With the calendar turning to August, the domestic leagues in England will be kicking off over the next few weeks as numerous American players prepare for the 10-month campaign.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is the headlining name in English Football this season as the U.S. Men’s National Team star switches Black and Yellow for Blue and White. After playing his career so far in the German Bundesliga, Pulisic will become the latest U.S. player to graze the respective pitches of the English Premier League.
Also, DeAndre Yedlin and Kyle Scott are on the books at Newcastle hoping to help their team avoid any relegation fight at the bottom of the top-flight. In the English Championship, Matt Miazga returns to Reading for a full-season, while Duane Holmes and Eric Lichaj are also amongst the marquee names. Lynden Gooch and Matthew Olosunde are the lone two American players in League One (England’s third tier) as they try to help their teams earn promotion.
Here’s a closer look at every American based player in England ahead of the start of the new season:
Christian Pulisic is the new face at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea tries to get back into the race for trophies. With Eden Hazard leaving for Real Madrid, Pulisic has definite pressure to contribute immediately for the club after his full move from Borussia Dortmund.
The 20-year-old is likely to play some in the No. 10 position as well as on the wing. His two goal performance against RB Salzburg on Wednesday showed his ability to spring counter attacks and find the back of the net, but he will have to be ready for physical play from his opponents.
Pulisic will be tested right out of the gate on Aug. 11th against Manchester United.
After an injury-plagued end of season, DeAndre Yedlin returns for Newcastle United with Steve Bruce taking over as manager for the departed Rafa Benitez.
Now 26-years-old, Yedlin is a veteran for the Magpies after making 29 appearances last season. He continues to bring plenty in attack, racing on the wings and providing crosses into the box for his teammates to latch onto. He improved as a defender in 2018-19, being able to silence some of the Premier League’s better wingers in one-on-one duty.
Yedlin will continue to be Newcastle’s No. 1 option at right back, but under a new manager it may take the American some time to learn what Bruce wants out of his side.
After being released by Chelsea, Kyle Scott made the move to Newcastle in hopes of sparking his career in English Football.
The 23-year-old had a decent loan spell with Dutch second-tier Telstar last season, only to leave on mutual consent. Despite never making a senior league appearance for the Blues, Scott did get to learn from several talented players and will now try to carry that over to Newcastle.
He is a clever midfielder who isn’t afraid to stick his nose in and win possession. Newcastle’s midfield of Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, and others may make it tough for Scott to win minutes, but who knows what could happen to the roster come winter time.
Cameron Carter-Vickers is highly unlikely to remain with Tottenham this season after consecutive loan spells in England’s second-tier.
Tottenham reportedly were listening to offers for Carter-Vickers amongst others earlier this summer, but a loan seems very likely once again. After time with Sheffield United, Ipswich Town, and most recently Swansea City, Carter-Vickers may need to look for a permanent move to the Championship.
Like fellow USMNT defender Antonee Robinson, Carter-Vickers did well last season in the second division and could help several teams if he moves. A return to Swansea would be a confident move after playing there last season, but for now he is fighting to get fit for the start of the season.
Another young defender currently on the books of a big club, Erik Palmer-Brown is likely to head out on loan from Manchester City.
The 22-year-old was with NAC Breda last season, but was unable to help the club avoid relegation to the Dutch Eerste Divisie. 18 league appearances and one goal score though was Palmer-Brown’s best loan move yet, which will hopefully get him notice to a possible permanent move away from the Manchester giants.
Austria Wien is one side lined with Palmer-Brown on loan and would at least provide him with first-team minutes in a European league. With the amount of money Manchester City has at its disposal, Palmer-Brown may not ever get the chance of starting at the Etihad Stadium.
A return to Reading for Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga who now gets the crack at a full season with the Royals.
After helping the club avoid relegation in the second-half of last campaign, Miazga will now try to help the club take the next step in the Championship table. Jose Gomes remains manager of the club and knows what Miazga can bring to the backline.
Not only does Miazga return to a familiar place, he returns to a side who have the talent of inching up the table. He will look to start with Andrija Novakovich in the Reading starting XI and play a full season in hopes of translating that to the USMNT.
Tim Ream could not save Fulham from Premier League relegation last season as the London club fell back to the Championship after only a year return.
The 31-year-old veteran made 29 appearances in all competitions for Fulham, which later saw him switch to left back this summer under Gregg Berhalter on USMNT duty. Knowing that he doesn’t have that much time left in his playing career, Ream will try to taste the Premier League one last time.
Fulham boss Scott Parker knows that Ream is an aggressive defender and was around the last time Fulham were in the Championship. A stricter schedule though could play its way into Ream’s fitness later in the season, but for now he remains one of Fulham’s top centerback options.
