World Cup 2022: USMNT Winners and Losers in the Summer Transfer Window

The summer transfer window across Europe has now closed, and this has seen some of the United States men’s national team players move to further their chances of playing at World Cup. In contrast, others have stayed put and now face a tough test to find some form ahead of the showdown in Qatar this November.

We look at the winners and losers from the recent transfer window for the USMNT and how this could change its chances of a deep run into the World Cup.

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U.S. Players Trying to Improve World Cup Chances

Sergino Dest

Dest has moved to the Italian champions AC Milan on loan from his parent club, Barcelona. It comes after 51 appearances in La Liga for the right-back, which means he has missed out on 25 games in the past two seasons, which is more than half of an entire campaign. 

Now at Milan, however, it’s expected that Dest will start to play more and certainly up his defensive qualities at the same time, which is a weak point in his game. Milan and Italian football are known for focusing on defense, and with the USMNT facing a tough test just to get out of its group at the World Cup, this could work wonders for the defense this winter.

Staying at Barcelona wouldn’t have been a terrible decision, but in taking the confident stride to move to another country where the expectation of winning is equally as high, Dest should head to the World Cup with plenty of games under his belt in the 2022/23 season with Milan.

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Christian Pulisic

Pulisic is still in Chelsea until January at least, despite reports of him seeking a move elsewhere. His former club, Borussia Dortmund, and Chelsea’s rivals, Manchester United, were supposedly seeking his services more than anyone else. However, after just 156 minutes of action in the Premier League out of 540, it’s already proving to be a bad choice for him to stay in Chelsea.

What’s worse, the signing of Raheem Sterling has made it even tougher for Pulisic to get in the team, and with Thomas Tuchel struggling as coach right now, it’s unlikely he’s going to take it a gamble on playing Pulisic more often. At the same time, it’s not likely that Chelsea will win anything this year, so staying with the Blues is pointless for the American.

Now that he has decided to remain in London, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the USMNT’s best player barely plays for his team before the World Cup in November.

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Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen

We’ve grouped these three as they are all goalkeepers and have gone on the move to a new club for the 2022/23 season in hopes of securing a spot at the World Cup. However, with only three keepers heading to the competition for each national team, one of these players will miss out on their World Cup dream as New York City’s Sean Johnson is expected to get a spot on the plane.

Out of all three moves, it’s Matt Turner — the usual number one — who has made the worst change. It’s all well and good moving to a European giant like Arsenal, but there is not a chance he plays any games in the Premier League unless Aaron Ramsdale is unavailable. 

Zack Steffen, however, made a smart decision to move to Middlesbrough in the league below, and although it has not started the season well, Steffen is still playing each game and is subsequently right in there with a chance to play at the World Cup.

Ethan Horvath has done the same as Steffen by dropping back down into the Championship with Luton Town. Similarly to his compatriot, however, Luton is struggling in Championship and it doesn’t look like Horvath will be able to put together a run of shutouts ahead of the World Cup.

Ultimately, the main goalkeeper spot for the USMNT is anybody’s to claim among these three players and Johnson, and the summer transfer moves have made it even tougher to predict who gets the role.

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Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams

The two have moved to the Premier League with Leeds United permanently and it sees Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams have already established themselves as top players in England’s first division.

Leeds is currently ninth in the Premier League table and has won two of its six games. This has seen Aaronson already score one goal and register an assist too for Leeds, and his form each week is growing stronger and stronger.

As for Adams, he is an integral part of Leeds’ midfield and has so far played every second of Premier League action this season. No goals or assists have come in for the American, but this is not his game and he’s been arguably Leeds’ best player early on in the new season.

It probably also helps that the two are being managed by the best American coach on the planet right now, Jesse Marsch, and the move to Leeds has so far proven to be a magical one for Adams and Aaronson.

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