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American soccer fans weren't the only ones watching the U.S. national team's run to the Confederations Cup final, and the stellar performances from several American players to make it happen. European scouts were also watching and now clubs from all over Europe are suddenly in the market for Americans.
The summer transfer market is always good for rumors and potential moves, but this is the first summer when several top U.S. players are at the heart of the speculation. If you haven't been able to keep up with all the transfer talk, here is a rundown of some of the speculation:
Clint Dempsey has been linked to a move to Everton, but there are rumblings about clubs from Spain to Germany. With just one year left on his deal, and with Dempsey having rejected a recent contract extension, look for Fulham to sell and look for Dempsey to move on to a bigger club.
Oguchi Onyewu figured to be in high demand even before the Confederations Cup, but his performance in the tournament has made the free agent one of the most in-demand defenders in Europe. The earlier Fenerbahce reports have been proven premature and now Italian clubs, including Genoa, are lining up to make Onyewu the first U.S. national team player in Serie A since Alexi Lalas. Dutch power Ajax has also been mentioned in European reports as being in the hunt for Onyewu.
Michael Bradley didn't play in the Confederations Cup final, but he had already done enough to spark interest from English clubs who appear ready to pry him from a Moenchengladbach squad that is in no hurry to sell. Fulham has expressed interest, and Everton has been reported to be in the market again after having had the chance to sign him last summer.
Jozy Altidore has been linked with clubs ranging from Fulham to Olympiakos, but Villarreal insists that he is returning to the La Liga club later this month. Altidore has expressed his desire to be somewhere he will play and it remains unclear whether Villarreal will be that place, or if the club will send the 19-year-old striker on loan again.
Landon Donovan should be at the heart of transfer speculation this summer, but all the attention he is getting these days is for his comments about David Beckham. The sense here is that if Donovan is going to leave MLS it will be during the winter transfer period, and not this summer.
Jay DeMerit boosted his stock as much as any American in the Confederations Cup and while he hasn't been the subject of as many reports as some others on this list, there are rumors of interest from lower level EPL clubs.
Charlie Davies appears destined for a move away from Hammarby, with clubs from the Netherlands, Germany (Hamburg) and France (Rennes, Sochaux and St. Etienne) all reportedly on the prowl for the speedy forward. Davies is the lone player among this group who will also play in the Gold Cup, which will give potential suitors even more of a chance to see him against better competition than he would face in Sweden.
What do you think about all the European interest in U.S. national team players? Loving the idea of so many American players moving on to bigger clubs? Worried that some of them may wind up struggling for playing time ahead of the 2010 World Cup? Where are you hoping players such as Onyewu and Dempsey wind up?
Share your thoughts below.
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