top leagues, many of the United States’ top players are up for moves across the continent. For the most part, the National Team should see benefit from the new placement of many of its stars and the casual American supporter now has some new and interesting clubs to follow:

Reus and Bradley... and... no one

Michael Bradley Borussia Monchengladbach to Sunderland (Pending)
For all the arguing back and forth about which European league is best, one thing can be certain: Borussia Monchengladbach stinks. It isn’t Michael Bradley’s fault. The young midfielder has worked tirelessly to keep clean sheets for a side with a consistently anemic offensive output. For these reasons and more, news that Sunderland are looking to add steel to their side, with captain Lee Cattermole both injured and attracting interest from Liverpool and others, should be met with excitement by US soccer supporters. It is easy to forget that, despite Bradley’s constant presence in the US midfield, Bradley’s breakout season for Heerenveen in 2007-08 occurred while he was still a teenager. He is now, still, only 23 years old and cementing himself as a 90 minute player in the EPL (a la Stuart Holden) can only mean good things for the Red, White and Blue down the road.

Off to Holland

Oguchi Onyewu AC Milan to FC Twente (Complete)
Onyewu’s plight with AC Milan has been well documented, featuring only once before the patella tendon injury that kept him from his best at the World Cup and cost him an entire season at Milan. In the face of a long spell on the training table, Onyewu nobly committed himself to Milan, volunteering to add an additional year to his contract for no charge. But with an aging side and no time to wait for Onyewu’s recovery, the bulky American centerback slipped further down the depth chart until his high-profile karate match with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic essentially sealed his departure from the club. Swiss side, FC Zurich, the only team Onyewu ever featured against for the Rossoneri, were the first to inquire about his services, but in the end Onyewu took a loan deal with FC Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie, where he has rejoined his former coach, Michel Preud’homme. With Standard Liege, Onyewu and Preud’homme enjoyed successful hunting, winning the Jupiler League with Onyewu as a stalwart in the heart of defense. In the final friendly before the the Dutch league returns from its winter break, Onyewu played well, by all accounts, and scored a goal for his new side, crashing into the box to head home from a set piece.


Brad Guzan Aston Villa to Hull City (Complete)
For all of his service to Aston Villa under Martin O’Neill, Guzan could barely get a game. With a new year and a new manager, Gerard Houllier, it seems clear that Guzan will need to head elsewhere to enjoy first-team playing time. Now, he has been loaned to Championship side Hull City, where Guzan should be afforded ample opportunity to put himself in the shop window for top clubs in need of a reliable shot-stopper to build around for the future.  Guzan can be that player, which is the cause of so much consternation surrounding the trajectory of the 26-year-old goalkeeper’s career. Unlike Jozy Altidore, who endured a tough season with the Tigers, Hull represents a great opportunity for Guzan, because let’s face it, they are TERRIBLE. While he is sure to give up some goals, Guzan will not be wanting for action and a strong second half of the season should earn him a starting spot in next season’s EPL. Which is where he belongs.

Off to Gijon for some PT?

Jozy Altidore Villarreal to Sporting Gijon (Pending)
Call this season a learning experience for Jozy. True, he has not played a ton of meaningful minutes, but he has been working hard (by all accounts) to fit in on one of the best teams in Europe. While being the fourth choice striker is obviously not his objective, there is no shame in looking up the depth chart and seeing Giuseppe Rossi, the prodigal young Argentine Marco Ruben and Brazilian Nilmar. But with relegation fears rampant in the northern coastal town of Gijon, manager Manuel Preciado is looking at Altidore as a possible option to give his club an offensive spark. The timing is ideal for Altidore, who could arrive in Gijon and play out the remainder of the season in the starting XI. Critics have expressed concern over the quality of the club, following Altidore’s loan move to a putrid Hull City side experiencing its death rattles in the premier league, but Sporting Gijon (pronounced hee-haw) is not a perennial bottom-dweller and the paring of the young American with the club could prove a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Fulham savior many times over

Clint Dempsey Fulham to Liverpool (Dead)
Will he stay or will he go? Following the unceremonious departure of Roy Hodgson from Anfield Road, any deal to bring Dempsey to Liverpool appears dead. But with the transfer window drawing to a close, Dempsey’s name will likely pop up on someone’s radar. Simply put,  Dempsey scores goals. While some may lament his languid style and his occasional tendency to fade out of matches, when the game is on the line and the intensity is at its greatest, that’s when Dempsey shines for the Cottagers. His highlight reel does not just include a series of sensationally taken goals, it also represents a treasure trove of historical moments for Fulham. With their own injury concerns to worry about, Fulham will be reluctant to entertain offers for Dempsey, but if the right price is offered, there’s an outside chance that we will get his shot with one of Europe’s big clubs.


Edson Buddle Los Angeles Galaxy to FC Ingolstadt 04 (Complete)
This one makes very little sense from the perspective of player development. Buddle clearly had a European itch and, when his trial with Stoke in the EPL failed to bear fruit, he headed off to the German second division. Ingolstadt have scored a feeble 19 goals in 18 matches and clearly are in need of some help up front, but what does Buddle gain from this move? If he succeeds in righting the ship and helps Ingolstadt avoid the drop, then guess what, he’s still looking at second division German soccer next year. It would take a truly monumental outpouring of production to see top tier European teams turn their gaze towards the American striker, who turns 30 this summer.

Coming to the EPL

Jermaine Jones Schalke 04 to Blackburn (Complete)
Following a demotion to the reserve side, head coach Felix Magath has let Jones leave for a six-month loan to English strugglers Blackburn. Schalke’s season began with high hopes following the capture of Madrid legend Raul and Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but slipping performances see the Gelsenkirchen-based outfit mired in the bottom half of the Bundesliga table. For Jones, the loan breathes new life into a season that has failed to meet expectations and he is expected to slot directly into Steve Kean’s starting XI for this weekend’s fixture against West Bromwich Albion.

As the US National Team prepares for Saturday’s test against Chile with a young, inexperienced side bursting with potential, it is a great time to reflect on the depth developing throughout US Soccer.  Who else would you like to see make a move? Get out of MLS? Hit the big time?


  1. What a dumb move by Buddle, and an insult to American soccer. It’s a horrible statement about MLS when a top American player from a top American team would rather play for the minors in Germany. I could understand leaving if the EPL or LLP called up, but damn.

  2. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Those Dempsey rumors are resurfacing. Apparently, Liverpool have offered Fulham a “bommerang” deal to take Paul Konchesky back “with Liverpool keen to use him in a transfer deal to buy Clint Dempsey.”

  3. I’d rather see Altidore playing every day at a 2nd division German side than acting as a reserve forward for a team that doesn’t have a place for him. At least Buddle will be on the pitch.

    Dempsey to Liverpool might not be completely dead. Paul “Defends like Glen Johnson, gets forward like Paul Konchesky” Konchesky might be headed back to Craven Cottage as part of a Dempsey deal.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      Paul Konchesky sucks and Fulham knows it. No way they take him back.

      As for Jozy, if the Gijon deal goes through, I think he plays every match and scores some good goals. In case you’re in the market for some Gijon gear, it looks like this:

      though i still believe the Altidore #12 yellow submarine shirt is one of the greatest US player abroad kits of all time.

  4. Great post eli. I’m especially encouraged w Guzan’s move bc he’s between the pipes after Timmy retires from usmnt. Hull City happen to be in good form at the moment, thanks in part to Guzan.

  5. I was excited to see Dempsey move to Liverpool. It would be great for Altidore to go anywhere else. I’ve seen a few of his minutes for Villarreal and its clearly a lot of pressure to struggle under.

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