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Matt Polster signs deal with Glasgow Rangers


Matt Polster’s long-rumored move to Glasgow Rangers is finally complete, making him the latest in a recent run of Americans to jump to the Scottish Premier League.

Polster signed with Rangers via a free transfer, completing a 2.5 year deal after playing out his contract with the Chicago Fire. Polster had been in talks with the Fire about a potential return, but ultimately decided to ply his trade in Europe.

Polster joins a Rangers side that features former LA Galaxy midfielder and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as manager. Gerrard faced Polster as a player, and is no stranger to his abilities.

The 25-year-old right back/defensive midfielder missed most of the 2018 MLS season with a torn MCL, an injury that ultimately limited him to three matches.

Polster had gone into 2018 with high expectations after emerging as a standout right back option for the Fire. A defensive midfielder by trade, Polster adapted quickly to the right back role, and looked like a candidate for another U.S. Men’s National Team call before being sidelined.

Polster joins USMNT forward Tim Weah, who is off to a fast start on loan at Celtic, as Americans now playing in the Scottish Premier League. Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez have also been linked to moves to Celtic, though neither has officially competed a move yet.

Rangers has a tradition of featuring American players, with Claudio Reyna, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu among the Americans to have played for Rangers.

Polster’s departure is a big blow to the Fire, who had hoped to re-sign him and make him their starting right back again, but now with Polster gone, the Fire will have to add right back to a list of positional needs the team still has.


  1. How does a guy with 1 cap (Bosnia game) get a UK work permit? I keep hearing people say it’s more lenient for Scotland but about everyone passing through there lately has an EU second passport (Weah, France; Zelalem, Germany; Hyndman, Portugal; Harkes, UK). Even Cervi a few years back had an Italian passport to wave around. There was an era when it was more of a MNT starter destination — which I would suggest for some — and they would be likely to get the work permit.

    • From what I kind find the rules for automatic qualification are the same. The difference seems to be in the appeals process. In England the appeal is very rigid and follows strict guidelines. In Scotland it goes to a panel who apparently rarely turn down an appeal. Likely because the SPL is a much weaker league so the player doesn’t need to be as high of quality.

  2. Obvious Celtic and Rangers are the head of the league in Scotland. Why did this deal take so long? The August transfer would have benefited both team and player. Unless Rangers were not sold of Polster then or he was still under contract with MLS?

    • Presumably Rangers didn’t feel like paying a fee (they are still relatively cash-poor). So they let his contract with MLS expire and took him on a free now.

    • If you look at what has happened with Hyndman, what is it, twice now, on loan? I think they like our players and see where generally we can handle the level or even in the case of our starters like Weah excel, but I think we are also expensive transfer bait, and for most of the sort of players who are interested in there, not star enough to be worth the money on their smaller budgets. I could see more players going there on frees but unless you are Pulisic are they going to pay a fee, and then why would you be going there if you were the sort of true star they are willing to pay for?

      • It’s like a catch 22, the sort of player interested is usually not so awesome they want to pay millions for them, and the sort of player they’d pay the fees for from here is usually more ambitious. That being said I think it’s secretly a smart choice because at least for the non-touch type players it’s a nurturing and rewarding place to play, little bias against our players, puts them on the field, wages probably better than MLS. You can probably make more in EPL or the continental leagues but you might also be sent to the bench by the wrong coach. The better players have less to worry about but even Pulisic is not immune.

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