The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage draw took place today in Istanbul, and 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4 for Europe’s most prestigious club tournament. For fans of the United States Men’s National Team, there are several rooting interests located within those 8 groups, as 10 American players will once again compete in the hopes of lifting the Champions League trophy next June 10th.
The 10 Americans that will compete in the Champions League:
Eintracht Frankfurt (Timmy Chandler)
Chelsea FC (Christian Pulisic)
FC Barcelona (Sergiño Dest*)
Juventus (Weston McKennie)
Borussia Dortmund (Gio Reyna)
Rangers FC (James Sands, Malik Tillman)
Club Brugge (Owen Otasowie)
Celtic FC (Cameron Carter-Vickers)
Maccabi Haifa (Josh Cohen)
*Assuming Dest remains with Barcelona after the close of the summer transfer window
At this point, USMNT fans should be used to this number of Americans playing in the Champions League, with 10 players being in the competition the past 2 seasons. Still, it’s a wonderful sight to see so many USMNT players getting that kind of experience and playing for one of the world’s most heralded trophies.
Here’s how the draw concluded:
Group A: Ajax, Liverpool FC, Napoli, Rangers FC
Group B: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge
Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille
Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea FC, Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb
Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic FC
Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa
Interestingly, even with 9 teams carrying American players, fans had to wait until the draw was nearly over to figure out which groups would have an American vs. American matchup. Josh Cohen’s Maccabi Haifa was the penultimate team to hear their name called, and they were drawn into Group H alongside Weston McKennie’s Juventus. Each of the other groups contain only one team with Americans on the roster.
Which American has the smoothest path to the knockout stage? Which match are you most looking forward to watching? Hit the comments and discuss the draw!