Americans abroad

2023/24 Year in review for Americans in Europe: the ups, the downs, and in-betweens

ASN's Brian Sciaretta walks you through the 2023/24 European season in great detail with a look at how every player fared and how it sets up 2024/25. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 28, 2024
8:00 AM

THE 2023/24 SEASON in Europe was a busy one for American players. As with any year, there were some real high points and some tough moments as well. We had Americans crowed champions, while some were relegated. Some were promoted and some qualified for European play.

Except for a few players in Spain’s Segunda and in Italy’s Serie B, the season is complete.

Here is a comprehensive year in review for most of the American players who played in the Fall-Spring seasons.


The Premier League


Six American players saw action in the Premier League this season. For two players, it was a good season. For the rest? It wasn’t great – at least not come the end of the season.

Chris Richards: Overall, this season was very good and very productive for him. For the first time in his career, he surpassed the 2000-minute mark at a first team level and he helped Crystal Palace finish the season red hot with six wins and a draw in their last seven games. This was good enough for a top 10 finish.

What makes the season even more impressive for Richards is that the season did not start off well. He wasn’t playing and many figured back in October and November that he needed a loan or a transfer in January. He stayed, he played, and he contributed.  The back half of the season was his most dependable, most consistent, and strongest stretch of his career. It will give him momentum now to start 2024/25.

Antonee Robinson: The best thing you can say about Robinson is the best thing you can say about any pro player: he is nearly automatic. When he starts, you know what you’re going to get from him. He’s easily a top half Premier League left back and his athleticism  really covers the left side of the field. His crossing could be better, but he brings a lot of value to Fulham.

Tim Ream: The USMNT central defender has aged very well, but he might be falling victim to Father Time. He was finally replaced in Fulham’s starting XI in January and he rarely played until the last game of the season. He’s still very respected at the club and in the league but he has one more year left on his deal. It seems unlikely that he is going to win back his starting job at this stage. Does he just remain as Fulham’s backup? Ream has had a great career, but the end of a career can be tough to manage. If he wants one last place to be a starter, it might require a move out of the Premier League.

Matt Turner: It was a brutal year for Turner as Nottingham Forest made two attempts to replace him as the starter. The first with buying Odysseas Vlachodimos was not successful. The second with acquiring Matz Sels was.  He made too many mistakes and that saw Forest determined to upgrade at keeper. It was a tough season and it’s going to be very difficult and unlikely for him to reclaim the starting job at Forest. But Forest probably doesn’t want to let him go either as they need a backup. It is a season that doesn’t set him up well for the future. It’s quite the opposite.

Gio Reyna: In the near future, Reyna’s loan to Nottingham Forest will be remembered as having accomplished nothing. He was playing more at Borussia Dortmund before his loan. He joined Forest and he didn’t help in the club’s successful relegation battle. Then while he was away, he saw Dortmund advance to the Champions League final. This loan managed to decrease his minutes and decrease his chance of playing in a Champions League final. The question becomes, no what? Does he return to Dortmund and play? Does he head on loan again? Does he seek a transfer? He is talented, but he now has played three straight seasons of less than 650 minutes. He cannot afford a fourth straight season of playing so little.

Auston Trusty: The Sheffield United central defender did well to get himself in the Premier League. His loan to Birmingham City from Arsenal in 2022/23 was productive but Birmingham City narrowly avoided relegation. That’s a big jump to join a newly promoted Premier League team. But Sheffield United likely knew survival in the Premier League was unlikely and Trusty was a step in preparing for the Championship. Still, there is a difference between being a club that is relegated and a club that conceded a modern-era worst 104 goals. He wasn’t the reason why the team’s defense was so bad, but he was part of it.

Now for Trusty, it becomes a question whether he can be a centerback who can help a Championship team push for promotion. It’s a realistic goal that could then open the door for a USMNT look (more than a team that bled goals in the Premier League).


The Bundesliga


It wasn’t a great year for Americans in the Bundesliga. The only American on a team who finished in the Champions League spots was Gio Reyna, and he spend the last six months on a loan to Nottingham Forest which backfired. He ended up playing less and missed out on a Champions League final. Who knows if he is in the plans at Dortmund for next season?

Paxten Aaronson, meanwhile, saw Eintracht Frankfurt finish in sixth while he was away on loan in the Eredivisie. But unlike Reyna, Aaronson improved his stock on his loan and will now return in a position to compete for more minutes.

Among the Americans who finished the year in the Bundesliga, the only players who finished the season in the top seven (for a European spot) are Timmy Chandler, who rarely plays anymore for Eintracht Frankfurt, and John Brooks, who won’t return to Hoffenheim and will become a free agent this summer.

Instead, most of the finishes were midtable.

Brenden Aaronson: It wasn’t always a smooth season for Aaronson but the truth is that he ended the season on a strong note. His rise essentially started when he was left off the USMNT roster for the Nations League in March. Then that weekend (March 16) he scored the winner and was MOTM in a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. He ended up making the USMNT roster as an injury replacement and then returned to Union Berlin and was very good the rest of the season. In the season’s final match day, he was again one of the best players on the field Union defeated Freiburg to climb out of the relegation playoff zone an into survival.


