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Pulisic, Steffen headline American contingent in England


The English domestic season kicks off this weekend with several U.S. Men’s National Team players, and aspiring USMNT prospects, gearing up for another campaign.

Christian Pulisic remains the key USMNT face in England after a sensational debut season with Chelsea. Joining him in the EPL this season is Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin, and Fulham’s duo of Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson.

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga are two young defenders whom will be looking for minutes, whether that is with their parent clubs, or with another team. Both players could be on their way out on loans in the coming weeks, in hopes of remaining relevant on the domestic and international stage.

Several other American players are also on the watch list this season including Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch, Derby County’s Duane Holmes, and Rotherham United’s Matthew Olosunde.

Here’s a closer look at the American contingent in England:

English Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea

Pulisic heads into his second season with Frank Lampard’s side, but will face more competition for minutes due to several summer arrivals. Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, and Timo Werner arrived in London, giving Lampard even more young talent to choose from this season.

Pulisic ended the season on a high note, despite leaving the FA Cup Final loss due to an injury. The 22-year-old excelled in several areas last season and will be one player that many Premier League sides will have their eyes on to try and limit.

Zack Steffen, Manchester City

Zack Steffen returns to Manchester City after a loan spell in the Bundesliga trying to stay with the EPL side long term. Steffen grabbed the No. 1 job with Fortuna Dusseldorf and did his best to help the club remain in the top flight, but ultimately dealt with injuries from December onwards.

Steffen should see ample opportunities in Pep Guardiola’s side this season due to Claudio Bravo’s exit. With Ederson likely to start in the EPL and UEFA Champions League, Steffen could see chances in domestic cup competitions to start, a good opportunity to impress Guardiola and his new teammates, whom will certainly be fighting for silverware.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United

Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin is still undecided on his future with Newcastle United despite being with the club for several seasons now. Yedlin had been linked with staying in Wearside, but is also reportedly on the radar of Turkish giants Besiktas.

Yedlin, 27, has been a good servant for the Magpies, fighting for consistent minutes in Steve Bruce’s side. However, injuries hampered Yedlin’s most recent season, ultimately leading to his name being mentioned with a move away. Newcastle United may have a decision to make on Yedlin in the coming weeks, should he want to leave the club.

Tim Ream, Fulham

Fulham is back in the top flight after one season in the Championship and veteran centerback Tim Ream is a main reason for that. Ream played in over 45 matches for the London club last season, helping them win the promotion playoff final over rivals Brentford this summer.

Despite being 32-years-old, Ream still provides leadership in Fulham’s backline and has stayed healthy to play every match possible. With the club aiming to stay up for a lengthy period of time, Scott Parker will rely on Ream  to lead by example and help Fulham make an early splash this season.

Antonee Robinson, Fulham

One of the more intriguing prospects for the USMNT, Antonee Robinson should have the opportunity to earn Premier League minutes this season. Robinson made the move to Fulham from Wigan Athletic this summer and will fight with fellow left back Joe Bryan for the starting role in Parker’s squad.

Robinson, 23, excelled in the Championship last season for the Latics, ultimately earning him a move to Fulham. Sheffield United, AC Milan, West Ham United, and West Bromwich Albion were also in the mix for Robinson’s services, but a move to Fulham could be a major benefit for Robinson to learn under a former pro in Parker.

Indiana Vassilev, Aston Villa

19-year-old Indiana Vassilev got a small taste of first team action with Aston Villa this season, but may not be as lucky in 2020-21′. Vassilev only earned 47 minutes in Premier League play and may be sent out on loan in order to develop his game elsewhere.

A U.S. U-20 and U-23 prospect, Vassilev excelled with Villa’s U-23 team, but could find it tough beating out other proven professionals in Dean Smith’s attack. If he doesn’t head out on loan this fall, Vassilev may see more minutes with the U-23 side again in order to stay close to the first team.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tottenham

Cameron Carter-Vickers heads into the final season of his current contract with Tottenham looking to make the most of it. Carter-Vickers has yet to make his professional debut for Spurs, but is coming off an impressive loan spell with Luton Town.

Carter-Vickers helped the Hatters fight off relegation from the EFL Championship and was linked with a possible move back to the club on a permanent deal. The 22-year-old centerback may stay with Jose Mourinho’s team this season, but a loan move would see Carter-Vickers earn important minutes rather than sitting behind Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez in London.

