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Wright, Sargent, Pulisic headline SBI’s Americans Abroad Best XI for 2023-24

As the Americans Abroad contingent continued to grow in Europe over the past season, many players excelled at club level and took their roles to new heights in 2023-24.

From Christian Pulisic’s impressive first Serie A campaign to Haji Wright’s productive season with Coventry City and Malik Tillman’s stellar loan spell with PSV, there was plenty for American soccer fans to be excited about heading into a busy international summer schedule.

Weston McKennie answered the call in his return to Juventus while Chris Richards took a major step forward in his development.

Gabriel Slonina made the most appearances among USMNT goalkeepers in Europe this season, setting himself up for a tougher challenge next season.

Here is a closer look at SBI’s Best XI for the past international season:

**This post will be updated with final statistics for the European season when it concludes.

2023-24 SBI Americans Abroad Best XI

Gabriel Slonina, Eupen

Gabriel Slonina entered the 2023-24 campaign needing to play regularly to help his overall development and the U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper did just that in Belgium.

Slonina, 19, registered five clean sheets in 34 combined appearances this season for Eupen. Despite the club’s consistent struggles and eventual relegation to the second-tier, Slonina was one of the lone bright spots in their season.

Now Slonina prepares for potential Olympic involvement and a new challenge at club level next season.

Sergino Dest, PSV

PSV ended the 2023-24 campaign as Eredivisie champions and Sergino Dest was a major reason for their success.

Dest logged over 3,100 minutes in 37 combined appearances for PSV, scoring two goals and adding seven assists. The USMNT full back mainly featured on the left side of Peter Bosz’s squad, delivering a stellar loan spell from Barcelona.

Despite suffering a torn ACL this spring, Dest was one of the bright spots in the PSV squad and will hope to carry that confidence into next year.

Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Joe Scally excelled for the Bundesliga side, featuring on both sides of the backline and playing a consistent role in the squad.

Auston Trusty, Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s forgettable English Premier League campaign shouldn’t take away from Auston Trusty’s impact at the club.

Trusty was a consistent starter for the Blades this season, logging 32 league appearances and totaling over 2,500 minutes. After transferring from Arsenal last summer, Trusty jumped right into the squad and rarely lost his place under two different managers.

Whether or not Trusty stays with Sheffield United in the Championship remains to be seen, but if he does, he has a strong chance of remaining a starter next campaign.

Chris Richards, Crystal Palace

Chris Richards took a major step forward in his role with Crystal Palace this season.

The 24-year-old centerback featured as both a defender and defensive midfielder in the Eagles squad. Richards made 26 appearances for the South London club, scoring his first Premier League goal and also adding his first assist.

Richards retained his spot following Oliver Glasner’s arrival at Selhurst Park and has a strong chance of staying a key player in the squad for 2024-25.

Cameron Carter-Vickers might’ve been in-and-out of the Celtic squad this season, but he’s remained a consistent starter when healthy for the eventual Scottish Premiership winners.

Antonee Robinson, Fulham

A career-best year for Antonee Robinson earned him a spot in this season’s Best XI.

Robinson missed just one Premier League match for Fulham this season, registering six assists, and being a strong two-way player for the Cottagers. Despite interest from both Manchester City and Liverpool, Robinson committed his long-term future to the club and remains one of the consistent starters at his position among Premier League left backs.

Domestic and European interest will likely come once again this summer but expect Robinson to stay in London going forward.

Kristoffer Lund‘s impressive first season with Palermo didn’t go un-noticed as the USMNT defender helped them earn a spot in the Serie B promotion playoffs.

Tanner Tessmann, Venezia

One of the more consistent midfielders in Italy’s Serie B division, Tanner Tessmann will be one to watch this summer.

Tessmann scored six goals and added three assists in 38 league appearances for Venezia. The former FC Dallas homegrown featured often for the third-place finishers, teaming up with fellow American Gianluca Busio on a regular basis.

Should Venezia not earn promotion via the playoffs, Tessmann could be on the radar for a jump to a Top 5 league this summer.

Gianluca Busio also impressed for Venezia, netting seven goals and adding four assists alongside Tessmann. He was an Honorable Mention for this spot.

Weston McKennie, Juventus

Weston McKennie returned to Juventus last summer with plenty of questions to answer and the USMNT star did just that this season.

McKennie registered 10 assists in all competitions, making 38 combined appearances. The 25-year-old showed off his versatility, featuring in midfield, and as a wing back at times.

Juventus lifted the Coppa Italia trophy midweek and will now seek a positive ending to the Serie A season over the next two weeks.

Johnny Cardoso‘s impact with both Internacional and Real Betis earned him an Honorable Mention shout this season.

Malik Tillman, PSV

A second-straight loan spell for Malik Tillman earned him a permanent move to Dutch side PSV.

Tillman totaled nine goals and 15 assists in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions, excelling in Peter Bosz’s squad. Despite signing a contract extension with Bayern Munich last summer, Tillman’s productive loan spell earned him a transfer to Holland permanently.

The 21-year-old can still grow his game even more and Tillman will certainly aim for that this summer with the USMNT.

Griffin Yow delivered in so many levels for Belgian side Westerlo this season. Yow, 21, scored seven goals and added seven assists this season, taking a huge step forward in his development.

Christian Pulisic, AC Milan

Christian Pulisic’s permanent move to AC Milan brought immediate pressure on the USMNT star and the creative attacker answered the call in a big way.

Pulisic totaled 16 goals and nine assists in 50 combined appearances for the Rossoneri, making an immediate impact in the squad. AC Milan did not walk away with a trophy in 2023-24, but Pulisic did help Stefano Pioli’s squad clinch a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Up next is two final league matches before USMNT involvement at the Copa America.

Emmanuel Sabbi‘s jump to his biggest challenge yet featured many impressive moments in Ligue 1. Sabbi totaled five goals and one assist for Le Havre, being a creative spark in the final third.

Haji Wright, Coventry City

Haji Wright entered the season with plenty of questions coming his way and the American forward certainly answered them in style.

Wright was tied for the club lead at Coventry City with 19 goals scored across all competitions. While many players would’ve had a rough transition to the English game, Wright flourished in Mark Robins’ squad, helping the Sky Blues reach the FA Cup Semifinals and finish in the top half of the EFL Championship.

Wright’s productive season saw him return to the USMNT squad and lift a CONCACAF Nations League title.

Ricardo Pepi scored nine goals for PSV despite being a substitute for most of his appearances this season. Pepi will fight for a starting role next season as PSV returns to the Champions League and aims for domestic dominance in Holland.

Josh Sargent, Norwich City

Josh Sargent might have missed three months this season but it didn’t stop him from setting new career-highs with Norwich City.

Sargent scored 16 goals for the Canaries in 30 combined appearances, helping David Wagner’s men reach the EFL Championship promotion playoffs. His 2024 form alone should have him in the USMNT conversation this summer for the Copa America.

Sargent will certainly be on the radar of several clubs this summer after registering back-to-back campaigns with double-digit goals.

Alex Zendejas registered double-digit goals for the second-straight season, continuing his impactful run with Club America. Zendejas totaled 15 goals and eight assists in 50 combined appearances.

What do you think of the Americans Abroad Best XI? Who are you happy to see included? Who did we leave out that you feel deserved a place?

Share your thoughts below.


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