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Who makes your Americans Abroad Best XI?

AronJohannssonAZAlkmaar5 (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

With foreign leagues around the world wrapping up their seasons ahead of the World Cup, we are coming to the end of another eventful campaign for Americans Abroad.

We saw Aron Johannsson turn into a goal-scoring machine at AZ Alkmaar, Tim Howard help lead Everton to a very impressive fifth-place finish in the English Premier League, and Tim Ream win Bolton Player of the Year honors for an excellent season in the English League Championship.

In my latest Goal.com piece, I named an Americans Abroad Best XI for the season that is wrapping up in Europe and Mexico. It wasn’t an easy team to select, with several players falling short despite having had good club seasons.

There is no denying that the level of high-caliber Americans Abroad talent has gone down with the returns of Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to MLS, but there is reason to feel optimistic about the future as a large crop of young Americans climb their way up the ranks at various European and Mexican clubs. Players like Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget, Joe Gyau, Cody Cropper and Will Packwood to name a few.

Give my Americans Abroad Best XI piece a read and let us know which players you feel should have made the cut. What American impressed you the most with their play in a foreign country this past season? Which player were you most surprised to see included?

Share your thoughts below.

77 comments
  • Mike

    I saw the AZ GAME yesterday. AJ got some good chances even though he did not score.

    Like

  • Bach's Thumb

    Abroad Best XI?

    ——-Altidore–Johannsson———
    —————————————–
    Johnson–Jones–Holden–Bedoya
    —————————————–
    Beasley–Brooks–Cameron–Chandler
    —————————————–
    —————Howard—————–

    Williams for Holden if you don’t want an injured player.

    Like

      • JC

        Really…. crushes them?? Looks close to me:

        Deuce
        Davis Donovan Zusi
        Bradley Beckerman
        Parky OG Besler Yedlin
        Rimando

        Like

      • Louis Z

        YA team is stacked, no question are better.

        Boyd/Green/Agudelo <— chose one
        JF–AJ–Bedoya
        Mix–Williams
        Ream–Brooks–Cameron–Chandler
        Timmy
        I

        Like

      • Louis Z

        or in a 4-4-2

        Boyd–AJ
        FJ–Williams–Bedoya–Green
        Ream–Brooks–Cameron–Chandler

        Like

    • Josh D

      Sorry, but if this is based on this season, Jozy is benched for Boyd. Holden misses out to Williams.

      Mine based on last season, and playing them in their proper positions:

      Aron-Boyd
      Arriola-Williams-Mix-Bedoya
      Lichaj-Fiscal-Ream-Cameron
      Guzan

      Guzan had a stellar year, yes better than Howard’s. Williams had a better year than Jones. I tossed Arriola in there for his breakout season, though you could put Green based on his reputation-defining first season as a pro. Ream did well and so did Fiscal; Gooch made a late run. Chandler had a good season but was too hot and cold. Brooks and Jozy disappointed. Mix started the season iffy but has made a direct impact almost every game and did well at the end of his previous season (which ended while the rest started).

      Like

      • Brian

        I have to respectfully disagree about Howard and Guzan. The statistics show that Howrad had arguably his best season, and while he certainly had a better defense than AV, his save percentage etc… is higer than Guzan’s

        Like

      • Josh D

        I’m just going by gut here. Howard still seems to lose a bit of focus with consequences. Guzan seems ready all 90. But that may be because of his defense.

        Like

      • away goals

        The gut tends to have a selective memory.

        Statistics are a useful countermeasure.

        Like

      • Paul

        Stats can be misleading. With a stronger defense and stronger team in general, you can frustrate opponents into trying shots they know are lower percentage takes. Keepers love games like that.

        Guzan rolled from one desperate moment to the next – a lot of broken defense, point-blank shots.

        Like

      • Paul

        It’s hard to think of Johnson, Jones and Brooks as playing overseas from their homeland.

        Okay, that ought to start something, lol.

        Like

    • Tony in Quakeland

      You not only leave Ream off, you move Cameron to a postion he didn’t play. And you do it to fit in Chandler who was good for about a month and half this year.

      And Holden? Really?

