While this January transfer window seemed relatively quite compared to that of previous years, it was a busy time for American players. From young superstars like Christian Pulisic to veterans like Greg Garza, many Americans were on the move this January.
Here’s a look at some notable transfers and loans (this list is limited to American players who either have at least 1 USMNT cap, or are older than 23. Additionally, all those on the list were transferred or loaned during the January window, or had imminent transfers or loans announced during this time).
Timothy Weah, forward, 18, (Paris Saint Germain)—loan to Celtic FC for rest of 2018/2019 Scottish Premier League season
Timothy Weah joined SPL leaders Celtic, in a search pf needed playing time. Weah has been in excellent form for the Scottish side, scoring 3 goals and adding 1 assist in just 142 minutes (in all competitions).
Tyler Adams, defensive midfielder/right-back, 19, (New York Red Bulls)—-reported $3 million transfer to RB Leipzig
After proving to be one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS over the past two years, Tyler Adams joined RB Leipzig. He’s hit the ground running in the Bundesliga, starting and playing well in two of the first three games he was eligible to feature in.
Christian Pulisic shattered the record transfer fee for an American player after being sold by Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea for approximately $73 million. Pulisic won’t join Chelsea until the summer, which is somewhat concerning as he has featured scarcely for Dortmund this season.
This is a massive move, as Pulisic will instantly become the most high-profile American in the Premier League. He certainly will face tough competition to win a place in Chelsea’s starting XI, but it’s unlikely that the London side spent that much for Pulisic to be a backup.
Keaton Parks, central midfielder, 21, (Benfica)—loan to New York City FC for 2019 MLS Season
Keaton Parks, a highly touted midfielder, has played well for Benfica B (Portuguese second division) during the past season-and-a-half. Parks made 4 appearances for Benfica’s senior team last season, but has been unable to break into the first team this season. He needs to be playing at a higher level, than the Portuguese second division, and joins NYCFC to do so.
Shaq Moore, right-back, 22, (on loan at CF Reus Deportiu in Segunda Division, from Levante UD)—loan terminated; rejoined Levante UD
Shaq Moore was featuring somewhat regularly for CF Reus Deportiu, but had his loan terminated after the club was unable to play his and several other players’s wages.
Reus was ultimately kicked out of the Spanish second division due to its financial difficulties. Moore is now featuring for Levante’s reserve side in the Spanish third division, but is in need of a loan move to further his development.
Rubio Rubin, forward, 22, (Club Tijuana)—loan to Dorados de Sinaloa for 2019 Clausura
After featuring sparingly for Club Tijuana during the 2018 LIGA MX Apertura, Rubio Rubin has joined second division side Dorados de Sinaloa on loan. Rubin will hope to kickstart his career under the guidance of manager Diego Maradona.
Zack Steffen, goalkeeper, 23, (Columbus Crew)—$7.5 million ($10 million if certain incentives are reached) transfer to Manchester City
In one of the more surprising moves of the winter, Zack Steffen joined Manchester City. The 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year is unlikely to ever become Man City’s starter, but he is relatively young and undoubtedly talented.
He has been linked with a loan move to fellow City Football Group side Girona of La Liga and seems likely to spend time either their or at City affiliate NAC Breda (Eredivisie).
Matt Miazga, centerback, 23, (on loan at Nantes from Chelsea)—Nantes loan terminated, joined Reading FC (English Championship) on loan
After some poor performances during manager Vahid Halihodzic’s first few games, Matt Miazga was banished to the bench. Ultimately, his loan was terminated under rather bizarre circumstances.
Halilhodzic accused Mizaga of faking a back injury and then returning to Chelsea without notifying Nantes. Luckily for Miazga, he was able to quickly secure a new loan and will spend the rest of the 2018/2019 season with English Championship side Reading.
Matt Polster, right-back/defensive midfielder, 25, Chicago Fire)—transfer to Rangers
After four years with the Chicago Fire, Matt Polster decided to try his luck in Europe. A successful trial led to him signing with Rangers. If Polster can break into the Rangers lineup then he could earn a shot with the USMNT.
Greg Garza, left-back, 27, (Atlanta United)—traded to FC Cincinnati
Greg Garza played quite well during his two years with Atlanta United, but he missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury. This injury, along with the emergence of left-back George Bello led to Atlanta trading Garza to FC Cincinnati.
Garza is one of the better left-backs in MLS and could still have a future with the USMNT, especially considering the lack of depth at left-back.
The injury-plagued Terrence Boyd has departed 2.Bundesliga side Darmstadt 98, after struggling to earn regular playing since signing for the club in January 2017. He joins a Toronto FC team that needs attackers, after selling stars Victor Vazquez and Sebastian Giovinco.
Joe Corona, central midfielder, 28, (on loan at Club America, from Club Tijuana)—rejoined Club Tijuana, as his loan ended
Joe Corona has returned to parent club Club Tijuana, after spending 2018 riding Club America’s bench. Corona will hope to become a Club Tijuana regular and revive his USMNT career.