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American players who could use a change of scenery in 2017

Brad Guzan Middlesbrough 55

Heading towards 2017, several Americans have already sealed major moves. Julian Green left Bayern Munich for Stuttgart, taking a step down in league in pursuit of playing time. Ventura Alvarado departed Club America after nearly claiming a Liga MX crown, joining a Santos Laguna team that needs him quite a bit more. Greg Garza, after several injury issues, joined Atlanta United on loan, moving to the U.S. to rediscover his game.

Still, the January transfer window looms, and several Americans would do well to make a change to kickstart the new year.

With the start of the January window and the continuation of the MLS offseason, several Americans have been linked and will continue to be linked with new clubs. Whether it’s due to a lack of playing time or a potential jump to a new level, January could see change for several familiar faces.

With that in mind, take a look at several Americans who would benefit from a move to start 2017:

BRAD GUZAN

You can’t fault Brad Guzan for trying. An abysmal season with Aston Villa produced relegation, and Guzan was rightly spared the drop via a move to Middlesbrough. That move, though, has proven a failure, as Victor Valdez has beaten out the USMNT goalkeeper for the club’s No. 1. Games have been hard to come by for Guzan, who has made just three appearances for the club since the start of the season.

Just several months into his Middlesbrough stay, Guzan has already been linked with a move away. MLS, and Atlanta United specifically, remains a tangible option. With a more pro-MLS coach now leading the USMNT, a move back home certainly wouldn’t carry any negative stigma for a player that has spent the past eight seasons abroad. However, with younger options gunning for the USMNT’s starting spot, games, and positive performances, will be vital if Guzan hopes to remain involved heading towards the 2018 World Cup.

TERRENCE BOYD

Terrence Boyd admitted that a move away from RB Leipzig remains likely. The question that remains is where.

Following several injury-plagues years, Boyd is finally fit and ready to return to the club game. A USMNT call-up for October friendlies served as a nice taste of game action but, unfortunately for Boyd, the road back to the RB Leipzig lineup is a long one. The forward stepped right back into a RB Leipzig team on the rise, one that is still going punch-for-punch with Bayern Munich atop the table. It was an unlucky situation to step into, as RB Leipzig transformed from second division side to Bundesliga contender in the blink of an eye.

Boyd reportedly has his fair share of suitors. The New York Red Bulls have reportedly registered interest, although Boyd recently dismissed MLS as an option. German second division side St. Pauli has also been listed as a possible destination as has David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town. Boyd is out of contract this summer, and he has options, but with limited matches under his belt, it will be interesting to see how Boyd fares in his return to the club game.

DANNY WILLIAMS

Danny Williams doesn’t need a transfer. He’s doing just fine with Reading, a club that is pushing for promotion from the English Championship. However, after earning the attention of bigger clubs for several straight windows, it could be time for Williams to take the leap up.

Williams’ contract with Reading expires in the summer, making the January window an interesting one for the USMNT midfielder. Does the club allow him to play out his deal, and risk losing him for free, as the team pushes for promotion? Or do they sell him off early, jeopardizing their push while making some money off of a player that has been coveted for quite some time? Clubs like Swansea, Burnley and Crystal Palace have previously made a push for Williams and, after several standout years at Reading, it’s time for Williams to get into the Premier League, one way or another.

JOE GYAU/JUNIOR FLORES

While Christian Pulisic makes headlines as the leading American at Borussia Dortmund, two other young options wait in the wings for a chance. Both Joe Gyau and Junior Flores are heading towards crucial periods, and both could do well with a move away from the German club.

Like Boyd, Gyau is a player looking for a fresh start following an extended injury layoff and, like Boyd, Gyau has returned to a club with a plethora of options in front of him. Flores, meanwhile, has seen things stagnate a bit since being left off of the U.S. roster for the 2015 Under-20 World Cup. Borussia Dortmund is loaded with attacking options, with players like Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Christian Pulisic, Emre Mor and Ousmane Dembele all earning minutes for the German powerhouse. There’s no shame in failing to crack Dortmund’s lineup, and there is a time to admit that a move elsewhere would be very beneficial.