It wasn’t always positive, but it was far better for Aaronson to have a strong last two months of the season. Following the win over Freiburg, Union said farewell to Aaronson and that he would return to his parent club Leeds United, which will remain in the Championship next season. Helping Leeds in another promotional push might not be a bad situation, but it depends on their budget. A big factor to consider is that Leeds still has parachute payments and they have the need for players. The Championship season is 46 games, not including cups. If the club is seeking promotion, they're going to need a lot of capable players. 

It’s too bad that Aaronson won’t be able to continue his momentum with Union Berlin and will need to reestablish himself either with a different Leeds team to the one he left, or on another club. But he should be confident heading into the Copa America and the preseason, wherever it is.

Germany suits Aaronson well, but Leeds is so heavily invested in Aaronson that he might not be sold cheaply.

Lennard Maloney: The FC Heidenheim defensive midfielder has been one of the more surprising American players in Europe’s top leagues. Two years ago, he was struggling to find a club but since joining the club, he has helped them to promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time, and now an eighth-place finish in the Bundesliga – which was stunning given most pundits figured they were relegation fodder.

Despite being injured for a stretch towards the end of the season, Maloney played 2293 Bundesliga minutes. He is in the perfect situation at Hoffenheim. The club’s manager, Frank Schmidt has been there since 2007 when it was in the fifth tier. He is a club legend who is very well respected. Schmidt knows the limitations of the club and knows how to play to get the most out of the team.

Maloney is a limited player, he runs a lot but isn’t that fast. He’s big and physical, but he’s very defensive. He doesn’t get involved in the attack often and he doesn’t advance the ball often with progressive passing. That skillset isn’t going to fly with every coaches, but Schmidt knows how to make Maloney work. He fits well in a dedicated role that doesn’t exist with every team. Maloney struck gold landing at Heidenheim.

 Finishing eighth or higher again is unlikely, but under Schmidt, this team is a tough out and they should be favored to survive a relegation battle. Having Maloney helps.

The question then becomes whether Maloney can make it with the USMNT. He’s been called up twice but it will be harder as he didn’t make the Copa America and then after the Olympics, more central midfielders will be competing for spots. Maloney’s role at Heidenheim doesn’t really translate into the USMNT. But maybe next season, Maloney can show more development in his game with progressive passing and playing the ball into the attack.

Kevin Paredes: While a little inconsistent, Paredes took noticeable steps with his game at Wolfsburg this season as the club finished 12th. After making his debut at the tail end of 2021/22, Paredes played 512 minutes over 22 games and just 1 start in 2022/23. This past season, however, Paredes played 1428 minutes over 28 games and 15 starts. He took huge steps towards expanding his role with Wolfsburg. He finished with three goals as he rotated between wing and left wingback positions.

Paredes just turned 21 years old, and this past season was the type of jump and progress you want to see for a player of his age. He’s in a good place to see that role continue to expand next season. The issue for him, however, is settling into a position where he can truly master. Is he a wingback or a winger?

Meanwhile, U.S. fans should hope Wolfsburg release Paredes to the U.S. Olympic team. It would be a great opportunity for him and put him into a position to compete for an expanded role on the USMNT in the fall.

Joe Scally: The USMNT right back (and occasional backup left back) had his second straight season of starting 25 games for Borussia Monchengladbach. This season, he played 2237 minutes, which is just 14 minutes more than 2022/23. He finished the current season with a goal and four assists. While he played more right back than left back, his best form of the season came towards the end of the season when he shifted to the left side. His last four starts were at either left back or left wingback.

He also seemed to raise his game after the news of Sergino Dest’s serious knee injury. Knowing he now had a strong opportunity to start at the Copa America, Scally’s form noticeably improved at M’Gladbach.

The first 75% of the season was mixed for Scally. Local media reports were underwhelming. With any player, a good end to the season can help salvage the perception of the entire season.

Still just 21, Scally has played a lot. He’s an experienced Bundesliga player at a young age. The end to this past season gave him some momentum. Next season, he’ll need to show some growth. M’Gladbach finished the season in 14th place and just two points clear of the relegation playoff. They’re likely not happy with how the season went and will be looking to make changes.

Jordan Pefok: Also at Borussia Monchengladbach, Pefok scored five goals this season but went cold in the second half, scoring just once since the end of January. He was at the club on loan from Union Berlin and is now in a tricky spot. It is unlikely that M’Gladbach would want to exercise an option to buy but wouldn’t M’Gladbach take him back at an inexpensive price? Nothing had been announced yet. It seems unlikely that Union Berlin has Pefok in their plans either.

He's in a tricky spot and it’s tough to figure out where he’s wanted and what the asking price is for him?

