Americans Abroad: U.S. products missing in Bundesliga

You will be seeing U.S. national team players in Bundesliga action this season, which kicks off this weekend, but chances are slim that you'll see any U.S. products playing in Germany's top tier.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler, Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Fabian Johnson, Hertha Berlin’s John Brooks and Ingolstadt 04’s Alfredo Morales were all born and raised in Germany.

Aron Johannsson, who recently moved from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Werder Bremen, was raised in Iceland.

Germany for decades has been a destination for U.S. products hoping to crack the Bundesliga, and some have had runs of success, from Eric Wynalda and Claudio Reyna in the 1990s, to Kasey Keller and Michael Bradley in the 2000s. And most prominently, Steve Cherundulo, who played for Hannover 96 from 1999 until 2014. He helped it reach the first division and played more than 300 games in the top tier.

Going into the 2015-16 season, the American products who are with first division teams -- for example, Borussia Dortmund’s 22-year-old Joe Gyau, 19-year-old Junior Flores and 16-year-old Christian Pulisic -- are playing with the reserves or youth teams.

In the German second division, which kicked off three weeks ago, Hawaii-born Bobby Wood will be trying to justify his $1 million transfer to Union Berlin from 1860 Munich. The 22-year-old who came to Germany in his teens was at a career crossroads until he scored gamewinners for the USA in friendly wins over the Netherlands and Germany last June.

Also in the second division, 22-year-old midfielder Caleb Stanko, who started for the USA at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, debuted for Freiburg in the German Cup last week. His progress in Germany, similar to Gyau’s, had been slowed by  injury, having suffered an ACL tear a year ago, three months after signing a pro contract with the club he joined in 2011.

Of U.S. national team players who will be playing in the first division, much will be expected from the 24-year-old Johannsson. Werder reportedly paid $5 million obtain his services.

The 20-year-old Julian Green, one of the raised-in-Germany Americans, has returned to Bayern Munich after an unsuccessful loan to Hamburg SV last season and is with Bayern's U-23 team, which plays in the fourth division.

3 comments about "Americans Abroad: U.S. products missing in Bundesliga".
  1. aaron dutch, August 15, 2015 at 1:20 p.m.

    The US really needs more youth in Germany, Our Federation should sponsor free language training German, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, etc (which is good anyway) and from 10-15 yrs old that could be a great hook into ODP at a state level (weekly language & training) which could pump life into the dying/dead ODP program and drive Top 5 leagues interest into our kids.

  2. Adam Tondowsky, August 15, 2015 at 7:14 p.m.

    There aren't many American Americans left in the EPL either (though there are some young Americans on their youth teams.) Most Americans have come home to MLS. I don't see that as a bad thing. There are also an increasing number of Americans in the Mexican Primera.

  3. Chester Grant, August 18, 2015 at 6:34 a.m.

    Julian Green in the 4th Division; the youngster whom Klinsmann preferred to Donovan at the World Cup !!!

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