Last week, UEFA conducted its draws for the 2023-24 continental club competitions: the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League. Fans of the USMNT should have been excited to see the draw, as 20 Americans are on rosters for teams in each of those competitions.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen tons of Americans have the opportunity to play in the big European club competitions, but after a summer that saw several players make move to new teams, it’s even more impressive to see so many players who will be taking on the best that Europe has to offer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
The Champions League will see 11 Americans, with PSV leading the way with 3 Americans (and Earnie Stewart calling the shots as their sporting director). 8 Champions League teams include Americans on their roster:
PSV (Group B) - Sergiño Dest, Ricardo Pepi, Malik Tillman, Earnie Stewart (sporting director)
Union Berlin (Group C) - Brenden Aaronson
Celtic (Group E) - Cameron Carter-Vickers
Borussia Dortmund (Group F) - Gio Reyna
AC Milan (Group F) - Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah
Manchester City (Group G) - Zack Steffen
FC Barcelona (Group H) - Diego Kochen
Antwerp (Group H) - Sam Vines
Groups F and H will each have two opportunities for matchups against Americans, as Gio Reyna and Borussia Dortmund will have 2 dates against Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah, and AC Milan. In Group H, Diego Kochen was registered to the Barcelona roster, so while he’s the backup, his Barca side will take on Antwerp and Sam Vines twice during the group stage. An astounding 6 players will compete in Champions League after joining a new club in the offseason.
Europa League will only have 3 Americans playing in the competition, at least for the group stage:
LASK (Group E) - George Bello
Panathinaikos (Group F) - Erik Palmer-Brown
Molde (Group H) - Christian Cappis
Bello, Palmer-Brown, and Cappis each are on new clubs, so we hopefully will see a lot of their play on Thursdays.
Europa Conference League
The Europa Conference League, in its 3rd year of existence, has 6 Americans who will compete in the tournament:
Club Brugge (Group D) - Owen Otasowie (Editor’s note: Otasowie is not listed on Brugge’s Conference League roster)
AZ Alkmaar (Group E) - Djordje Mihailovic
Ferencváros (Group F) - Henry Wingo
Genk (Group F) - Mark McKenzie
Eintracht Frankfurt (Group G) - Paxten Aaronson, Timothy Chandler
Aberdeen (Group G) - Dante Polvara
Groups F and G each have some American vs. American matchups possible, as Henry Wingo’s Ferencváros will take the field twice against Mark McKenzie’s Genk in Group F. Eintracht Frankfurt, which has Paxten Aaronson and Timothy Chandler, will play Dante Polvara’s Aberdeen side twice in Group G play.
Which players are you looking forward to watching compete in European competition this season? Which matchups are the highlights? Hit the comments and discuss.