John Brooks: The veteran central defender fell out of favor towards the end of the season at Hoffenheim and he made his last start on March 10. Hoffenheim played well down the stretch to qualify for the Conference League. This was the last year of his contract and now he’s a free agent. So, where is next? He’s not too old at 31 and he still has the most value in Germany. Aside from a disastrous brief run in Portugal, Brooks has only played in Germany. He’s been free to negotiate with clubs since January, so it’s interesting he hasn’t signed anywhere yet. But it comes down to his salary demands, the budget of clubs, and his willingness to leave Germany. It’s easy to see clubs from the U.S. or Turkey interested but he probably wants to stay at home.

Timmy Chandler: At 34, Chandler rarely plays anymore and he is probably looking towards his post playing career as Eintracht initially announced a few years ago his contract included a transition to coaching or front office work. But Chandler resigned for another year. He only made 6 appearances for 13 minutes this year. It’ll probably be the same next season.

Damion Downs: The German-American teenage forward made 10 appearances, all as a substitute for Koln and scored two goals in just 171 minutes. He has talent but is also raw. At times, he struggled to get the ball a lot and be involved. Koln’s relegation will send Downs to the 2.Bundesliga and he should be able to have some success there. The big question for Koln is whether he is the type of forward that Koln can trust to help take a bigger role in a promotional push? There will be pressure on Koln to bounce back up, and it remains to be seen how much of a budget they have to spend on attackers.

Internationally, Downs might be able to make an Olympic team push, but he probably emerged too late for that. But anything is possible. If he doesn’t make the Olympic team, he’s out of youth national team eligibility and he needs to crush it in the 2.Bundesliga to get into the USMNT picture.

Joel Imasuen: The 19 year old from Atlanta made just one brief cameo for Werder Bremen in March for stoppage time. He put up good numbers in the Oberliga and after the season signed a professional contract with Werder. Next season he should push for minutes off the bench.

Pellegrino Matarazzo: The American manager had done great work with Hoffenheim. When he took over last season, they were in a relegation battle. He saved them from that. Now in his first full season, he takes them into seventh place and a spot in Europe.


Serie A


It was an eventful year in Italy’s top-flight where two of the country’s most historic teams was home to four U.S. national team players. Neither Juventus nor AC Milan won the scudetto but both teams and all four Americans ended up qualifying for the Champions League next year.

On top of that, Chrisian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, the two top USMNT players, combined for 21 assists across all competitions. That alone is a very positive reflection on how they continue to have extraordinary careers.

Christian Pulisic: The best American player stayed healthy and had his best season of his career. In Serie A, he played 2531 minutes, scoring 12 goals and adding nine assists. Across all competitions, he played 3523 minutes and had 15 goals and 11 assists. He mostly played on the wing, but he even had minutes at the No. 10. He adjusted seamlessly into Italy and should have a home there for years. Even with Stefano Pioli leaving, Pulisic will be fine.  

Yunus Musah: An unusual season for Musah. He played a lot earlier in the season. His minuets decreased a lot in the middle, but then he was starting more towards the end. He finished with 1470 minutes in Serie A (40 appearances) and 2241 minutes across all competitions (40 appearances). A few times he played right back, but mostly he was in center midfield.

The issue for Musah is production. He is a great dribbler, but he finished the season with no goals and two assists. His final ball let him down a lot. The coaching change at Milan will be a concern for Musah. Pioli showed a lot of patience with Musah and gave him a lot of minutes. It is easy to see the next coach not having the smave level of patience.

Weston McKennie: We head into an offseason of uncertainty for Weston McKennie. Will he return to Juventus, or will he leave? McKennie didn’t score a goal this season, but it was a very good one. He had 10 assists across all competitions playing 2952 minutes. It was a tough season for Juventus as they only scored 54 goals in Serie A. To win this many low-scoring games, they needed players like McKennie to win scrappy duels, force turnovers, and breakup plays. McKennie brought a lot of value to Juventus and helped them to the Coppa title. There are money concerns at the club and this will create an interesting offseason. But he’ll have options.

Tim Weah: It was another uneven season for Weah. There were times when he played well, and he also had some big moments for Juventus. His assist on the winning goal in the Coppa Italia semifinal against Lazio was one of the team’s best moments this season. But he finished with 1381 minutes this season and, incredibly, has never had a 2000-minute season at the first-team level. This season saw him shift to right wingback, and the results were decent. But now a managerial change at Juventus will raise questions. He started down the stretch and was able to showcase himself. It is easy to see him sticking around at the club, but as a starter remains a separate question all together.


La Liga


Luca de la Torre: Another year, another relegation battle for de la Torre. The good news is that Celta Vigo played well down the stretch to push towards midtable. Unfortunately, de la Torre’s minutes were limited during this time. He never returned as a regular starter following a return from his hamstring injury which forced him out of the Nations League roster in March. He had five assists and a goal in 1958 minutes in LaLiga. He added two goals and an assist in just 221 Copa del Rey minutes.

There were certainly moments when de la Torre, 26, played well, and he showed toughness early in the season playing with a mask due to a broken nose. But Celta will be asking questions this offseason. It is too big of a club to endure relegation battles year after year. De la Torre has been part of the last two. The San Diego native has two more years left on his contract. During the next season, the club will have to make a choice over his long-term future there.

But for de la Torre, the team’s positive play down the stretch with him serving as a substitute should be a concern.

