United States men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter commented on the rise of American players abroad, crediting Major League Soccer for their uptake in development.
Berhalter’s comments comes hours before FC Dallas announced the permanent transfer of midfielder Tanner Tessmann to Serie A team Venezia. Tessmann is the latest American player to head to Europe, joining Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Mark McKenzie and Bryan Reynolds. Rumours are rising that Gianluca Busio, Sam Vines and Daryl Dike are quickly becoming European targets as well.
“It seems like, from my experience in Europe, my experience in MLS,” said USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter in a Wednesday media availability.
“We've gotten to a point where there is critical mass. And what I mean by that is, we’ve had enough American players that have been successful overseas in Europe that now clubs are looking at the United States as a market.
"Now they’re focusing on us for our young players, to bring them in and develop them, or continue their development, and then potentially resell them. And I think it’s a good point that we’re at.”
Berhalter had a similar experience while playing soccer in the United States, after leaving the University of North Carolina early to join Dutch club Zwolle in 1994. He would later spend 15 years in Europe, playing in the Netherlands, England and Germany - however an American plying his trade in Europe wasn't the norm back then.
Over the years, as the American league and U.S. soccer progresses, the crossover between continents has increased.
“Credit Major League Soccer, and U.S. Soccer, for the Development Academy that started years ago, and now we’re seeing the fruits of that.
“It's common you see that,” he continued. “In Major League Soccer, for example, a few Venezuelans came over and have been successful, and then you see an influx of Venezuelans. That's completely normal, and I’m glad we are at a point now in the United States that Europe’s really shining a light on us.”