Aaron_long_-_asn_top_-_isi_-_red_bulls_-_howard_smith Howard C. Smith/ISI
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January transfer window: A look at some yanks who could be on the move

The January transfer window is just about open. So which Americans could be on the move. ASN's Brian Sciaretta looks a few potential names and why they could move in the coming weeks. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
December 27, 2019
9:00 AM
THE JANUARY TRANSFER window is approaching in a few weeks and it is always interesting to see what Americans could be on move and there are always a wide range of factors that lead to certain moves being made.

Some players are in situations where they aren’t playing much and they have to look to a new club or a new league for more minutes. There are also players who are nearing the end of their contract or are getting older and might be looking for a new opportunity. Then there are those who are outgrowing their current league or club. Finally, you have the Americans who are part of the loan army – who are signed to the biggest clubs in the world and are annually moving from club to club on loan

There are always surprises regarding players who could be on the move but here is a group ASN is tracking in the weeks ahead.

Reggie Cannon

Why he might move
: Cannon might not be a starter for the United States national team, but he is safely on the team these days. He’s development at FC Dallas has gone about as well as could be expected and at just 21, he has already amassed nearly 5500 league minutes while playing for a team that was in the playoffs the last two seasons. Dallas is going to want to show the next link in its talented pipeline, and that is to sell players. Cannon seems the most prepared of the current young group for such a move.

With Cannon now qualified for a U.K work permit, he now has more doors open to him. Dallas won’t sell for cheap but if a suitor comes along with an offer in the $4 - $5 million range, a deal becomes more likely.

Aaron Long

Why he might move
:  The Red Bull central defender has gradually taken his career upward and is now on the national team. He won MLS Defender of the Year in 2018 and while he wasn’t up to that level in 2019, he still helped get a Red Bulls team with a lot of issues into the playoffs in 2019. His spot on the national team is also pretty safe and Long started the Gold Cup final. A reported asking fee of $15 million scared away any realistic chance of a move this past summer.

January is typically a time when the Red Bulls move players. In addition to moves within the league, Matt Miazga, Tim Ream, and Tyler Adams all moved to Europe in January. The price for Long should fall, but will it fall enough?

Ethan Horvath

Why he might move
: The writing was on the wall when Club Brugge signed Simon Mignolet in the summer. Since then, Horvath has been riding the bench. That is never good for a keeper who has his prime years ahead of himself and who has shown that he can start for a number of teams.

Whether or not he moves depends on Brugge’s asking price and the club’s confidence in another backup.

Cameron Carter-Vickers

Why he might move:  The American central defender has to be moved after his loan to Stoke City was recently terminated and he is back with Tottenham, for now. He is almost certainly not part of Tottenham’s plans. But Carter-Vickers has now been on loan to four different Championship teams and two of the loans have been terminated at midseason (and none of the teams have been promotion contenders). It wouldn’t be surprising if he wanted to try something outside of the Championship.

Carter-Vickers is still young and will turn 22 next week. With over 7000 professional minutes, he should have options. A Premier League team might be tough to find but perhaps he could try to find a promotional contending Championship team. He could also head to Scotland. It would also not be surprising to see a few MLS teams jump into the mix as Carter-Vickers is well known with eight U.S. national team caps, a starter for two U-20 World Cup quarterfinal teams, and in the mix for the current U-23 team.

Sebastian Soto

Why he might move:  It is true that Soto has dealt with injuries during this season but playing time has been awfully tough for him this year at Hannover. He’s played just four minutes in the 2.Bundesliga and 128 minutes for the reserve team in the Regionalliga. It is also true that it was publicly messy this year when it was announced that Soto wasn’t willing to sign a new contract with the club. His current deal expires in June but he can sign on a free deal now. Will Hannover accept a bid to release him early?

Whether he moves in January or this summer, it all depends on what type of offers are out there right now? He had an impressive U-20 World Cup last summer and he was solid last season in the U-19 Bundesliga. But he’s essentially in the process of losing an important year of his development. So he will be under some pressure to get his career back on track.

Russell Canouse

Why he might move: The Washington Post recently reported that Dynamo Dresden is taking an interest in the DC United defensive midfielder although this move makes little sense, unless it is loan. Canouse, when healthy, is a lock starter for a DC United team that is a playoff contender. Right now, Dynamo Dresden is deep in the relegation zone of the 2.Bundesliga. Sitting in last place, it has just 13 points from 18 games and has a seven-point deficit or survival. Most likely, Dresden will be in the 3.Liga next year.

