Soccer 360 - - Bundesliga -

Tyler Adams won’t be the firstAmer­i­can to head to the Bun­desliga, with some of his com­pa­tri­ots forg­ing suc­cess­ful ca­reers in Ger­many.

Upon first glance, the Pre­mier League looks like it would be, well, the pre­mier des­ti­na­tion for Amer­i­cans seek­ing to ply their trade abroad. Af­ter all, there is no new lan­guage to learn, and the long his­tory be­tween the United States and Eng­land makes set­tling in much more straight­for­ward.

How­ever, it’s the Bun­desliga that seems to be the big draw – tricky lan­guage bar­rier and all – for Amer­i­cans. To­day the talk fo­cuses on tal­ents such as Borus­sia Dort­mund’s Chris­tian Pulisic, as well as up-and-coming names Josh Sar­gent

(Werder Bre­men), Caleb Stanko (Freiburg), We­ston McKen­nie (Schalke) and Jonathan Klins­mann (Hertha Ber­lin), who, of course, is the son of Jur­gen. Sar­gent, like Pulisic, has been de­scribed as a won­der-kid due to his ex­ploits with Werder Bre­men, in­clud­ing net­ting on his de­but, when he scored with his first touch of the ball. In the process he be­came the youngest player ever score in club his­tory in a De­cem­ber clash with For­tuna Dus­sel­dorf.

Oth­ers, like Bobby Wood (Ham­burg), Fabian Johnson (Glad­bach), John Brooks (Wolfs­burg) and Timmy Chan­dler (Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt) have been main­stays in the Bun­desliga for some time and have been all part of the USMNT in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties over the years.

But be­fore any of these play­ers be­came known to Amer­i­can and Ger­man football fans, there were oth­ers who paved the way and made it fea­si­ble. The first-ever Amer­i­can player to make the trip was Andy Mate. Although he was born in Hun­gary, he even­tu­ally be­came a nat­u­ralised United States cit­i­zen af­ter mov­ing to Amer­ica fol­low­ing the 1956 Hun­gar­ian rev­o­lu­tion.

Although his time in Ger­many was brief due to the pres­ence of le­gendary striker Uwe Seeler in the same team – he only made six ap­pear­ances for Ham­burg dur­ing the 1964-65 sea­son – it still made it a pos­si­bil­ity for oth­ers to fol­low in his stead, in­clud­ing Tom Doo­ley.

It took over two decades for Doo­ley to be­come the sec­ond Amer­i­can to fea­ture in Ger­many, but Doo­ley spent the bulk of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in Ger­man football’s var­i­ous tiers, and even­tu­ally played for the likes of Schalke and Bayer Lev­erkusen, where he won the UEFA Cup and the Bun­desliga. He was the first, and, to date, only Amer­i­can to lift the Bun­desliga ti­tle.

Then, of course, there’s US football icon Lan­don Dono­van, who fea­tured for Bay­ern Munich and Bayer Lev­erkusen, as well as Michael Bradley, who had a spell at Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach. Both Dono­van and Bradley are in­ter­est­ing cases, as each also fea­tured for other teams in Europe’s big five Leagues, with Dono­van hav­ing sev­eral loan spells at Ever­ton and Bradley go­ing even fur­ther by try­ing his luck in Serie A with Chievo and Roma af­ter a brief loan with As­ton Villa.

So, Tyler Adams will just be the lat­est in a small but steadily grow­ing line of play­ers who have de­cided to say good­bye to Amer­ica and ‘hallo’ to Ger­many in search of a new foot­balling ad­ven­ture. It’s clear that Amer­i­can play­ers have found a unique home from home across the pond – and it’s not Eng­land as would have been ex­pected.

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