Johnny Cardoso: One of the biggest winners for American players this season was Johnny Cardoso, 22, who moved from Internacional in Brazil to Real Betis in January. The adjustment to LaLiga was seamless for the New Jersey-born, Brazil-raised Cardoso who broke into the starting lineup at Betis and impressed the rest of the season. He had a goal and two assists in 1332 LaLiga minutes to go along with 18o minutes in the Conference League. The team finished seventh and will return to the Conference League again next season.

Overall, this season was a huge step forward for Cardoso and it set him up for a bright future. He has an even bigger opportunity in 2024/25 to fully establish himself as a top-half LaLiga midfielder. He was nominated for the LaLiga Young Player of the Season.


Ligue 1


Folarin Balogun: It was a tough year for Folarin Balogun. In Ligue 1, he finished with seven goals and six assists. Overall, that’s not bad. But it’s a huge step down from the 21 Ligue 1 goals he scored in 2022/23 with a worse Stade de Reims. He also tailed off in the second half of the season, scoring just three goals since the end of November.

Monaco stepped up their pursuit of Balogun in August after Breel Embolo tore his ACL. But Embolo came back towards the end of the season and pushed Balogun out of the starting XI. If Wissam Ben Yedder returns (and he scored 16 goals), Balogun could find playing time tight. If Ben Yedder leaves, can Balogun play alongside Embolo? There are lots of questions, but it’s been a tough year for him both with Monaco and the USMNT.

The good news is that Monaco is back in the Champions League and Balogun could get an opportunity on a huge stage. But he needs a big preseason because Monaco is likely unsure if Balogun is their forward for the future.

Emmanuel Sabbi: It was a very positive first step for Emmanuel Sabbi, 26, in the Ligue 1. He joined newly promoted Le Havre from OB Odense in Denmark. At this stage of his career, it was a bold move he needed to take if he ever wanted a shot in one of Europe’s top leagues. Playing time wasn’t always there for him early in the season as he adjusted to France. But eventually he settled in, scoring five goals in 1593 minutes (three goals he scored from the penalty spot).

Sometimes he struggled to get involved, but Le Havre manager Luka Elsner was quick to point out how well Sabbi played defensively. Embracing a defensive role, Sabbi was able to help Le Havre avoid relegation and remain in Ligue 1.

Next year the question for Sabbi will to contribute more offensively aside form the penalty spot. He has the talent to do so. But after they survived their first season in Ligue 1, pushing towards midtable should be the goal. That will demand more from Sabbi, but he made huge strides in his game in 2023/24 and should be up for the challenge.


The Eredivisie


The 2023/24 Eredivisie season came to an end. Three Americans were regulars with a PSV Eindhoven team that was one of the best Dutch teams in recent memory. Then there were two loans to teams in the relegation zone that paint players for an interesting summer.

Here is a run down for the Yanks in the Dutch top tiers.

Sergino Dest: After a disastrous loan last season to AC Milan, Dest needed to return to his native Holland and reset his career on a loan to PSV. Until April, the loan worked brilliantly. Dest was a regular playing right back, and more often, left back. He was the best fullback in the Eredivisie and showed no signs of rust following the AC Milan debacle. He was also really good in the Champions League knockout run.

Then you have the ACL injury suffered at the end of April. This ended Dest’s 2024 and his loan at PSV. Dest has one more year remaining on his Barcelona contract, and assuming he doesn’t resign with the Spanish giant, he will be free to negotiate with any club starting in January. With PSV not wanting to exercise the option to buy on Dest, he will return to Barcelona. At this point, PSV would likely be a strong contender to sign Dest. He’s comfortable with the club, they’ve helped him rebuild his career once, why not again?

It was a tough ending, but better days are ahead for Dest and he had a good season that saw him win silverware.

Malik Tillman: The younger Tillman brother struggled at the start of the season but was very good the second half of the year. He finished with nine goals and 15 assists in 2277 minutes across all competitions, including three assists in the Champions League. This was good enough for PSV to exercise its option to buy from Bayern Munich and make him a full-time PSV player.

At just 21, this is a good step for Tillman to end the loan army and play with a club that is invested in him. If he can show another season or two of putting up big numbers in the Eredivisie he will get sold again. But for now, it was just important to get out of a loan situation and build roots.

Next up is the Copa America and trying to carry that level of play over to the USMNT. That is something he is yet to do.

Ricardo Pepi: The USMNT forward had a great season in terms of goals per minute for PSV.  He had nine goals and three assists in just 657 minutes. But he was always behind Luuk de Jong and his total number of minutes is a big concern. Most of his goals came at the end of games against a tired and over-matched opponent. The question then becomes, what are the plans for de Jong next season? And did Pepi do enough to earn the trust that he can lead PSV to a title after de Jong? The standard of being a starting No. 9 for PSV is high. He played well, but did he play well enough?

The likely guess is that he returns next season and plays more in conjunction with de Jong, who will be 34. How he does when given meaningful starting minutes against good teams will be very important.   

