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Steffen, Carter-Vickers, Miazga headline Americans Abroad set for summer moves

With the calendar set to change to July, many American players overseas could see their future take a major turn over the next few days.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, transfers may be limited with many clubs budgets affected. Loan spells for many players are set to expire on Tuesday, unless short-term agreements prior to the deadline. Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers are two players loaned out by Premier League clubs, who could also see a permanent move away this summer in order to obtain consistent first-team minutes.

In addition, many players are free agents following the expiration of their current contracts. U.S. Men’s National Team veterans Fabian Johnson and Eric Lichaj are both seeking new opportunities this summer after not being retained. Danny Williams left Cyrpiot side Pafos FC earlier this year and is also another option for many European, and even MLS clubs.

Here’s a closer look at the American Abroad contingent who could and possibly will be on the move this summer:

Zack Steffen

Steffen spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf from EPL giants Manchester City and quickly grabbed a starting role for the German club. Injuries plagued the second-half of Steffen’s season though, with the U.S. Men’s National Team No. 1 failing to play since Dec. 22nd.

It is unclear if Pep Guardiola will keep Steffen with the Citizens for next season, or send him back out on loan. The 25-year-old would be better served in a starting role elsewhere rather than sit behind Brazilian star Ederson.

Cameron Carter-Vickers

The Tottenham loanee remains at Luton Town for the time being, in what is his fifth-consecutive loan spell out from the EPL side.

Carter-Vickers has made 11 appearances in EFL Championship play for Luton Town since joining in January. With the club fighting for league survival, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Luton Town try to keep Carter-Vickers until the remainder of the season.

When he does returns to Tottenham, Carter-Vickers may meet with Jose Mourinho to discuss his future.

Matt Miazga

Matt Miazga is another young defender who has found it tough to make it at Chelsea.

Finishing a one-year loan spell at Reading, Miazga is currently suspended for three EFL Championship matches following his actions in a weekend defeat to Derby County. The 24-year-old centerback has played in 19 league matches this season, scoring a pair of goals for the Royals.

It seems unlikely Miazga will play a vital role in Frank Lampard’s side at Chelsea, so maybe a permanent move is coming later this summer.

Erik Palmer-Brown

One of three Americans on loan from Manchester City, Erik Palmer-Brown is  on the verge of helping Austria Wien remain in the Austrian Bundesliga for another season.

Palmer-Brown has scored two goals and added two assists in 21 league appearances for Wien, recently rotating between starts due to the busy schedule. He’s in his third consecutive loan spell away from the Etihad Stadium, also featuring in Belgium and the Netherlands over the past two seasons.

After excelling in Austria, Palmer-Brown could seek a permanent move back this summer with many defenders ahead of him in Manchester City pecking order.

Luca De La Torre

22-year-old Luca De La Torre has failed to make a major impact at Fulham whether the club has been in the Premier League or Championship. After only seven league appearances over the past three years, De La Torre could be on the move elsewhere in order to spark his career.

De La Torre is a talented playmaking midfielder, but has been reduced only to time with the Under-23’s this season. With the COVID-19 pandemic ending the youth seasons abroad, he’s mainly been training only for Scott Parker’s side.

Marlon Fossey

A former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defender, Marlon Fossey has also faced struggles in breaking into Fulham’s first team.

The 21-year-old has only three second-team appearances under his belt this season, with injuries also keeping him out of action. Fossey, a right back by trade, is set to see his contract expire this month, unless Fulham triggers his one-year option until 2021.

Regardless, Fossey should be considering other options with no competitive first-team appearances made to date.

Here’s a list of players who are free agents:

Eric Lichaj

Eric Lichaj was the heart and soul of Hull City’s backline, until the defender couldn’t agree to a short-term deal for the remainder of the campaign.

The 31-year-old played at right back, left back, and centerback in his two seasons at the KCOM Stadium, appearing in 30 matches in all competitions this season. Lichaj also missed some time with injuries, but overall played an important role in Grant McCann’s team when available.

It is undecided where Lichaj could end up next after playing entirely his whole professional career in England.

Fabian Johnson

Fabian Johnson’s six-year stay at Borussia Monchengladbach is over after the club announced last week they would not retain him for next season.

Johnson made only seven appearances for Gladbach this season, with muscular injuries hampering him along the way. The 32-year-old versatile player can play a wide range of positions and should help whoever he joins next.

