To say that American soccer players are not elite anymore is just plain ignorant. In the last three seasons there has been a huge hike in USMNT players playing in the top leagues in Europe. From Serie A to the Premier League, and even in La Liga you can find top rated USMNT players.
This season a record 12 USMNT players will be a part of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Last season Christian Pulisic became the second American to win European Soccer’s biggest club prize. Now players like Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, and Sergiño Dest will want to continue to make history by becoming the third American to do so.
Gregg Berhalter can’t complain, he has some of his most important players playing at the highest level. This season the UEFA Champions League will be exciting to watch as fans will return to the stadiums, now with 12 USMNT players it gets even more interesting. Here is the list of all 12 USMNT players in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League.
Brenden Aaronson will be commanding the midfield for Red Bull Salzburg, in his short time there Aaronson has already established himself as one of the club’s better players. The Austrian team will look to at least get to the next round, but a good group showing could help Aaronson land a transfer to a bigger league.
Already a Champions League veteran Tyler Adams is back at the big stage with RB Leipzig of Germany. Adams has the skill and the talent to play at this level, the question is can he stay healthy for a whole season.
The USMNT defender gets a crack at Champions League action with Wolfsburg of Germany. John Brooks is entering his fifth season with the club and is one of the best defenders of the Bundesliga.
Sergiño Dest had a lot of growing pains last season at Barcelona, this season is an opportunity to show that he has the talent and the perseverance to maintain a starting spot at Barcelona. Barcelona will be without Messi, and while the club has seen better days, Dest can still shine if he corrects some of the issues that plagued him last season.
Weston McKennie was a bright spot for Juventus last season, now in his second season what kind of role will he have? That question will be answered by Massimiliano Allegri. McKennie can play at this level no question, hopefully Allegri will find a spot for the box-to-box midfielder.
Owen Otasowie recently signed with Club Brugge of Belgium after playing just 6 games with Wolverhampton Wanderers. At 20, Otasowie seems to have a good future ahead of him, but if he wants to crack the USMNT, getting a starting spot at Brugge and good Champions League outings will be essential.
After a great season with Young Boys on loan last season and a big goal against Honduras in the Nations League semifinal, Jordan Siebatcheu is already off to a fast start this season with 2 goals in 3 games in Switzerland.
Last season’s Champions League winner, Christian Pulisic wants to continue to show why he is the USMNT poster boy. Pulisic already scored a goal in his first game of the Premier League season and will want to hold down a starting spot for Chelsea this season.
Gio Reyna had an up and down season at Dortmund last year but showed his capacity to win his starting spot back last season, while showing the talents that have him pegged as one of the best young prospects in the world. Reyna will look for this season to be his official coming out party.
Chris Richards will be in the Bayern Munich squad this season, just how much he will play will depend on many factors, nonetheless it will be a season of invaluable experience.
Zack Steffen is Manchester City’s back up goalkeeper, hopefully Guardiola will give Zack some Champions League minutes. Steffen’s chances of playing are slim unless an injury occurs.
The French champion will be able to showcase his skill in the Champions League, like his father before him. Tim Weah is often used as a bench option and his goal will be to be a consistent starter for Lille.