Matt Miazga, Chelsea

Matt Miazga falls into the same boat as Carter-Vickers with other defenders ahead of him in the pecking order at Chelsea. Miazga’s loan with Reading came to a disappointing ending, despite the defender finishing with 24 combined appearances for the club last season.

Miazga, 25, still has two years remaining on his contract at Chelsea, but may need a move away in order to continue his growth as a professional player. It seems likely he will head out on loan this season, but it is undetermined if he stays in the EPL or drops back into the Championship.

Owen Otasowie, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Another possible loanee this season could be 19-year-old Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Owen Otasowie. Otasowie impressed with Wolves’ Under-18 team over the past few seasons and even made his senior debut in the UEFA Europa League last campaign.

Several lower league English sides have been linked with Otasowie on a loan deal and would make sense for both parties with the midfielder unlikely to feature in Nuno Espirito Santo’s first team just yet on regular basis.

EFL Championship

Duane Holmes, Derby County

One of the more exciting USMNT prospects will be looking to lead Derby County to promotion this season.

Duane Holmes heads into his third season with the Rams, but also the final year of his current deal with the club. Holmes has recorded five goals and seven assists in 85 league appearances to date, which has attracted USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter in the past.

With another opportunity to work with England legend Wayne Rooney, Holmes very well could play a bigger role in Philip Cocu’s side this season.

Geoff Cameron, QPR

QPR is aiming to get back to the bright lights of the EPL and Geoff Cameron will hope to help them achieve that goal. Cameron, 35, signed a one-year deal earlier this summer to stay with Rangers, providing a veteran boost in Mark Warburton’s side.

Cameron totaled 37 appearances for QPR last season, continuing to play at a high level at club level. His versatility has also been on display for Rangers, featuring as a centerback and defensive midfielder. After finishing well behind the playoff places, QPR will be aiming to reach the top six and get back to England’s top flight.

Matthew Olosunde, Rotherham United

Rotherham United seeks a permanent stay in the EFL Championship after earning promotion despite a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Manchester United academy player Matthew Olosunde jumped right into Paul Warne’s defensive corps last season and will look to do more of the same this season.

Olosunde, 22, made 37 combined appearances for the Millers in League One, registering four assists. A step up in competition might play a major boost in Olosunde’s development as a professional player and possibly get him back on the radar of the USMNT.

Giles Phillips, Wycombe Wanderers

Giles Phillips returns to Wycombe Wanderers on loan for the upcoming season after featuring for the club in its promotion from League One. The QPR loanee made 16 combined appearances for Wanderers last season, featuring in every position in the backline.

The Chicago native might face stiff competition for a starting role this season, but should get more of an opportunity to play at Wycombe than at QPR.

Niko Hamalainen, QPR

Niko Hamalainen heads into the final season of his contract at QPR looking to make a splash in order to earn himself a new one. The Finnish-American left back spent last season on loan with Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock  earning regular minutes.

Hamalainen has yet to truly make an impact at QPR and could find it tough to start for the Championship side this time around as well. With his current contract set to expire in June 2021, Hamalainen could be loaned out again if Rangers have other ideas for left back.

League One

Lynden Gooch, Sunderland

Lynden Gooch was Sunderland’s best player last season and the 24-year-old will aim to reach that mark once again this time around.

Gooch registered a career-high 10 goals for the Black Cats as well as two assists, but the club fell short of promotion back to the Championship. Now a seasoned veteran with the club, Gooch will look to get back on the radar of the USMNT while also continuing his development as a top winger abroad.

Marlon Fossey, Shrewsbury Town

Fulham loanee Marlon Fossey made his professional debut this past weekend at Shrewsbury Town despite an EFL Cup first round loss to Middlesbrough. Fossey, 22, has yet to fully crack Fulham’s first team, but is an exciting talent and will get the chance to earn minutes in League One.

A versatile left back, Fossey is eligible for both the U.S. U-20 and U-23 National Teams and could be called in more often with a strong season abroad.

League Two

Charlie Kelman, Southend United

The lone American player in League Two this season, Charlie Kelman was one of Southend United’s top performers despite a disappointing end of the season. The Shrimpers suffered relegation to League Two, but Kelman played a bigger role in his second senior season.

Kelman will get chances with the club once again this season as they try to bounce back to League One, but has also been on the radar of Premier League side Tottenham. Should he impress in the first half of the domestic season, Kelman could make a move in the January Transfer Window in search for a better situation long term.


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