MLS could also be in the mix for Johnson, who stated before he would consider a return to the USMNT.

Danny Williams

Danny Williams is another veteran midfielder who is in need of a new club this summer.

Williams joined Cyrpiot side Pafos FC in Sept. 2019, but left in May after mutually agreeing to leave. The former Huddersfield Town and Reading man made 11 appearances for Pafos, but could be an option for several MLS clubs and lower-league English sides.

Sebastian Soto

Sebastian Soto is on his way out of Hannover with Norwich City reportedly the favorite to sign the young striker.

Soto exploded onto the scene with Hannover’s Under-19 side, but never really got a chance in the first team. He made only two appearances in the 2. Bundesliga this season, but failed to even get a starting role with the second team.

The 20-year-old is a bright talent, but would be loaned out if he goes to Norwich due to work permit issues.

Haji Wright

Haji Wright spent one season with Eredivisie side VVV Venlo, failing to score in 22 league outings.

The 22-year-old former U.S youth striker has found it tough since leaving Bundesliga side Schalke in 2019 and will now hope to find the best situation for him to continue developing. Wright is likely to stay in Europe, but signing for a lower-league side may be his best bet.

Niko Hamalainen

American-born left back Niko Hamalainen is set to be a free agent unless QPR makes a last-minute decision to keep him.

Hamalainen has yet to be truly given a chance in West London, recently spending this season on loan in Scotland with Kilmarnock. The speedy defender made 32 combined appearances for the Premiership club, before heading back to London earlier this month.

He’s eligible to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team despite representing Finland at the youth level.

James Murphy

New Jersey native James Murphy joined Scottish second-tier side Arbroath this time last year, but now looks set to be on the move.

Murphy, 22, was released by LAFC in Jan. 2019 before moving to Scotland in the summer. He totaled 22 combined appearances for Arbroath this season, but failed to register a goal or assist from his midfield position. The former U.S Under-20 Men’s National Team player could remain in Scotland, if he wants the right club.


  1. Antonee Robinson now moves to the top of the list. Wigan has entered bankruptcy and apparently that incurs a 12 pt penalty that puts relegation to League One back in play.

  2. Biggest one in my opinion is Mckennie if schalke is on this self salary cap thing and going to sell players. Hope he goes to epl team mid table club or better, he showed he was one of their better players this year.

  3. My opinion. CCV should look to make a permanent move and try to get on a championship team that has a good chance at promotion. Tottenham seems to have a habit of going out and buying defenders when they need them. I think Tottenham is a dead end for CCV. Miazga did well in Holland and might have done okay in France if he had landed in a better situation. Maybe he can find a job in France or Holland. He’s still young and could move to a top 5 league in a couple of years. Palmer Brown has the same problem as Miazga in that it is so hard to break into the City squad. One hopes he caught the eye of some Bundesliga team and he can move there. Of the rest, I think Soto may have a future on a first division team. If he doesn’t make it in a couple of years he might want to settle for the Championship

    • CCV is interesting always seems to wear out his welcome at his first club of the season then finds success at the second. I don’t see Mourinho playing him. I don’t know about a better league, find a Championship squad that wants you or maybe Celtic or Rangers (at least you’d get some European competition).

  4. At 24 Kaylor Navas was in the Spanish Segunda, would spend 2 more years as a back up in La Liga for Levante and then one season as the back up Real Madrid. During that time he was still the first choice keeper for CR. He led CR to the quarters after playing 11 matches for Real Madrid in 2014. If Steffen spends the year at Man City playing cup games and a game or two in the EPL he’ll be fine. Bravo played 17 matches for Man City, if Zach plays 17 that’s plenty to stay sharp.

    • But does City want to keep him? They may decide to cut him loose because of all his injuries. Steffen is good enough that he could probably get a job at a decent club, the issue is whether he can stay healthy.

      • That’s a good question Bravo’s contract expires at the end of the season and Scott Carson’s loan expires then as well (hasn’t played in EPL since 2011). That leaves Muric who got benched at Forest after September gave up 9 goals in 5 matches (5 of those in league cup against Arsenal probably not all his fault). I guess we’ll see if City brings in another older experienced keeper, if they do that Steffen is probably moving. Playing 10-15 matches next season might also be good for Zach’s knees.

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