The top 5 North Americans to watch in the Bundesliga this season
With a host of talented North American players now firmly established in the Bundesliga, the 2021/22 season promises to be one of the most fascinating yet for viewers in the United States and Canada.
bundesliga.com shines the spotlight on five of North America’s top stars to keep tabs on this season …
Club: Bayern Munich
The country: Canada (23 caps / 9 goals)
Position: left rear, left winger
The 2020/21 campaign has been a landmark season for Alphonso Davies. No longer the new kid on the block Bayern, the Canadian faced the first real challenges of his professional career – and took them up with flying colors.
Davies was one of the first names on Hansi Flick’s squad sheet in 2019/20, missing just one of 35 games. A suspicion that it might not be so easy in his second full season in Bavaria came when he was only named as a substitute for their season opener against Schalke. “For a young player like Alphonso Davies, it’s not easy because of the large number of games last season and the short pre-season,” said Flick. “We have deliberately given him time to rejuvenate himself – mentally and physically – and that is what he is doing.”
To look at: Davies’ flagship season
Davies suffered yet another setback when, just 53 seconds into the home game against Eintracht Frankfurt, he took his crampons out of the grass and injured his ankle ligaments. It kept him away for seven weeks, but he came back eager to make up for lost time – and he didn’t look back. Although he missed almost half of the season, he was second behind Thomas MÃ¼ller in number of duels won, and one of his many sprints saw him register the third fastest pace in the Bundesliga la last season at 22.35 mph.
Going into his third full season with Bayern, Davies added his reaction to this adversity to the many positive attributes that made him a true Bundesliga star in just two years, and don’t forget he still has that 20 years old, although he already has three Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Champions League winner’s medal to his name.
Club: Borussia Dortmund
The country: United States (8 caps / 4 goals)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Like Davies, it’s easy to forget that Gio Reyna is still so young. The American attacking midfielder is still only 18 years old, but he has matured at a rate that has made him a household name in the Bundesliga; and after Jadon Sancho left for Manchester United this summer, his reputation is set to be further strengthened.
Reyna’s expectations are sure to be higher in 2021/22 as he takes more of the spotlight from Dortmund after inheriting Sancho’s No.7 shirt.
“There are a number of other players that I work well with – it might even be better [than with Sancho]”said Erling Haaland, who will build on Reyna’s intuition in what promises to be one of the most exciting offensive combinations in the Bundesliga and Europe, especially under the new coach. by Dortmund Marco Rose.
“He wants us to be very energetic, he wants the whole team to press,” Reyna said of her first impressions working under Rose. “For me this is an area I can improve on and he gives me some little advice on how to get closer to forwards when they have the ball and try to get the ball back in areas where I can be more effective. on defense. I try to take all the advice into account and I think I’m improving day by day. “
For Reyna, as for Davies, 2020/21 was kind of a learning curve, which he came out of even stronger. With four goals and six assists, despite only playing the full 90 minutes on 10 occasions, Reyna already knows how to make a contribution, while her three goals helped BVB win the DFB Cup. His first Champions League goal is now due, with Reyna ready to take 2021/22 by its horns and make sure Sancho doesn’t miss too much at Dortmund.
Club: RB Leipzig
The country: United States (14 caps / 1 goal)
Position: defensive midfielder / right-back
Since arriving in Germany from the New York Red Bulls at the age of 19, Tyler Adams has worked his way to the core of the RB Leipzig squad, where he now holds things together in front of the defense. and – as we saw last season – also inside back three.
It was Julian Nagelsmann who tried Tyler in a “quarterback” position, a few steps further than where he regularly pulls the strings. “We wanted to open up new spaces in our building set,” Nagelsmann said of the DFB Cup first round experience last year, explaining how Adams’ technical qualities and vision made him a ideal player for launching attacks from the far back, although he cannot boast of the physical attributes normally belonging to a central defensive stopper.
