With the English Football League (EFL) Championship season kicking off last weekend and the Premier League beginning this weekend, here’s a look at some of the Americans in each division. Several of these players are virtual locks to be on the United States 2018 World Cup roster, while others will need incredible seasons in England to make it to Russia.
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City
Geoff Cameron faces stiff competition at centerback with Stoke’s acquisition of Kurt Zouma and potential loan move for Bruno Martins Indi. While Cameron will undoubtedly be a starter, he may end up playing as a right back or defensive midfielder. Cameron will need to stay healthy after a bad knee injury last season. He will look to guide Stoke to a mid-table finish and prove that he should be a starter for the USMNT in Russia.
DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United
DeAndre Yedlin had an excellent season in 2016-17 for Newcastle United as the team finished 1st in the EFL Championship. Yedlin was key to Newcastle’s success and his 1 v. 1 defending improved dramatically. He suffered a hamstring injury last week, but is expected to be the Magpies’s starting right back upon recovery. Yedlin will hope to help Newcastle avoid relegation and cement his place as the USMNT’s starting right back.
Defensive midfielder Danny Williams seems poised for a starting role for Huddersfield, although his place in the starting XI isn’t guaranteed. At worst, Williams projects to be a frequently used substitute. After several excellent seasons with Reading in the Championship, Williams will hope to rejuvenate his national team career (no appearances since October 2016) and guide Huddersfield to safety.
Emerson Hyndman, Bournemouth
Emerson Hyndman returns to Bournemouth after last season’s impressive loan spell with Rangers. He will face an uphill battle for playing time and will primarily be appearing off the bench. Hyndman will be competing against four other central midfielders (one of whom is injured right now with an unknown return date).
Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tottenham Hotspur
Cameron Carter-Vickers struggled during Tottenham’s preseason matches, but seems to be firmly entrenched as the team’s fourth choice centerback. Tottenham still has time to make moves in the transfer market, but it looks increasingly likely that Carter-Vickers will play a role in Spurs’s upcoming campaign. He will likely receive little playing time, although Tottenham is participating in four different competitions.
Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest
Right back Eric Lichaj had an inconsistent Gold Cup, but will be expected to have another great season for Nottingham Forest. Lichaj was Forest’s Player of the Year during the 2016-2017 season and will attempt to help the club avoid another relegation battle. He didn’t feature during Forest’s first game of the season, but this was probably a result of him missing several weeks of preseason while at the Gold Cup.
Tim Ream, Fulham
Tim Ream has been an integral part of Fulham’s defense for several years now and fans will be hoping that he can guide the team to a spot in the promotion playoffs. Ream played 90 minutes in Fulham’s first game of the season, a 1-1 draw against Norwich City. He needs to have an excellent season if he hopes to be one of the American centerbacks chosen for Russia 2018.
Lynden Gooch, Sunderland
Lynden Gooch made several appearances for Sunderland early last Premier League season and showed promise, but was clearly far from a finished product. Gooch made the bench for the Black Cat’s first game of the season, a 1-1 draw against Derby County, but did not make it on to the field. Expect him to be ever present in Sunderland’s game day 18 and primarily serve as an attacking spark off of the bench.
How do you think these Americans will fare this season?