Richard Ledezma: The 2019 U.S. U-20 World Cup playmaker returned to PSV from his loan from NYCFC and only made one appearance – in a dead rubber game in the season finale. He’s an expensive player who must get paid the Eredivisie minimum for a non-EU citizen. Ledezma would be best going to somewhere where he can play and PSV would probably like him off the books. But it could be tricky to find takers at his salary level.

Paxten Aaronson: arrived at a bad Vitesse team in January on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt. Even with relegation likely, the club sealed its fate when it was deducted 17 points for violating sanctions on Roman Abramovich. Despite being dealt a tough hand, Aaronson played very well. He was the most dangerous attacking player for Vitesse and was named to the Eredivisie Team of the Week twice and scored four goals.

Next up for Aaronson will be the Olympics. After that, he will return to Eintracht Frankfurt for the Bundesliga – at least for preseason. He could be sold, or he could go on loan again. The good news is that his brief loan surely opened up some doors for him.

Taylor Booth: The versatile FC Utrecht player had an up and down season that saw a few great games and a lot of time missed due to injuries. He played just a total of 1125 minutes in all competitions and 874 minutes in the Eredivisie. Most of his time came at right wing.

His best stretch came in a one-week span when he scored two goals in a 4-0 win over Fortuna Sittard and then a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over a Volendam team that was relegated. Those were all five of his Eredivisie goals. He added another one in December in a loss in the cup.In the end, Utrecht came up short qualifying for the Eredivisie Conference League spot in the playoffs.

Booth, 22, plays a competitive spot for the Olympic team and is squarely on the bubble whether he goes to Paris. Regardless of the Olympics, what Booth needs is simply a long run of staying healthy and staying in form. What he has shown in glimpses is that he can play at a high level. What is going to get him to the higher levels is staying healthy and playing well over long stretches. Ultimately, that is what will get him to the national team.

Zach Booth: the younger Booth brother spent this season on loan from Leicester City to Volendam. This was a tough assignment as Volendam had probably the least amount of talent in the Eredivisie. It was very tough for Booth to standout as the club was relegated. He certainly had some good moments and finished with two goals and two assists in 1554 Eredivisie minutes. His contract ends next month, so he is a free agent. He’s find a landing spot, but probably not at much higher a level. Still, better than Volendam.  

Anthony Fontana: The former Philadelphia Union homegrown made just four appearances in the Eredivsie with PEC Zwolle for a total of 42 minutes. He has one more year on his contract. His wages are probably low enough that PEC Zwolle can use a backup. But it’s unfortunate he is in a situation where he can get more key sub minutes or an occasional start.


Belgian Pro League


Mark McKenzie: Overall, it was a good, not great season for Mark McKenzie and Genk. The club didn’t show well in Europe and finished fifth in the league. Next weekend the club will play in a one-game playoff with Gent for a spot in next season’s Conference League.

McKenzie has played a ton this season. Next weekend’s game should see him surpass 4000 minutes across all competitions. Last season he broke 3500 minutes. That type of durability is very important for a player entering his prime years. But even with a few rough patches, he’s taken on a big role with his club.

McKenzie has one more year left on his contract and given that the club invested in him in his move from Philadelphia and has not been successful in resigning him, it is likely he will be sold this summer. Otherwise, he will be able to negotiate with clubs starting in January. Genk doesn’t have much leverage due to the risk of losing him for free. For a transfer to make sense, McKenzie will have to push towards the top leagues. With his lack of an EU passport, the Bundesliga makes the most sense. Overall, he’s done well enough to get there.

Griffin Yow: Few would argue that Griffin Yow for Westerlo has been among the biggest surprises for Americans in the top division of Europe. His season started in early November after he picked up a knee injury in preseason. But he became an impact player for Westerlo from the onset. He finished the season with seven goals, seven assists, and two drawn penalties in 2079 minutes.

This impressive performance has put Yow into the mix for the U.S. Olympic team. The key for him will be to show that it wasn’t just a good season, but rather he can stay at this level season after season.

Don’t be surprised, however, if Yow is sold this summer. It’s not automatic, but Westerlo is not one of the bigger teams in the league and they got Yow almost for free. It won’t take a huge offer for Westerlo to accept. If Yow stays, however, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to establish himself as beyond a one-season wonder.

The Olympic tournament this summer should give him a big opportunity to increase his quickly rising stock.

Bryan Reynolds: The likely U.S Olympic team right back. This season he was a regular starter for Westerlo and he finished with 2943 minutes in all competitions. It wasn’t flashy and he finished with four assists. But for the second straight season, he surpassed 2500 minutes.  It wasn’t a great season for Reynolds, but he was dependable and solid. His athleticism and speed on the right side fits the profile of what teams want from the modern fullback. He needs to improve in 1v1 defending, but he has the ability to do so. His high wages in Belgium will likely see him move this summer. Without an EU passport, Germany or possibly England are the most likely landing spots.

Marlon Fossey: Once injury plagued, Fossey completed his second straight season of surpassing the 2000-minute mark with Standard Liege. This was a tough season to evaluate because no one stood out at Standard, Fossey wasn’t as productive in his wingback role as the season before but he still is a good, athletic wide player. Heading into this offseason, there are serious problems with the club’s ownership and Fossey would be best to leave.

