Managerial changes have continued to occur across Europe as we head into the summer months and for several American players, the challenge for playing time will be made more difficult by the added task of impressing a new boss.
Yunus Musah and Joe Scally are among the American players that will form new player-manager relationships with new coaches being hired so far this offseason. The are among the key names on a list that should grow longer as more transfers and loans are completed, with Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and
Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna will be reunited with former managers, adding a new sense of familiarity ahead of their new seasons.
Here is a closer look at some of the Americans Abroad players who will have new managers heading into the 2022-23 season:
Yunus Musah – Gennaro Gattuso (Valencia)
Gennaro Gattuso takes over at Valencia, having most recently served as manager for Napoli. Musah continued to be a first-team regular in La Liga last season, while also delivering key goals in Valencia’s Copa Del Rey run. Musah spent part of his childhood living in Italy so communicating with his new boss shouldn’t be a problem, though the expected departure of several key players at Valencia could make for a difficult season for Musah and Gattuso.
Gio Reyna – Edin Terzic (Borussia Dortmund)
Gio Reyna is back in the swing of things for Borussia Dortmund and the USMNT attacker will work once again under a familiar face in Germany this season. Edin Terzic was rehired by Dortmund this summer, with both parties hoping for success in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League. Injuries have plagued Reyna’s last 12 months at Dortmund, but with Terzic returning to the fold, the 19-year-old will be in good hands as he aims to get back to his best.
Brenden Aaronson – Jesse Marsch (Leeds United)
Brenden Aaronson and Jesse Marsch have reunited in Europe this summer, this time preparing for a successful season at Leeds United. Marsch has remained the manager of the Yorkshire club after leading Leeds United to league survival last May. Aaronson enjoyed a strong campaign for Red Bull Salzburg and now aims to make a major splash in the English Premier League. Marsch gave Aaronson his first taste of European action in 2020 and now has a lively attacking midfielder to add to the mix at Elland Road this season.
Ricardo Pepi – Enrico Maaben (Augsburg)
German manager Enrico Maaben takes over at FC Augsburg, aiming to get the best out of the Bundesliga club this season. Ricardo Pepi endured a tough period in Germany following his transfer from FC Dallas, but now has a new manager to learn from in hopes of reviving his standing within the USMNT and Augsburg attacking corps.
Pepi will hope that a strong relationship with Maaben helps him get his career back on track after a frustrating six months in Augsburg last season.
Joe Scally – Daniel Farke (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Daniel Farke has experience working with a pair of American attackers in Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent, but now has his first defender to coach in Joe Scally. Scally rose to the occasion in his debut Bundesliga campaign last year, totaling 30 league appearances, one goal, and two assists.
The 19-year-old fullback showed off his versatility for Borussia Moenchengladbach last season and now enters Farke’s squad as the German aims for better success in his return to his home country.
Richard Ledezma – Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV)
Richard Ledezma ended last season on a positive note with PSV’s first team and now the American attacker has a familiar face taking over as manager. Ruud Van Nistelrooy takes over as first-team manager following his work with Jong PSV last season, giving the former Dutch legend a chance to work again with Ledezma.
The 21-year-old Ledezma scored one goal and one assist in seven appearances with Jong PSV, showing promising moments before a knee injury hampered his playing time.
Kevin Paredes – Niko Kovac (Wolfsburg)
Niko Kovac handed Alphonso Davies his first-team debut while manager of Bayern Munich and now has a new Concacaf-based left back to develop. Kevin Paredes made his Bundesliga debut last season for Wolfsburg and now is knocking on the door to grab a larger role in Kovac’s first season in charge this fall.
The 19-year-old shows similar attributes to Davies in terms of pace, skillfulness, and attacking abilities, but now needs to round out his game in order to be a regular first-team player.
Jordan Pefok – Raphael Wicky (Young Boys)
Jordan Pefok enjoyed his best European season yet for Young Boys, winning the Golden Boot for the first team in his career. Pefok was one of the few bright spots in the Young Boys squad during a disappointing season that led to the dismissal of American manager David Wagner.
The USMNT forward will now work under former U.S. Under-17 men’s national team head coach Raphael Wicky, who has experience coaching other USMNT talents such as Gio Reyna, Sergino Dest, and Ricardo Pepi. Wicky’s attacking style of play should suit Pefok nicely as the 26-year-old aims to set new career-highs this season.
George Bello – UIrich Forte (Arminia Bielefeld)
George Bello’s first season with Arminia Bielefeld ended in Bundesliga relegation, but with a new manager at the helm, the former Atlanta United defender will hope for a new chance to impress.
Ulrich Forte was hired this spring, giving the Switzerland manager his first opportunity in Germany. The 48-year-old previously served as manager of Young Boys, FC Zurich, and Grasshopper, but has a new challenge of getting Arminia Bielefeld back in the German top-flight. Bello totaled 10 appearances since arriving from MLS and will look to build on that in the German second division.
Ian Harkes – Jack Ross (Dundee United)
Jack Ross has lived and breathed the Scottish Premiership for most of his life and now takes over at Dundee United for his next project. Ian Harkes was one of the top players for Tangerines last year before an injury sidelined him for the final month.
Harkes has logged 87 appearances for Dundee United in all competitions, being a gritty leader in the heart of the Tangerines midfield. Ross has SPFL managerial experience following spells at Hibernian and St. Mirren, giving Harkes an experienced coach to learn from.
Sam Vines – Mark Van Bommel (Royal Antwerp)
Sam Vines took major strides in his first European season at Royal Antwerp and will now learn from one of the top defensive midfielders of his generation. Mark Van Bommel takes over at Royal Antwerp following his four-month stay at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
Van Bommel logged over 500 career appearances as a player, featuring for Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and PSV. The former Dutch international will now aim to get his managerial career back on track by leading Royal Antwerp in domestic and European competitions. Working with Van Bommel is a great experience for Vines that not many young players might have the chance to have in their careers.
Mark McKenzie – Wouter Vrancken (Genk)
Mark McKenzie was in-and-out of Genk’s lineup last season, but now has a new manager to try and impress this season. Wouter Vrancken has spent his entire playing and managerial career in his native Belgium, previously coaching Mechelen, Kortrijk, and Lommel. McKenzie showed promising moments during his second season with Genk and could force his way into Vrancken’s starting lineup with the new head coach aiming for European and domestic success.