Recently named captain for Hull City’s first season under new manager Grant McCann, Eric Lichaj is aiming for a return to the Premier League as well.
Lichaj, 30, made 40 appearances in all competitions for the Tigers last season, which saw him play at left back and center back for most of the season. Despite a few knocks along the way, Lichaj was one of Hull’s top performers under Nigel Adkins and helped the club almost reach the promotion playoffs.
He will be expected to lead once again defensively as Hull try to reach the top six this time around. Who knows a strong season may see Lichaj earn one last crack with the USMNT.
One of the USMNT’s options at left back for the future, Antonee Robinson returns to the Championship on a permanent deal.
After starring for Wigan Athletic on loan in 2018-19, Robinson made a permanent switch from Everton which is a bonus for him and the Latics. Paul Cook worked with Robinson last season and knows his ability to get up and down the field. Even after a serious knee injury in the winter, Robinson returned and did not lose his starting job the remainder of the season.
This move also helps Robinson continue to develop as a left back and groom his skills for the future. Wigan will likely be fighting a relegation battle at the bottom of the table, but could surprise some top-half sides like they did last season.
One of the intriguing names in the Championship is Derby County’s Duane Holmes.
After doing extremely well under Frank Lampard last season, Holmes will have a new manager at the helm after Lampard left for Chelsea. Phillip Cocu takes over at Pride Park to hopefully propel the Rams back into the Premier League’s bright lights.
Holmes may not have put up amazing statistics, but his ability with the ball and his overall work ethic was positive. Despite injuries near the end of the season, Holmes should be rearing to go for the Rams as he tries to work his way back into the starting XI.
Another player needing a switch, Geoff Cameron traded Stoke City for Queens Park Rangers this summer.
Cameron, 34, made 19 league appearances for the London club on loan last season, adding a versatile piece to their roster. His ability to play centerback or the No. 6 gives Cameron an edge over most players on QPR’s roster, but he needs to stay fit to do so.
Cameron dealt with some injuries and will try to jump right into Paul Warburton’s side for a season opener against his old club.
22-year-old Andrija Novakovich seems to have finally have a real crack at earning first-team minutes with Reading.
After 28 league goals over the past two seasons in Holland, Novakovich returns to Reading looking for his first senior appearance since April 2015. The Wisconsin native provides Jose Gomes with another option at forward, and one who can also move outside if needed.
Reading struggled for goals at times last season, but if Novakovich can replicate his performances with Fortuna Sittard and Telstar then he shouldn’t have any long-term issues with the club.
Gboly Ariyibi’s time with Nottingham Forest has been a frustrating one after the 23-year-old has yet to appear for the first team.
After spending last season on loan with Scottish outfit Motherwell, Ariyibi returned to Nottingham this summer. It sounded like he would make a permanent switch back to Motherwell this summer, but nothing ever came to fruition.
This summer he’s been training with the U-23’s and honestly needs to get a move away if he wants to jumpstart his career.
Luca De La Torre
Luca De La Torre is another player fighting for minutes in the EFL Championship and may be forced out to do so.
After 12 combined appearances between Fulham’s first team, their U-23, and U-21 side last season, De La Torre will need to take the next step this season. His one-goal, two-assist performance in the League Cup against Millwall surprised many but De La Torre did not earn a jump to the senior starting XI after.
The 21-year-old could find the Championship easier than if Fulham were in the Premier League, but overall for his development he can’t afford to take steps back.
Sunderland came close to jumping back into the EFL Championship last season, but fell in heartbreaking fashion to Charlton Athletic in the playoff final.
Lynden Gooch shined for the Black Cats through the early parts of the season, but struggled to do much when the team needed him most. His six goals and seven assists in 41 overall appearances were personal bests for Gooch, but his time at Sunderland could come to an end should the team continue to sit in the third-tier.
Now 23, Gooch will need to step up his performances if he wants to not only play at a higher level, but help his club get back to where many expect them to be. Two things Gooch needs to work on, his final ball and his decision-making process in the final third.
After fighting for some notice with Manchester United, Matthew Olosunde is with Rotherham United.
Rotherham were relegated to the third tier this past season and Olosunde should be able to get into the team. Olosunde made five appearances with Man United’s U-23 side last season, but this move should definitely do him well.
At 21, he still has time to grow and get himself involved in the U.S. U-23 MNT for the Olympics next season. First things first, he would love to cross of his first team professional debut of his to-do list on Aug. 3rd against AFC Wimbledon.
What are your expectations for these players this season? Can Christian Pulisic have a strong debut season in England? Will any of these players be promoted/relegated by season’s end?
Share your thoughts below.