It’s possible Canouse moves but the only way Dresden is possible is if it is a loan with an option-to-buy based on the team’s survival in the 2.Bundesliga. Otherwise, Canouse is trading down. DC United also has Chris Durkin out on loan (with an option to buy) right now and shipping another defensive midfielder in Canouse off would put the team in a hole. 

Fabian Johnson

Why he might move: The versatile Fabian Johnson is in the last year of his current deal with Borussia Monchengladbach. Johnson, 32, is good player but has been limited due to injuries in each of the last four seasons. He recently returned to the field for Monchengladbach before the winter break for the first time since August. With his contract expiring soon, he can sign on a free transfer and Monchengladbach probably won’t ask much to release him early.

Whether or not Johnson moves depends on how high his salary demands are and how comfortable clubs are with his recent wave of injuries. MLS teams have been interested in the past but salary restrictions might make him too risky.

Romain Gall

Why he might move: In 2018, Gall was thriving in Sweden’s top flight with GIF Sundsvall but a move that year to perennial contender Malmo did not work out. Gall was productive when he was on the field but managed to play just 519 minutes with Malmo this year. He’s shown himself able to play well in the Allsvenskan but Malmo just does not appear to be a good fit. Unfortunately, his stock has dropped in this past year.

With a French passport, Gall has more potential avenues open to him and perhaps there will be MLS teams open to taking a look – despite that his brief stint with Columbus in 2014 did not work out.

Emmanuel Sabbi

Why he might move:  The 2017 U.S. U-20 World Cup winger is now at Hobro in the Danish Superliga where he is putting up decent numbers (six goals, 17 games) for a club that is also in danger of being relegated out of the league. There was confirmed interest over the summer but tht should only intensify as Hobro might feel the need to cash in on the winger.

Sabbi, 22, is physically strong and athletically gifted. He is always going to have some interest. It seems like the odds of him moving are likely high. The most likely destinations would be further up the ladder in the Danish Superliga (AGF, Brondby, Randers) or perhaps France or Germany.

Kenny Saief

Why he might move:  Former U.S. international winger Kenny Saief, 26, is in a position where he has to move. After a hernia surgery that was followed by complications, Saief has never been the same. He didn’t play much for Gent. He moved to Anderlecht and initially played well, but is now a forgotten man there (where he never even makes the gameday rosters anymore). A loan earlier this year to Cincinnati also started off well but then went up in flames.

Saief has to take a step back right now. He could move to a smaller Belgian team or move to the Scandinavian leagues but the most likely destination is a move back to Israel. There are probably more teams there interested – despite him leaving the Israeli national team picture in 2017. He last played in Israel in 2014 with Ramat haSharon but that country seems likely to give him the most options right now.

Nick Taitague

Why he might move:  At one point, Taitague was considered one of the most talented youth players in the country. But a long stretch of injuries have dramatically limited his ability to play games for Schalke. He recently played some U-23 games for Schalke and perhaps that might earn an offer. Schalke might elect to keep Taitague but that club is more familiar with Taitague’s injury history than anyone and they might be willing to cut bait. 

Matt Polster
Why he might move: The move to Rangers hasn’t yielded as much time as he would have liked. His last two seasons in MLS with the Chicago Fire also saw him spend long stretches on the bench due to injury. He probably still has options out there. He could return to the United States as MLS expansions has seen an increase in the number of jobs available. He could also try elsewhere in Scotland or perhaps Scandinavia. A trip back to the states seems more likely than not should Polster move on from Rangers.

Haji Wright
Why he might move: Haji Wright has played a lot this season in the Eredivisie with VVV-Venlo. Unfortunately for Wright, the goal or assists have not come and he is yet to register on the scoresheet in nearly 1200 minutes. His lack of productivity combined with the fact his salary will soon escalate due to the high minimum salary restrictions on non-EU citizens (Schalke are rumored to be subsidizing his salary this year), likely means VVV won’t be able to keep him.

MLS teams typically are willing to sign former U.S. youth internationals but Wright’s serious youth involvement ended at the 2015 U-17 World Cup and his scoring rate might only get smaller offers. He could try Scandinavia or try to return back to Germany.

Lynden Gooch
Why he might move:  Gooch has been a loyal player for Sunderland. He has been with the club in some affiliation since he was 10 and has stuck with them through two relegations. But Gooch is now entering in the prime years of his career and Sunderland seems like it isn’t in any hurry to get promoted back to the Championship.

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