US men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter commented on the increase in American players abroad and credited Major League Soccer for their development.
Berhalter’s comments come hours before FC Dallas announced the permanent transfer of midfielder Tanner Tessmann to Serie A team Venezia. Tessmann is the latest American player to travel to Europe and join Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Mark McKenzie and Bryan Reynolds. Rumors are growing that Gianluca Busio, Sam Vines and Daryl Dike will also quickly become European targets.
“It seems like, from my experience in Europe, my experience of MLS,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a Wednesday media availability.
US player Weston McKennie with Serie A trophy after winning with Juventus / Nicolò Campo / Getty Images
“We have come to a point where there is critical mass. And what I mean by that is that we have had enough American players who have been successful abroad in Europe for clubs to now see the United States as a market.
“Now they are focusing on us for our young players, to take them in and develop them, or continue their development, and then possibly sell them again. And I think that’s a good point that we are on.”
Berhalter had a similar experience when he played football in the United States, after leaving the University of North Carolina early to join the Dutch club Zwolle in 1994. He later spent 15 years in Europe and played in the Netherlands, England and Germany – but an American it was not the norm then to trade in Europe.
Over the years, as the American league and American football evolve, the division between continents has increased.
“Credit Major League Soccer, and US Soccer, for the development academy that started several years ago, and now we see the fruits of it.
“It’s common for you to see that,” he continued. In Major League Soccer, for example, some Venezuelans came over and have been successful, and then you see an influx of Venezuelans. This is perfectly normal, and I am glad that we are now at a point in the United States that Europe really shines on us. ”