Americans finding success in Europe


Earlier this month the United States Men's National Team defeated the Netherlands 4-3 in Amsterdam and Germany 2-1 in Cologne, with a team of largely unknown players. One notable player was Bobby Wood, who plays in the Bundesliga-3 (third tier Germany), who had a goal in each game.

These wins can be dismissed as friendlies, but even amateur American teams have found success against European teams in friendly games. An example is the Ventura County Fusion, who have notched victories aginst teams like AIK of Sweden and Rangers of Scotland.

The talent pool in America is still largely untapped by European teams, but more European teams (mostly in Scandinavia) are seeing America as a viable scouting ground. An example of this can be seen in Mjøndalen IF, a small club from Mjøndalen, Buskerud, Norway. At the end of the season last year, Mjøndalen IF defeated SK Brann 4-1 on aggregate in the Norwegian 1st Division playoffs, which resulted in Mjøndalen IF being promoted to the Norwegian top tier. Among the players featuring for Mjøndalen IF, is an American named Rhett Bernstein from San Diego, California, who is playing as a defender. Rhett Bernstein is an example of a product from the American system, he has already scored 4 goals this season for Mjøndalen IF from the center back position.

Other examples of Americans who have found success in Scandinavia are Ariel Lassiter (the son of American Roy Lassiter), who helped GAIS of sweden escape relegation, the giant American Jide Ogunbiyi who helped Viborg FF get promoted, Tunde Ogunbiyi (who has seen promotion twice with both Skive IK and Naestved BK) and his teammate Sammy Adjei Jr. (formerly of New York Red Bulls). Last year Andrew Stadler of Swedish team Landskrona BOIS scored 13 goals and for a period was the top scorer in the Superettan (Swedish 2nd Division).

Some new trends are American from Southern California going to Armenia, and Armenia teams scouting for local talent in the California area imitating a strategy that has been employed by teams from Mexico.

As the continues to grow in the United States, one can expect more European teams have American based scouts looking at local talent.

Yanks Abroad is the site which keeps track of Americans playing overseas. Another useful page is the Wikipedia page for American soccer players abroad - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_professional_soccer_players_abroad