      Like

      • Bach's Thumb

        Wouldn’t be hurt switching Ream and Brooks. I operate by the theory that you want all your best players on the field. Chandler is a better right back than Cameron. Cameron is a heads-up player who understands defensive positioning, which makes him valuable for moving into the center back position as he’s done in the past.

        I added the caveat for Holden and Williams. I recognize that Holden is injured, but when healthy he’s easily on the list.

        Like

      • Jack

        This list is who had the best season not who you would put out there. It sucks but Holden didn’t play a single minute.

        Like

      • Bach's Thumb

        He played during the Gold Cup–quite well. That was less than a calendar year ago so I included it.

        Like

      • fifawitz1313

        OMG! IN WHAT WORLD IS CHANDLER A BETTER RB THAN CAMERON?!?!? Can someone please explain this anomaly of an opinion shared by so many on here? This line of dialogue is driving me nuts! Cameron plays RB in a better league, on a better team, and starts there for our national team. Have you seen Chandler play this season? He has been burned, benched, injured, and for a short stint effective there for Nurnberg (a team that just got relegated with a -33 goal differential, the worst in the Bundasliga). I get that we are desperate and so many want Cameron to slide in at CB (something that I would support), but to say that Chandler is some world beater who is better is non-sense. Stop the madness!

        Like

      • Bach's Thumb

        I hope you realize the ridiculousness of saying his team had a terrible goal differential and then also trying to attack him by saying he was out injured a huge portion of the season.

        You don’t think missing their best defender was… I don’t know a reason their defense fell apart?

        He was on multiple team of the week squads for the Bundesliga. He’s a top defender. It’s why Stuttgart are trying to pry him away.

        Like

      • Jack

        Cameron’s the better right back but it doesn’t mean Chandler is awful. Statistically they are pretty close all across the board. Cameron cuts out a lot more passes but that’s about it. Cameron’s also on the better club of coarse.

        Like

      • fifawitz1313

        Fair, and maybe it came across like I was bashing Chandler. Not my real intent. I do not think he is awful and I really hope he earns a spot on the plane to Brazil. My point was that Cameron has been a consistently stronger player the entire season, and unless desperation causes us to move him to CB, he should be our starter.

        Like

      • Bach's Thumb

        To add to this:

        Schalke are reportedly pursuing Chandler as well. He’d be playing in the Champions League next season.

        Like

      • fifawitz1313

        While he made a couple “teams of the week”, he showed little consistency. He was hot, he was cold. Unfortunately for him, right when it seemed like things were clicking he got injured. Saying he is going to Stuttgart is not exactly a ringing endorsement either. They only finished one position above the relegation playoff spot. I will happily eat crow if he goes to Schalke, but at this point in the year transfer rumors fly around with no legitimacy. Basing your opinion off of media speculation instead of actual on field results is crazy. Plus, let’s remember this conversation is about whether or not he is better than Cameron at RB. My points about Cameron above still stand. Better league, better team, starter on our national team. Not one of those facts can Chandler or you refute. Now, do I root against Chandler? Absolutely not! I pray that he becomes a RB beast and takes the job from Geoff. He has a much higher ceiling at the position. However, right now it is crazy to say Chandler is better, based on how this last season played out.

        Like

      • Jack

        Even if he did go to Schalke, it doesn’t mean he’d start.

        Like

      • Bac

        Fifa, did you watch him play? If so how many times? I’m not being sarcastic I’m genuinely curious because I don’t think many people who have commented about him have actually watched him this year, some have read post match reports.
        Even when I listened to another podcast yesterday all I heard was Honduras and airplanes….

        Like

      • Bach's Thumb

        Put Holden in there because of the Gold Cup–which I’m including as this past ‘season.’

        I added Williams at the bottom because I recognize not everybody would agree that counted.

        Like

    • Luke

      Johannsson should not be given a free pass to Brazil…Needs more seasoning on world stage.

      Like

  • FRANK

    HERE IS MY COMPLETE ANALYSIS WHO WILL GO TO WORLD CUP HOPEFULLYTHIS WORKS I WILL KEEP UP TO DATE

    Like

    • R in NY

      I normally don’t comment, but FRANK’s analysis spreadsheet had me laughing so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes during a meeting at work.

