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Malik Tillman joins Rangers on season-long loan


Malik Tillman is still waiting for his opportunity with Bayern Munich’s first team, but for now will head to Scotland to gain consistent playing time.

Tillman has joined Scottish Premiership side Rangers on a season-long loan, the club announced Friday. His loan to Rangers will also include a permanent option to buy.

“I am very pleased to welcome Malik to our squad ahead of the 2022/23 season,” Rangers Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said. “He is an exciting young talent who will further add to our attacking options and myself and the coaching staff are looking forward to working with him.”

The 20-year-old debuted for Bayern’s first team in 2021-22 and went on to register seven appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal. Tillman excelled for Bayern’s U-17 and U-19 teams before mainly featuring with Bayern II over the past two seasons.

Tillman scored seven goals and registered four assists in 24 combined appearances for Bayern II in the 3. Liga and Regionalliga divisions.

A former German youth national team player, Tillman debuted for the U.S. men’s national team in June after filing a one-time international switch with FIFA. He totaled 73 minutes of action between a 3-0 friendly win over Morocco and a 5-0 Nations League victory over Grenada.

Tillman’s arrival at Ibrox Stadium pairs him up with fellow USMNT player James Sands, who remains on loan from New York City FC.

Rangers finished second in the Scottish Premiership last season and also reached the UEFA Europa League Final before losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in the final last May.


  1. Nice, it will be cool if he and Sands, whom has months left at Rangers could build. a little chemistry while they are both there.

  2. This is a really good move for all the reasons listed above. I hope that the physicality AND speed of play will help him process the game faster and increase situational awareness. It will also toughen him up. My only worry is that he can easily get hurt playing in that league. Sometimes it can be Murder Ball more than Football out there.

  3. I think there are about 6-8 spots that will be decided based on club form. In SPL, Tillman will mostly play against players that are not as good as players US will face in Group play ( and hopefully beyond). Is the league good enough for good club performances to earn him a spot? He probably would have to show really well against Celtic I’m guessing.

    • “Is the league good enough for good club performances to earn him a spot? ”

      Rangers play in Europe and play Celtic. They mostly dominate the rest of the SPL.

      FC Salzburg play in Europe and have no equivalent to Celtic in their League. They pound the snot out of the rest of their league.

      If you look at the UEFA coefficient the SPL and the Austrian BL are right next to each other.

      Yet none of you are/were worried about whether the Austrian BL was ” good enough for good club performances to earn him a spot? ” referring to Brenden.

      As long as Malik plays enough and does well this is a good move for his club and country future.

      • V – Brendan has a history of good performances for the national team; Tillman doesn’t. How many competitive games will he play before Gregg has to pick the final roster for World Cup? Probably not many. Totally different circumstamces. Aaronson can sit in the bench for Leeds and will still make the WC roster.

      • Tele and Vacqui: Brenden didn’t have a history of good NT performances before playing in Austria though. The reason no one was worried if the Austrian Bundesliga was good enough for BA was because most people didn’t think he was close to being a regular NT player. 20 yr old Aaronson had 7g and 5a in two full MLS seasons in which he was a regular starter primarily as a #10. Even his 1g 1a in his 2nd US cap wasn’t all that impressive compared to others in that match against a very lackluster ES squad kicking off Covid rust.
        I will say I don’t think the quality of play in Austria, Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark is necessarily better than MLS likely lower amongst teams in the bottom half of those leagues. What is different is the life. The pressure of walking into the grocery store and everyone knowing who you are and how you played Saturday. That is just doesn’t happen for most players in MLS. Also there’s usually more depth in those leagues. If Christian Roldan has a couple poor games he’s still starting because Josh Atencio isn’t going to take his spot. The drop to the 2nd and 3rd players on top teams in those leagues are just as good or close to as good as the first teamer. Most MLS teams drop off fairly quickly after the 14th or 15th player. Is being a regular for Rangers as good as a regular for Bayern for his development, of course not. But he should play and face the pressure of pleasing 50,000 screaming home fans.

      • Tele,

        “Brendan has a history of good performances for the national team; Tillman doesn’t. ”

        That’s true today.

        It wasn’t true when Brenden first moved to Salzburg.

        Which is the situation Malik is in right now. Context matters.

        And I mentioned nothing about the 2022 World Cup. I said it was good for his club and country future. Chances are that the 2022 WC roster is locked up, mostly.

        I will say though that if Malik plays forward for Rangers and sets he world on fire in the first part of the season, all bets are off.

        Regardless, as long as Malik plays well , it will be good for him either for 2022 or for the run up to 2026.

  4. The kid has talent…that was obvious in the limited minutes he played for the USMNT. But there was no chance he was going to break into the Bayern 1st team.
    What he needs now is to be playing consistently somewhere that will challenge him. The SPL may not be the most competitive league or my favorite place for US players, but Rangers & Celtic are good sides that do play in the Europa & Champions leagues….so there will still face some challenging competition. The physicality of the SPL will also give him a taste of what it’s like to play in CONCACAF…helping to prepare him for future games in Nations League, Gold Cup, etc..
    What he’ll learn in the SPL….to keep his head on a swivel, to think/react quickly to challenges. If he’s successful it’ll make him a better and more rounded player.

  5. Been hearing about this one in the works for a minute and I like it. Two things were obvious about Tillman watching him: 1) he was as physically talented, and had the touch and technically ability, that was better than or superior to any player in the US pool, and 2) he had a long way to go in terms of dialing up his pace-of-play. It was obvious he’d been playing in a third division. How fast he processed information, read the field, reacted to other players, and made the proper decision…that element just wasn’t there yet and while he was 20 you could also tell he’d lost that 18+ months due to an ACL tear. In terms of development he isn’t where a lot of our younger prodigious like Reyna are yet.

    Malik obviously needed an intermediate level somewhere between the B1 and the B3 before he was ready to move up…for that reason I was honestly wondering if a loan to MLS might work for him. Scotland’s not quite MLS but it’s a decent level and Rangers/Celtic would probably win MLS most years. Plus they speak English there – well, sorta, if you consider what the Scots speak to be “English” – and it’ll (well, again, kinda) integrate him into the English-speaking world.

    I think it’s a good level for him right now, and if he takes root there quickly (and he could), I think he could definitely help us somewhere in 2022. He looks like he could be anywhere up top – striker, winger, attacking mid.

    • I agree. I think Malik Tillman should look at the current USMNT needs and be like ok my best shot at making the 2022 team (if every player is healthy) is at striker. I would say he should ask Van Bronkhorst to play him at that position. Bayern Munich we’re already transitioning him to a striker role.

  6. Interesting move. How will he be utilized at Ranger? He can play in any attacking position. Hope he does great things there this season.


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