To look at: Reyna vs. Adams in the Battle of Friends
During his three years at Leipzig, Adams has shown great versatility, also playing as a right-back – a berth he has regularly occupied for the USMNT – and on the right side of the midfielder. . He was also intended for a more advanced role by ex-Leipzig coach and sporting director Ralf Rangnick, and while that change has yet to materialize, it gives new Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch another option for its American all-rounder.
Speaking of USMNT, Adams was his country’s captain in a friendly victory over Costa Rica last October, highlighting how much he is considered internationally as well, and one can expect that ‘he’s leading Leipzig’s charge on the trophies this season, wherever he fits. Mosaic of Marsch.
Club: Greuther FÃ¼rth
The country: United States (15 caps / 4 goals)
Position: Attacking midfielder / winger
Julian Green’s career was full of fairy tales. Selected by Bayern before he turned 19 and selected to the USMNT squad for the FIFA World Cup, all the stars lined up for Green as he found the back of the net with his very first touch of ball in Brazil to become the youngest American goalscorer in the World Cup.
He became the first American to score a goal for Bayern when he struck in a DFB Cup victory over Augsburg and was living his dream in Munich. “I trained with the best players in the world at Bayern,” he said ESPN. “You could learn from everyone, from Philipp Lahm to Arjen Robben. From those players in my post. Robben, Franck Ribery and even Robert Lewandowski. They gave me advice, and seeing them in training made me feel better. made stronger. “
Julian Green helped Greuther FÃ¼rth get promoted to the Bundesliga for the second time only in 2020/21. – LDF
However, that initial promise slowly faded and Green went off the radar somewhat, eventually ending up in FÃ¼rth. “I want to play regularly, so I’m happy to take this step,” he said at the time. Slowly but surely, Green began to enjoy the regular minutes on the pitch. âIt was my first season like this,â he said. ESPN. “I’ve never had this before, and I think it was a very important season for me. Now I feel like I’m a different type of player, my game has just changed a little bit. I feel better now. . “
Part of the transformation included a move to the heart of the midfield. âI came to FÃ¼rth and started playing in the middle, and I think it was a very good decision,â Green recalls. “This is my favorite and best position.” After scoring the goal that saved FÃ¼rth from relegation to the Third Division, he helped push them back into the top flight last season. He took one step back to take two steps forward. âI love this game and just want to make the most of my career,â Green said. “It’s normal that you sometimes have [setbacks], but you get stronger and fitter and … in the end I think I will have [had] a pretty good career, and I can be happy about it. “
Club: Borussia Monchengladbach
The country: United States (U17 cap)
When Joe Scally arrived at MÃ¶nchengladbach from New York City FC, a place in the club’s reserve team, which plays in the fourth division Regionalliga West, was named after him. That didn’t mean he shouldn’t aim for more, however, with Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl saying ahead of his arrival that he had “high expectations” for him, adding: “Our plan is that he be part of the first team. “
After 15 Regionalliga games last season, the promotion to the first team has come faster than anyone could have imagined. Anyone, that is to say except the director of the Academy of Gladbach, Roland Virku. “Joe was able to integrate quickly with Borussia. He really went from zero to 100. I’ve never seen a young player take on challenges as tough as him, without being mean.”
His strength has not been lost on Gladbach’s new coach Adi HÃ¼tter, who has been following Scally in first-team training all summer. After Michael Lang returned home to join Basel, HÃ¼tter gave even more thought to promoting Scally as an internal solution, giving him a chance to impress in pre-season friendlies against Groningen, Viktoria Cologne, Paderborn , Metz and offering him a starting place. in a 2-0 win over Bayern.
Gladbach will kick off his Bundesliga home campaign against Bayern on August 20, and you wouldn’t bet now that Scally is the man tasked with keeping Leroy Sane or Serge Gnabry silent. “As a child, everyone dreams of playing football in Europe, in one of the top five leagues,” Scally said in January. “Being able to play in Germany is a dream and I couldn’t be happier. I’m very happy to be here and take on this new challenge.”