Flores has already earned links to Celtic, as Brendan Rodgers is reportedly an admirer of the young midfielder. With his contract set to expire, Flores appears set for a permanent move away within the next few months. Gyau, meanwhile, is simply on the comeback trail and has only recently returned to the Dortmund II lineup. The club may not be ready to give up on him yet, making a loan deal plausible once he has proven fit. Regardless, the two are in need of gametime at ages 20 and 24, and 2017 will be the year to go and get it.

EMERSON HYNDMAN

An ankle injury derailed Emerson Hyndman’s start to life at Bournemouth, and the American midfielder has never recovered after missing the start of his first preseason with the club. Frequently left off of the team’s gameday roster, Hyndman is in limbo for a Cherries team that is sitting 12th in the Premier League. In fact, Hyndman is the only member of Bournemouth’s senior squad to not even make the bench.

Just 20-years-old, Hyndman still has time to forge his path, but the midfielder would do well with frequent gametime. He developed well at Fulham with regular minutes, putting together an impressive enough resume to make the leap to the Premier League. A loan back to a lower level may suit him as he finds his feet after several idle months.

10 comments
  • BSU SC

    You can also add Mix Diskerud to the list. Although he is plying his trade domestically, his time at NYCFC is done.

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  • johnnyrazor

    Is it time for Paul Arriola to push for a full time starters role as well. I’d add Josh Gatt to this list as well, seemingly healed from injury a run at a better league might be in order.

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  • Benjamin C.

    Gedion Zelalem needs some regular playing time as well. It doesn’t seem he is particularly close to that at Arsenal at the moment.

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  • Kojo

    Hyndman’s last year at Fulham he did not see regular minutes. It was sporadic at best which is why he jumped ship to Bournemouth

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    • Bryan

      Wasn’t that supposedly because Fulham knew he was leaving so didn’t want to waste the time developing him? Turns out he just isn’t very good I guess….

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    • johnnyrazor

      He’d been planning to leave Fulham for over a year. Fulham had tried to renegotiate his deal after he started some matches during the Fall of 2014, but Hyndman basically said no he wasn’t going to return to Craven Cottage once his contract ran out.

      Bryan he earned some time at the end of last season and played well, but the jump to the EPL is pretty large and Bournemouth is much more set in the midfield than say Sunderland where Gooch has found some minutes. I think he’s a little overvalued by some USMNT fans with some calling for him to replace Bradley immediately (not sure what that is based on other than hope), but at age 20 hardly a bust.

      Liked by 1 person

  • don Lamb

    Hyndman is in a perfect situation. Bournemouth is safe without the chance for Europe. They will have plenty of opportunities to play him the last third of the season. I think they always had the plan of working him in slowly. He signed a four year deal, which says a lot. Wonder how he has he been doing with the U21s? He is definitely a key figure for them, and they have been scoring a lot of goals. If he has been impressing, he could get a bunch of first team minutes toward the end of the season.

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    • johnnyrazor

      I agree I don’t think Hyndman was in the plans for this season, and the manager even said as much when they signed him. Doesn’t appear he’s played much for the U21s either, but information is hard to find. He did score in a U21 Friendly with Bristol City on Dec. 19. and apparently played Nov. 15 vs Peterborough U21.

      Bournemouth Reserves don’t play in the Premier League 2 (the youth division of the Premier League which was just changed to U23) they play in the Central League which seems to have remained U21 so the quality of opponent is much lower. I would guess this is due to Bournemouth’s rapid rise through the ranks, the lower levels still have to catch up. Hull City, Watford, Burnley, and Crystal Palace are the other EPL sides whose youth teams do not compete in the Premier League 2 this season.

      The FA Cup should give Emerson some chances to play if Bournemouth can win a few rounds as well. Not sure we’ll see too much of him in the EPL until perhaps the final few weeks. He’s not even making the bench so that would seem to have him at best 3rd or 4th at his position. At only 20 years old I think its fine to spend a year with his new club.

      Liked by 1 person

      • don Lamb

        Agreed. They will have nothing to play for during much of the second half, and will probably want to get his feet wet as long as he can stay healthy until then. Could it be true that low pressure situations are actually great environments for developing players? Pulisic’s experience in limited and mostly meaningless minutes last year, for example, was seemingly invaluable.

        Liked by 1 person

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