There is a lot going for Fossey right now, and with Sergino Dest out until 2025, Fossey could build a case for the national team in the fall if he can find a club where he can continue his rise.

Kahveh Zahiroleslam: Zahiroleslam, 21, was a player who had some success that few saw coming. It was his first professional season after leaving Yale University and he landed with St. Truiden after impressing on a trial. He managed to get into the first team and play 1811 minutes. There was a period when he was in solid form and he finished with five goals. He seemed like an interesting dark horse contender for the U.S. Olympic team. But went cold down the stretch and had just one goal after February 1.

The Olympics are unlikely now, but he has a lot to play for. St. Truiden can be a great launchpad for his career, but he’ll have to improve on 2023/24. That’s certainly possible and he put himself into a great spot.

Gaga Slonina: The U.S. U-23 goalkeeper spent the season with Eupen on loan from Chelsea. There were some games he played well and helped Eupen earn results. But he also struggled at times and was unable to prevent relegation. Now Slonina will return to Cheslea and it will be a tough task to find a club to play where he can be a lock starter. Relegation wasn’t his fault, but he was part of it. He needs another loan, of course, but his next landing spot will likely see him go to a place where he’ll face tougher competition for minutes.


The Championship

Overall, it was a mixed season for Yanks in the Championship. Josh Sargent and Haji Wright had great seasons while no one else stood out. In the end, no one was promoted and no one was relegated.

Josh Sargent: Despite missing four months with an ankle injury which required surgery, Sargent had a great season. He finished with 16 goals and 2 assists and managed to eclipse the 2000-minute mark across all competitions – playing 2052. Frankly, since his return in December, he was arguably the best Championship player. The only knock is that his ankle continued to bother him and he was forced out of the Nations League in March and couldn’t play 90 minutes in the promotional playoff loss to Leeds United.

Sargent, 24, needs to get healthy but this was the best season of his career. He was so efficient and he moved so well across the field – making great runs to open up games. He was creating separation between him and defenders easily. He might not even return to Norwich as there is sure to be interest in him. It’s a question of how much Norwich values him as part of another promotional race. The managerial change will also affect things. But Sargent’s season was eye-opening.

David Wagner: The former USMNT forward turned manager was fired by Norwich despite leading them into the promotional playoffs this season. He's had a lot of success in the Championship and should land on his feet in either England or Germany. 

Haji Wright: There were a lot of expectations on Wrigh, 26,t this season as Coventry’s all-time most expensive player. But he lived up to billing with 19 goals and 8 assists in 50 games (3398 minutes) across all competitions. Coventry want to make a promotional push and Wright is a big piece of that. This season, they were poor to finish the season but expectations are higher next year. There will be interest in Wright, but it’s hard to see Coventry selling their most expensive purchase after just one season. No matter what, his reputation is strong in England right now.

Ethan Horvath: After a miserable first half of the season not even suiting up for Nottingham Forest, Horvath, 28, secured a move back to where he has had a lot of success- the Championship. This season wasn’t close to promotion, but Horvath was quickly the team’s starter as they finished midtable, despite a poor ending where they conceded nine goals in their last two games. Cardiff needs a lot of improvement to push for promotion and Horvath must also be better than he was in the second half of the season. But he’s capable of being an effective keeper in the Championship and there little dispute he’s the starter. It’s a good situation for him.

Daryl Dike: It’s just a sad situation that Dike, who is one of the nicest players you’ll find, is out on another long-term injury. This one will take him into 2025. All you can do is hope he can find a way to have a successful and happy career, but it’s climb at this point.

Duane Holmes: The Preston North End attacking mid finished the season with four goals and five assists across 2118 minutes in the Championship as the team was in contention for the playoffs but stumbled badly down the stretch the final eight weeks. Holmes had periods where he was effective and should be back at it again next season where PNE could make another push. For Holmes,29, he has one more year left on his contract but he is a useful Championship player and will be in demand for years to come.

Lynden Gooch: In his first season for Stoke City, Gooch, 28, battled injuries and finished with two goals across 1715 Championship minutes. He battled injuries for long stretches, and it was mostly a year to forget. But next year is the last year of his contract, so it will be an important time for him.

Reggie Cannon: Cannon, 25, joined Queens Park Rangers on a free move after a tumultuous ending with Boavista in Portugal where he terminated his contract for unpaid wages. It was a rough time and Cannon didn’t join QPR until late September. He finished the season with 1437 minutes and it wasn’t a good season. He played well initially but with the club in the relegation zone, he was benched. He rarely played meaningful minutes during the club’s rise out of the relegation zone and into midtable.

To make matters worse, the player who replaced him at right back, Jimmy Dunne, just signed a contract extension. Dunne is primarily a central defender but was very good for QPR when he moved to right back. QPR released the other right back, Osman Kakay, after the season but Cannon looks like Dunne’s backup heading into 2024/25. Cannon needs a big preseason to reset the narrative on his career. The good news is the Championship season is long at 46 minutes, and he should get a chance. Then its up to him.  


