May’s European schedule heads into its final days with several American players seeking a quick turnaround to avoid relegation from their respective divisions.
European sides such as Leeds United, Valencia, Celta Vigo, and Dundee United are in danger of falling out of their respective leagues this spring, with several U.S. men’s national team players and eligible prospects that could be pondering their next moves at club level.
Current USMNT players Ricardo Pepi and Erik Palmer-Brown have already suffered relegation with their clubs, albeit could be on the move this summer.
Yunus Musah as remained a first-team regular for Valencia during the La Liga season, but the Spanish club is in a worrying moment heading into their final two matches. Valencia is outside of the La Liga relegation zone, but only by two points with two matches to play.
The English Premier League concludes this weekend with three teams fighting for one place above the drop zone. Leeds United remains right in the middle of it, needing a home win on Sunday to have chance of avoiding the drop. Weston McKennie and Brenden Aaronson remain healthy heading into Sunday’s final match vs. Tottenham.
Luca De La Torre and Ian Harkes are also in major trouble with their respective clubs, as De La Torre has two matches remaining and Harkes has one in league play.
Here is a closer look at players who are in the middle of a relegation fight:
Yunus Musah, Valencia
Valencia’s La Liga campaign began with high aspirations under Gennaro Gattuso, but has since spiraled out of play in 2023.
Musah has logged 32 appearances for the Spanish club this season, registering two assists, but Valencia has struggled for consistency throughout it. The 20-year-old missed Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Mallorca due to suspension, but should be back available for final matches against Espanyol and Real Betis.
Valencia has earned four wins from its past seven matches, but is only two points clear of the bottom three.
Weston McKennie, Leeds United
Weston McKennie’s long-term future with Leeds United remains unlikely, but the American midfielder will do everything he can to help keep the historic club in the Premier League.
Leeds United sits in 19th place, needing a victory on Sunday vs. Tottenham to have any chance of avoiding the drop. McKennie arrived on loan and since has made 18 league appearances for the club.
With fellow American midfielder Tyler Adams continuing to be sidelined, McKennie will be expected to lay it all on the line at Elland Road this weekend.
Brenden Aaronson, Leeds United
If Leeds United wants to avoid the drop, Brenden Aaronson might need an opportunity in Sam Allardyce’s starting lineup.
Brenden Aaronson has only tallied one goal in his debut EPL campaign, while also adding three assists in 35 league appearances. The 22-year-old was sidelined for parts of the winter, but returned prior to the March international window before joining up with the USMNT.
Aaronson has been reduced to 41 minutes off the bench in May, but could be called on due to his aggressive off-the-ball pressing.
Luca De La Torre, Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo joins Valencia and several others in the La Liga relegation fight with two matches to play.
Luca De La Torre has made 26 league appearances this season, registering two assists. The 25-year-old registered 165 minutes during the month of May so far and could be called on to start in final matches against Cadiz and Barcelona.
Celta Vigo sits two points clear of the bottom three despite winning only one of its last 10 matches.
George Bello, Arminia Bielefeld
Arminia Bielefeld suffered Bundesliga relegation last May and very well could drop to the German third-tier by weekend’s end.
George Bello has been in-and-out of the squad this season, totaling 20 appearances in the 2. Bundesliga. The former Atlanta United homegrown suffered a frustrating start to his life in Germany last season and will do everything he can to help Arminia Bielefeld avoid a second-consecutive relegation.
Arminia Bielefeld sits 16th in the 18-team table, needing a victory over Magdeburg on Sunday to avoid a trip to the relegation/promotion playoffs.
Ian Harkes, Dundee United
Dundee United enjoyed plenty of success in its return to the Scottish Premiership last season, but the 2022-23 campaign has gone drastically different.
The Tangerines head into the final day of the league season, needing three points on the road at Motherwell to have any chance of avoiding an immediate drop to the second-tier. Veteran midfielder Ian Harkes signed a one-year deal last summer to stay at Tannadice Park, but might not return pending the status of the club’s future.
Harkes, 28, has made 30 league appearances, scoring two goals and adding three assists. After suffering four-straight defeats, things aren’t looking promising for Jim Goodwin’s squad.
Which of these American players do you think will help lead their club to survival? Who do you see making a transfer this summer?
Share your thoughts below.
Have to say many of the USMNT players arent making any impact for their respective clubs. A bit disheartening.
I get a feeling McKennie is playing like a player that knows he is going back to Juve on the summer. Leeds have already said even if they stay up it is unlikely they purchase McKennie.