Never before have we seen such a deep pool of American soccer talent plying their trade across the pond. Many of the world’s biggest clubs have American players on their books — whether it be in the first team, the reserves, or in an academy setting.
While this piece won’t necessarily rank the players based upon their current standing, it will offer a glimpse into both the present and future. Weekly starters will be mixed with some of the United States’ brightest prospects.
Notable omissions: Tim Ream, Fabian Johnson, Tim Chandler, Bobby Wood, Kenny Saief, Zyen Jones, Haji Wright, Josh Pynadath, Danny Williams, Alfredo Morales, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Eric Palmer-Brown, Emmanuel Sabbi, Jonathan Klinsmann, Jordan Siebatcheu, Shaq Moore, Lynden Gooch, Michael Edwards, Mason Judge, Taylor Booth, Peter Stroud, Indiana Vassilev
*Uly Llanez will make the list once his club intentions become public. Zack Steffen has signed with Manchester City, though won’t be on the books with the club until July.
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25. Nick Taitague — Schalke 04 (Germany)
Position: Central attacking midfielder (with ability to also play on the wing)
Over the last year, Taitague has been beset with a number of injuries. As such, it’s stunted his growth a bit when it comes to aspiring for first team football. With that said, there’s no denying his immense skill level. Taitague is as technical as virtually any player within the pool. Assuming he can stay healthy and continue to perform well for Schalke’s U23 team, a first team appearance may not be far off.
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24. Folarin Balogun — Arsenal (England)
Position: Center Forward
This one is an interesting case. Balogun is a dual-national — meaning that he’s eligible to represent both England or the United States in official FIFA recognized competitions. At first glance, one may believe England has the leg-up here. Balogun was raised in England, plays in England, and is currently cap-tied to England (as well as the fact that England > United States at this point). However, it’s going to be relatively difficult for Balogun to break into England’s senior national team. The competition he’s going against is far better when compared to the U.S.
Duly, Balogun represented the United States in a tournament last year. He’s scored 13 goals for Arsenal’s U18 team. He’s one to watch for going forward — particularly since he must file a one-time switch to play for the United States in official matches.
Image Source: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images