The United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) has been trying to break through to the next level of international soccer for some time.
Their best appearance in the FIFA World Cup came in the inaugural tournament in 1930 as they made the semifinals. However, since then they haven’t been able to reach that point of the tournament again, only reaching as far as the quarterfinals in 2002. They were expected to make some noise at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but they failed to qualify after losing to Trinidad & Tobago in the last match of qualifying in what is considered one of the lowest points in the team’s history.
In recent years, more and more American players have been making the move to Europe to play for top teams. Having a higher number of players competing in these top tier leagues as well as the Champions League, where they can go head-to-head against the best competition in the world week in and week out, will undoubtedly benefit the national team.
Of the players that have been called up to the USMNT in the past year, twenty of them currently play for or have their rights owned by a team in Europe’s top five leagues. Those top five leagues are the Premier League (England), Ligue 1 (France), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and La Liga (Spain).
The Premier League and the Bundesliga have the highest number of Americans with seven and six, respectively. La Liga has three American players while both Ligue 1 and Serie A have two.
The twenty players combine to have a total transfer market value of $261.25 million, an average value of nearly $13.1 million per player. Almost half of the players on the list have a transfer value of at least $10.0 million.
The most expensive, and notable, player on the list is Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, who is currently valued at $55.0 million, with Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna coming in second at $41.8 million. Pulisic and Reyna are the two most important building blocks for the team and will be key if the USMNT wants to make an impact at the 2022 World Cup.
Other notable players on the list include Juventus’ Weston McKennie and FC Barcelona’s Sergiño Dest, both valued at $27.5 million, and RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams, who is valued at $22.0 million. All three of these players have had consistent roles on their respective teams this season and are important for the national team as well.
As of May 6, the USMNT has not yet begun qualification for the 2022 World Cup. They received an automatic bye to the third and final round of CONCACAF qualifying and will play their first match in the final qualifying round in September of 2021.
The team has an international friendly scheduled against Switzerland at the end of May before playing in the CONCACAF Nations League Semifinals against Honduras on June 3.