As the United States Men’s National Team has finished up its summer slate of friendlies and World Cup qualifiers and many clubs beginning to open up their pre-season camps in preparation for the 2012-13 season, many USMNT fans have been wondering what clubs their favorite players will be suiting up for in the coming season.
Here are eight USMNT players likely on the move.
In what seems like an imminent move, Michael Bradley has been heavily linked to famed Italian club, AS Roma.
After a strong season with Chievo Verona in Serie A, and a number of solid performances with the USMNT over the past year, it is no surprise to many fans that Bradley will be moving on to bigger and better things.
Carlos Bocanegra, Alejandro Bedoya and Maurice Edu
With Rangers FC in total disarray, it is time for the club’s three USMNT players to be moving on.
For the last few years, Guzan has appeared to be the strongest contender to replace USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard, when Howard reaches the end of his storied career.
However, much like on the USMNT, Guzan has spent much of his club career as a number two.
At Aston Villa, Guzan has been the backup to first, fellow U.S. international Brad Friedel, and, more recently, Irish international Shay Given.
While Guzan deputized well for Given this past season while Given was hurt, Guzan was released by the club at the end of the 2012 season.
However, it has recently been reported that Guzan is close to re-signing with the club.
Perhaps Guzan has been given assurances that he will be able to compete with Given for the starting job, or that Given, who is 36, is going to retire at the end of the season with Guzan the heir-apparent. However, at a position in which the back-up rarely gets a start, even in cup competitions, Guzan in a back-up position for yet another season is both bad for him and the USMNT.
Although Whitbread has only received one call-up for the USMNT, by Bob Bradley in 2011, he was forced to withdraw from that camp due to injury. He has not been called up since.
But with 38 starts for Norwich City over the past two seasons, many fans think he should be receiving another call-up. In the 2010-11 season, Whitbread helped lead Norwich to promotion from the English Championship to the Premier League. In the 2011-12 season, Whitbread got 18 starts in the Premier League, including a January shutout of Chelsea against a Chelsea frontline that included Daniel Sturridge, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
However, Whitbread’s tendency to get injured interfered with at least two chances to get called up to the USMNT last year and when Norwich’s season ended in May, they released Whitbread from his contract leaving him looking for a new club.
On a side note, Whitbread even used his recent out-of-contract status to avoid a driving ban after being caught driving 97 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Given Cameron’s recent rise in the USMNT pool, it is perhaps no surprise that a potential move overseas would be on the cards for the Houston Dynamo defender.
While Cameron has done ok in his five appearances for the USMNT, he has also had some notable bad moments such as his red card against Panama in the January friendly and his unfortunate own-goal against Scotland in May.
If Cameron wants to continue to improve his game, he must make a move overseas to a more competitive league.
Recent reports have him joining EPL outfit Stoke City in what would be a great move both for Cameron and the USMNT.
With Donovan admitting this summer that he has lost some of his hunger for the game and with the LA Galaxy’s season in disarray, it would surprise no one if Donovan finally made his move to Everton permanent.
After two successful loan stints with the Toffees, a solid relationship with manager David Moyes and Donovan recently putting his house up for sale, the rumors have begun to fly.
John D. Halloran