Welcome back! For more of an intro and context, check back in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Again, I will be looking at each players’ minutes, games played, assists, and goals (mostly all available at https://fbref.com/en/ with some help from https://www.transfermarkt.us/). I didn’t include stats for youth players or if I couldn’t find them. Here in Part 3, we will be examining the top USMNT players in Europe.
Reminders: I narrowed my focus to just players in Europe. Sorry Johnny Cardoso fans. Also if you don’t see a name in their expected section, keep scrolling, as there are some special sections throughout, or go back and check Part 1 (where all the players who left Europe can be found) Part 2 and (where the undeclared dual-nationals are) and Part 3 (where older players like Ream are as well as recent transfers from MLS like Reynolds).
These tiers are *supposed* to be in order from worst-to-best and for this part they probably are! Within each section I listed the players in order from most-to-least interesting. Overall this is kind of a “who is the best player in a vacuum” ranking while also being a “who had the best season” ranking. So, like, don’t take it too seriously? I don’t know I just do this for fun.
Penultimate Leagues (Ranked 6-10 by UEFA; Portugal, Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria)
- Matt Miazga**, 25 (Anderlecht loaned from Chelsea; 33 apps, 2890 mins, 1 goal, 1 assist)
- Reggie Cannon**, 22 (Boavista; 33 apps, 2727 mins, 1 assist)
- Luca de la Torre**, 22 (Heracles Almelo; 32 apps, 2379, 1 goal, 2 assists)
- Chris Durkin, 20 (Sint-Truiden; 30 apps, 2116 mins, 1 goal, 3 assists)
- Erik Palmer Brown, 23 (Austira Vien, loaned from Man City; 29 apps, 2610 mins)
- Taylor Booth, 19 (St. Polten, loaned from Bayern Munich II; 15 apps, 999 mins, 3 goals, 2 assists)
- Ethan Horvath**, 25 (Club Brugge; 4 apps, 360 mins, 0 clean sheets)
- Joe Efford, 24 (Waasland Beveren; 28 apps, 1289 mins, 2 goals, 5 assists)
- Desevio Payne, 25 (FC Emmen; 2 apps, 32 mins)
These leagues are mostly better than MLS as they are the leagues younger MLS players tend to move-on to (e.g. Miazga, Cannon, Durkin, and EPB; Plus McKenzie, Aaronson, et al. who were in the last section). Miazga and EPB continue their never-ending loan sagas. Reggie Cannon barely avoided relegation with Boavista. There are rumors that the big teams in Portugal are eyeing him for a move. Luca de la Torre had a breakout season with Heracles and impressed in some USMNT cameos in March. Durkin quietly got over 2000 minutes in a solid league, at a young age. I’m surprised more people aren’t asking for him to get a look with the national team. Ethan Horvath needs to move somewhere where he is going to get playing time. Hopefully his good USMNT shift against the Swiss helps. Taylor Booth made a little noise with some goals and assists in limited minutes. Also quite young, Booth is a name remember. I literally never heard of Joe Efford before writing this series of articles and I don’t know what to think about him. I mean he is older but not *that* much older.
Good Situation, Small Sample Size
- Zack Steffen**, 25 (Manchester City; 12 apps, 1080 mins, 6 clean sheets)
- Konrad de la Fuente**, 19 (Barcelona; 3 apps, 39 mins)
- Owen Otasowie**, 19 (Wolverhampton; 6 apps, 187 mins, 1 assist)
These three guys made a dozen appearances or less but they are on good teams who play in a Top 5 League. If you told me last summer Steffen would get 12 appearances for Man City, I would have happily taken that. I was expecting him to get half of that. Konrad rode Barca’s bench (over 20 times this season) and rocked it for Barca B. I hope he gets a loan or sale somewhere else this summer if he is not in the first team plans next year. Rumors have it that Barca are willing to sell, especially considering their financial troubles. Similarly, Otasowie was regularly on Wolves’ bench but got selected slightly more often than Konrad did for Barca. Otasowie could also use a loan move if he is not going to be in Wolves’ regular rotation. There’s an argument Steffen is in the same boat, and could use a loan move. Personally, I’m a little more on the fence about whether Steffen should move or stay put next year. Eventually he has to get more playing time though.
Top 5 League (England, Spain, Germany, France, or Italy)
- Gio Reyna**, 18 (Dortmund; 46 apps, 2693 mins, 7 goals 6 assists)
- Christian Pulisic**, 22 (Chelsea; 43 apps, 2458 mins, 6 goals, 4 assists)
- Weston McKennie**, 22 (Juventus; 46 apps, 2406 mins, 6 goals, 3 assists)
- John Brooks**, 28 (Wolfsburg; 34 apps, 2954 mins, 2 goals)
- Tyler Adams**, 21 (RB Leipzig; 37 apps, 2423 mins, 1 goal, 1 assist)
- Sergino Dest**, 20 (Barcelona; 41 apps, 2715 mins, 3 goals, 1 assist)
- Josh Sargent**, 20 (Werder Bremen; 37 apps, 2962 mins, 7 goals 3 assists)
- Yunus Musah**, 18 (Valencia; 35 apps, 1642 mins, 2 goals)
- Tim Weah**, 20 (Lille; 37 apps, 1360 mins, 5 goals 1 asisst)
- Chris Richards**, 20 (Hoffenheim, loaned from Bayern Munich; 13 apps, 1124 mins, 1 assist)
- Antonee Robinson**, 23 (Fulham; 32 apps, 2462 mins)
- Matthew Hoppe, 19 (Schalke; 24 apps, 1419 mins, 6 goals, 1 assist)
This group is exciting to say the least. First, I am somewhat shocked at how many more games high-level players play. Since this article is all about the stats, I put Reyna on top, as he had the best statistical season of any of these players. You could make an argument that any of the top 6 players was the best American in Europe this season. Tyler Adams played more minutes for Leipzig this year than he did in his best season with RBNY. He is low key one of the best young midfielders in the Bundesliga and not many are talking about it. Brooks led one of the best defenses in the Bundesliga and secured a Champions League birth for next year. Wes surpassed everyone’s expectations at Juventus. Dest played alongside Messi for a full season. Pulisic contributed to a Champions League winning run. As for the bottom half, these guys are still exciting, they simply received fewer minutes, or played on worse teams. Any one of them could break out next year and have a big year, except Robinson and Hoppe assuming they stay on their relegated teams (not necessarily a safe assumption as there are rumors that both are moving). Hoppe had the best goals + assist per 90 of any teenager in the Bundesliga (Reyna was 4th best). Weah was a rotational player for Ligue 1 champions Lille. More importantly, Weah was healthy the whole season. Richards received his first regular professional minutes with Hoffenheim and impressed. Musah was in the rotation for a mid-table team and it was his first ever professional season. For every player here, except maybe John Brooks, the sky is the limit right now. It will be extremely exciting to see them all develop in the years to come.
Thanks for reading! Feel like someone was missing? go back and check out my first two parts as there were some special categories where players may have been placed. Have any questions or qualms with how I organized this? Then leave a comment below or yell at me on Twitter @BeardedJack!