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SBI Question of the Day: Which American is under the most pressure as the club season winds down?

Just several weeks remain in Europe’s domestic campaigns, and the hope and ensuing threat of promotion and relegation loom large. A series of Americans see themselves in major battles across some of the continent’s top leagues, facing loads of pressure to help secure the best possible outcome for their respective clubs.

In England, the Championship race is littered with American influence as four of the five teams battling for the final two promotion spots feature an American.

Danny Williams’ Reading, David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town and Tim Ream’s Fulham are all currently in promotion playoff spots, and each faces personal pressure to succeed. Williams is looking to push his way back into a crowded midfield picture under new U.S. Men’s National Team boss Bruce Arena while Ream is looking to edge back into the defensive picture. Wagner, meanwhile, is looking to validate himself as a top-level coach while leading Huddersfield Town to its first Premier League appearance.

DeAndre Yedlin and Newcastle are currently second in the league, making them a favorite for an automatic promotion to the Premier League. It’s a promotion push that was expected, and one that would be catastrophic if highly-favored Newcastle fell short.

On the other end of the spectrum is Eric Lichaj’s Nottingham Forest, which sits just one point above the red line. An injury robbed Lichaj of a USMNT call-up under Arena, and a relegation could be damaging to his chances of pushing back into the picture.

German soccer is also loaded with drama as several Americans fight relegation. Terrence Boyd and Darmstadt are all but certain to go down, even if the forward does find spectacular form over the next few weeks. Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt could certainly join them while Bobby Wood and Hamburg aren’t far from the relegation zone. Wood’s status is particularly interesting as the club looks to lock down the forward to a long-term deal.

With that in mind, SBI asks which American you think is under the most pressure as promotion and relegation heat up. Vote in the poll below and state your reasoning in the comment section.

[polldaddy poll=9727669]


  1. “as the club season winds down”

    LOL, I could have sworn my Sounders, with more Americans having played in the first 6 games than made this list, have 28 games left.

  2. I’d say Terence Boyd since his Darmstadt team is facing relegation an d he’s not getting a lot of minutes lately. So, does he go down with them or try to find some other team, even in another league? Secondly I would pick Aron Johannsson. Although his Bremen team is now out of danger of relegation, he rarely gets on the field any more. He needs to get some regular minutes. Does he go back to Holland, or what? If he moves on, does he take a pay cut?

  3. I don’t think the championship guys matter to much only because being there won’t keep them from getting call ups or proving themselves. Wood moving down would be a big blow only because I think the german second level isn’t on the championships level. The same goes for Boyd and Morales. As for Wagner a move up he is in the best league in the world stay where he is and he will continue to be fine. Although I think if he gets them to the EPL he won’t be there long.

  4. Lazy people will label me a “hater” (even though I defend MLS at times), but you’ll never see this type of question asked about MLS players.

    • I beg to differ. The question in the title very much applies to MLS players.

      The rest of the article not so much, but very similar articles have been written about the playoffs to which you might say:

      “You will never see this type of article written about European players”.

      • Oh yes, “playoffs”. Where half (and they’re trying to increase the number) clubs qualify for an end of the season tournament that renders the regular season nearly irrelevant.


      • OS – If you don’t make the playoffs as a player or manager, you will be expendable. Many clubs have pressure to not only make the playoffs, but make deep runs. It might not be the type of pressure that you prefer, but it’s there. Just look at the turnover at places like Houston and Chicago over the last couple of years. Meanwhile, all lots of clubs in Europe have to do is finish 10th-16th, and their season is seen as a huge success. Riveting?

      • Hell, MLS Supporter Shield is barely a footnote and MLS makes a bigger deal of MLS Cup than it does it’s Supporter Shield. Even MLS finds its regular season irrelevant.

        Apparently they agree with whats riveting and not.

      • Putting the talent level aside, I would much rather see teams battle to make the playoffs and then compete in an intense knockout tournament that was seeded based on how the regular season turned out than the anticlimactic seasons of Southampton, Watford, Stoke, etc. where meaningful games over the last half of the season have been few and far between.

    • I actually agree with you 100% Old School. Less pressure on the individual level. Yedlin would 100% be starting for the Sounders, even if he struggled.

      But you have to agree with me too. The guys in this article are just battling to get a team that could win in the future. That is it. Where the player taking the “easy route” in MLS is expected to win. To carry a team to the title. The Sounders aren’t winning right now because?…..because Morris is struggling to be dangerous.

      Just a lot different mentality in Euro where the winning just isn’t as important to a vast majority of the teams, but players playing well so owners can make money is VERY important.

  5. Obviously Bob Bradley. If Swansea stay up, everyone in the EPL will forget him and if they do remember him, they’ll say he must have been over his head; however, if they go down, they may re-evaluate whether any coach could have kept them up.

    • Bob rolled the dice. He was always going to be questioned. He knew how bad the team was when he took the job. I dont blame him for taking his shot, who knows if you ever get another chance. But English football is what it is. Over rated by evryone in the country(fans, coaches, press). I dont think how Swansea finish will make an ounce of difference in how BB is judged by them. He will aleays be a Yank who doesnt know his football. Just one man’s opinion


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