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.