Serie B

For the most part, the 2023/24 season was good for the Americans in Serie B. In total, five players took part and four were either in the promotion players or were promoted outright.

Tanner Tessmann: the FC Dallas product was the best American in the league and was lynchpin in Venezia’s midfield. Venezia is in the Serie B promotional playoff final (which starts this week) and in all competitions, Tessmann has seven goals and three assists across 3439 minutes. He’s played a ton and has been very effective. No matter what happens with Venezia in the playoff final, Tessmann should be heading into one of Europe’s top leagues. His skillset combined with strength and athleticism checks the boxes for a lot of teams. He plays the No. 6 but is also good going forward in No. 8 role. Even if Venezia goes up, it could be tough for them to hang onto him.

Tessmann is likely to be with the U.S. Olympic team this summer as well. After that, he should compete for a spot on the USMNT. He’s put himself into a good position for both club and country.

Gianluca Busio: After a tough season in 2022/23 when Venezia was relegated and his minutes were uneven, Busio did a very good job resetting his career in 2023/24 as he returned to Venezia’s starting XI and has been important in the promotional campaign. He’s already surpassed the 3000-minute barrier with 3180 minutes in all competitions. During that time he has scored seven goals and added four assists. He’s been a constant in the team’s midfield and could be back in Serie A depending on the promotional final. Unlike Tessmann, Busio likely stays with Venezia but he is an entrenched starter.

This summer, Busio is likely to join Tessmann on the Olympic team. Depending on how he does, he could reemerge in the USMNT player pool over the next year.

Kristoffer Lund: After a standout performance in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, Lund, 21, moved to Palermo in August. Expectations were high at Palermo, which is owned by City Football Group, but the club lost in the promotional playoff semifinals. Overall, Lund played well and was on the field for 2679 minutes and had two goals and four assists. He created a decent number of chances and was overall steady.

Lund is unlikely to move. The deep pocketed owners brought him into Palermo a piece for a promotional effort. They’ll likely want him around for next season too. The pressure is going to be on Palermo next season to finally get back into Serie A. If the club likes Lund, they’ll keep him.

Nicholas Gioacchini: It was good news/bad news for Gioacchini who joined Como in January from St. Louis. The good news is that Como finished second and were promoted to Serie A. The bad news for Gioacchini is that he only played nine games for 195 minutes and did not register a goal or an assist. Part of that could be due to an adjustment period but it still will be harder for him to get on the field in Serie A. The good news is that if he does, he will be at a high level and in a big spotlight.

Gioacchini’s preseason is going to be very important for him to make his case for minutes.

Andrija Novakovich: Novakovich, 27, had a tough year at Lecco on loan from Venezia. He scored six goals in 2809 minutes but Lecco finished last and were relegated to Serie C. Novakovich will return to Venezia and his contract runs through 2026, but he could be looking at another loan as Venezia will either be in Serie A or will have promotional hopes in Serie B next year. It doesn't seem as if he's in their plans. But maybe a strong preseason will help.




Germany’s second tier wasn’t a great place for American players this year. No one stood out no one ended the season well. The loan exception is the American-born coach at St. Pauli.

Fabian Hurzeler: The Houston-born Hurzeler might never have made it as a professional player, but he is going places as a coach. He took over St. Pauli in January 2023 at the age of 29 when the club was in a relegation battle and had them in a promotional hunt by the end of the season. Now in his second season, he secured promotion. He will now manage in the Bundesliga at the age of 31. He is one of Germany’s brightest young managers.

Johan Gomez: The U.S. U-23 forward had three goals and four assists in 2325 minutes for Eintracht Braunschweig, which was in a relegation battle for most of the season but improved in the end to finish safely. Gomez had his moments, but he will enter the final year of his contract needing to play better to earn a longer term deal. As of now, it seems like a long shot for making the Olympic team.

Julian Green: The 2014 U.S. World Cup attacking mid/forward played well early in the season for Greuther Furth and finished with four goals and eight assists in 2088 minutes. Furth ended up finishing in eighth place. The team struggled in the second half of the season and Green was hurt most of the final three months. He still has two years left on is contract.

Maximillian Dietz: The U.S. U-23 central defender had a breakthrough year where he became a regular starter for the first time. He managed to play 2308 minutes and put himself in the mix for the Olympic team. At 22, he is in a good position to grow as a player as Furth is a strong 2.Bundesliga team, Dietz is young, and he has three years left on his contract. The key is for him to improve next year and show progression as this was really his first year as a first-team starter.

The only blemish for Dietz is that he was hurt in the final weeks of the season and that could jeopardize his Olympic hopes.


La Liga 2


Jonathan Gomez: The U.S. youth international left back took real steps forward this season as he went on loan from Real Sociedad to Mirandes in Spain’s second tier. There he found a place where he could play every game and learn the ropes. In total, he has played 2963 minutes in all competitions, so far. The Segunda still has one more round of games and Mirandes is just one point clear of the relegation zone. On the final matchday, they will host the team that is immediately behind them. If they win or draw, they will survive. If they lose, they are relegated. Gomez has been playing pressure-filled games and this should help him.