      Please keep up the good work my friend. You made my Friday 10X better.

      Like

    • Ah

      Frank has Goodson listed as the giraffe in the US setup, but everyone knows that Brek Shea has the wet giraffe on roller skates role on lockdown. Please update the spreadsheet. Thanks for the good work.

      Like

    • Columbuster

      This looks good. How did you come up with the klinsmann percentages? What do you think the scores will be in the group G games?

      Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        This has “A Beautiful Mind” written all over it… I bet the walls in his garage are covered with newspaper clippings

        Like

    • William the Terror

      Wow, FRANK. Mix gets a no just because of his name? I think you may be right on many of these predictions, but I think Mix grades out higher than a 62.

      Like

  • Vic

    In your writing you have Sasha Klesjtan but in your lineup you don’t have him, you have Jermaine Jones instead.

    Like

    • KingGoogleyEye

      Ives, this confused me too. Is Jones your starter or is Kljestan?

      Like

      • bryan

        and if it is Jones, then he needs a little blurb about him written out. seems like it was a typo putting Jones in that lineup.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        If it is Jones, then he needs a blurb about him.

        And if it is Kljestan, then it needs to be Jones.

        Like

  • SPIT HOT FIRE

    Dy-lan
    Dy-lan Dy-lan Dy-lan Dy-lan

    Dy-lan Dy-lan Dy-lan Dy-lan

    Dy-lan Dy-lan

    Like

  • Jack

    ——————Boyd———
    —————Johannsson————
    Torres–Williams–Kljestan–Bedoya
    Johnson–Ream–Onyewu–Cameron
    —————Howard—————–

    only difference really being Onyewu who really helped Sheffield Wednesday off the bottom of the table when he came in.

    Like

  • USMNT Fan

    Based on the past season:

    —————–Howard
    Chandler-Cameron-Brooks-Beasley
    -Bedoya-Jones-Williams-Johnson
    ———–Johannsson-Boyd

    Like

    • fifawitz1313

      You can’t put Cameron at CB. He did not play one game there this season. Choose between Chandler and Cameron and make the right choice.

      Like

  • fifawitz1313

    ——- Howard
    Cameron-Gooch-Fiscal-Johnson
    Bedoya-Ream-Williams-Torres
    Johansson-Boyd

    I tried to choose players based on the positions they actually played this season. Honestly, I would have left our LW blank considering there are not any players abroad really playing that position, but decided Torres was most deserving of a mention. I disagree with Ives that you can pick multiple players from the same position and have them on your best XI. Some of the players Ives listed weren’t even the best Americans Abroad at their own position. Plus, by listing actual positions it is more helpful determining a depth chart.

    Like

    • Jack

      I don’t believe Ream played a great deal at holding mid this season for Bolton. Certianly it was his play at left back and left center back is that he excelled into being Bolton’s POTY.

      Like

      • fifawitz1313

        Jack, this could be my fault. I thought he played the majority of the season at DM & LB based on what I read here. I honestly didn’t watch him play this year. I had not read anything about him consistently being played at CB. I may be wrong here in which case put Ream where Fiscal is & add Jermaine Jones center.

        Like

  • ilikefreddyyesadu

    ———————Boyd———-Altidore——————————
    Bedoya———-Jones————Diskerud———Johannsson
    Fabian————Brooks————-Ream————–Cameron
    ———————————–Howard

    Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    Best XI based on this season performance:

    Boyd Johannsson

    Bedoya Jones Kljestan Corona

    Ream Brooks Gooch Cameron

    People forget: Ream played as leftback or centrelmidfielder, and Cameron was a rightback. Altidore had worst season his career, while Arriola and Will John I am not sure what position (midfieldo or forward) they played, and Kevin Hoyos start it good but back Argentina not playing time.

    Like

  • FRANK

    SORRY BERK SHEA SHOULD BE IN AWFUL CAT FOR OBV REASONS WILL UPDATE WHEN I UPDATE% PRIBABILITY REAL TIME

    Like

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