It doesn't seem like Gomez, 20, is in the Olympic plans, but at 20, he is in a good position to advance his career regardless. As for most young players, it is just about being able to learn lessons one year and then apply them the next. Gomez still might need at least another loan before he competes for a spot with Real Sociedad.

Konrad de la Fuente: The 2019 U.S. U-20 World Cup winger looked as if he was headed for a second straight lost season on loan from Marseille. Last year it was in Greece with Olympiacos. This year he was at Eibar, who were in a promotional race in the Segunda. But his fortunes started to change when he scored a brace on March 30 off the bench. He continued to play relatively well the remainder of the season, but always as a sub. Eibar still has an outside chance of promotion on the final matchday but will likely be in the promotional playoffs.


De la Fuente is in a weird spot. Even with his good outings, he’s only played 355 minutes this season for Eibar. He is really going to have to shine in the playoffs to convince either Marseille he is ready, or Eibar that he could help them if they are promoted. He has one more year left on his contract.  


Yanks Elsewhere


Cameron Carter-Vickers: won the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Cup again with Celtic. He continues to be very good for them but its always debatable how much he is being tested as a defender in a league where Celtic is only tested a handful of times and generally controls possession unless they are playing Rangers. But playing for Celtic continues to have Carter-Vickers on the national team and in the Champions League.

Dante Polvara: The former Georgetown Hoya showed growth this season at Aberdeen and towards the end of the season he was an important part of the team’s midfield. Among all competitions (including European play), Polvara played 2202 minutes. He seemed to return from his loan to the Charleston Battery more confident and ready for the Premiership.

Scott Pittman: It is rare when an American player is the all-time appearance leader for a European club. But Pittman has the most ever appearances for Livingston FC. Unfortunately, Livingston were relegated out of the Premiership in Scotland and Pittman might move on. It would be the end of an era for them.

Rokas Pukstas: Still just 19, Pukstas just completed his second season as a starter for Hajduk Split – which finished a disappointing third in Croatia’s HNL. Despite an early season injury, he still played 2440 HNL minutes and had seven goals and an assist. Reports out of Croatia indicate Pukstas wants to be sold this summer (he has three years left on his contract). It makes sense as he is still a teenager with a lot of experience for a club that has developed a lot of good players.

He is still raw and there are areas he needs to improve (he can disappear from games for long stretches), but he has produced enough to the point where there should be a lot of clubs who see a big upside.

George Bello: The former Atlanta United left back got just what he was looking for in his move to LASK in the Austrian Bundesliga. After his initial move to Europe saw him join an Armenia Bielefeld team that was then relegated in consecutive years, Bello needed a reset. He got that with LASK where he emerged as a starter, played a total of 2383 minutes in all competitions (including the Europa League against Liverpool), and helped his club to a third-place finish in Austria – which will see them return to the Europa. It turned out to be a great resetting year for Bello.

Sebastian Soto: Staying in Austria, the news was not nearly as good for Sebastian Soto at Austria Klagenfurt. Soto, 23, didn’t produce and battled back injuries. He made just seven appearances for 191 minutes. He will now enter the last year of his contract needed to show durability and production or else he’s looking at another tough run with a club.

Danny Trejo: In one of the more surprising moves of the winter, Mexican-born American Danny Trejo, 26, moved from Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship to Korona Kielce in Poland’s top tier Ekstraklasa in January. He gradually assumed a starting role and finished with two goals and three assists in 650 minutes. He fit very well into the midfield, and he ultimately helped the club avoid relegation on the final matchday.


Alex Mendez: The 2019 U.S. U-20 attacking midfielder had a nightmare of a year for Vizela in Portugal. In all competitions in Portugal, he played 654 minutes (just 368 minutes in the league) and had two assists as Vizela finished last and were relegated. This was the final year of his contract and he will now be looking for a new club without much of a resume.  

Jonathan Amon: The twice capped USMNT winger returned to the field after essentially missing three years due to constant knee injuries. Lyngby signed Amon, 24, to a one-year deal to see to help them in a year they were expected to be in a relegation battle. Amon didn’t score this year, but he claimed the starting job in the final two months and helped keep Lyngby up. He’s not back to where he was as a teenager, but he’s showing growth. We will now see if Lyngby keeps him.  

Caleb Stanko: The once-capped USMNT defensive midfielder made 27 appearances (1118 minutes) for Lamia in the Greek Super League. It remains to be seen if he will return to the club next year. Now 30, Stanko has had a journeyman career.

Henry Wingo: Finally, reports are that Wingo will be returning to the United States this summer to play for Austin FC. If true, it will be his second stint in MLS after starting his career with the Seattle Sounders. The 28-year-old fullback ends a career in Europe with one Eliteserien title in Norway with Molde, four NBI titles in Hungary with Ferencvaros, and a Magyar Cup in Hungary also with Ferencvaros. This year saw him deal with injuries but still make 18 appearances for Ferencvaros - enough to secure another medal.

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