The 4th of July is a day when not only America can celebrate the birth of their nation, it also allows the rest of the world to appreciate the land of the stars and stripes – even though many wouldn’t dare admit it!
Football – or soccer – hasn’t truly been the USA’s forte for a while, with various spoof and satirical sketches pointing out the nation’s perceived lack of understanding of the most popular sport on the planet. But as we’ve seen in recent weeks America has gone crazy for the spherical ball, with Barack Obama even getting in on the World Cup hype.
The MLS is only improving too, with more and more young players from the various clubs making the trip to Europe, while experienced stars head in the opposite direction to grow the game in North America. So with all of this in mind, here are five ‘ballers’ from the United States for Everton and Newcastle to consider this summer…
Big, tall and uncompromising, Gonzalez has long been considered as one of the MLS’s top defenders. LA Galaxy value their man so highly that’s now one of the Designated Players – a type of contract brought in during the David Beckham era – but his performances in the World Cup may make it tough for the to keep him Stateside.
The 25-year-old starred for the USMNT as they reached the last 16 in Brazil, and his composed showings are likely to have attracted attention from across the Atlantic Ocean. Both Everton and Newcastle could do with a new centre-back, and Gonzalez may be a good option.
A skilful winger, Zusi is relatively new on the American stage after spending a lot of his early career out of the MLS. Now with Sporting Kansas City, he has emerged as one of the division’s top performers, and was a member of the All Star team from 2013.
His showings at the World Cup were tidy and promising, which could be enough to get him a switch to Europe.
Dempsey is a name Premier League fans are more than aware of, after all he was excellent for Fulham for quite some time. A bad year at Spurs saw him return to his home nation in 2013 to play for the Seattle Sounders, but his showings have not quite matched up to the hype that greeted his MLS comeback.
A return to England may well appeal to Dempsey, who still has lots to offer at the highest level.
The son of former USMNT coach, Bob, Bradley is widely considered to be one of America’s finest ever midfielders. He recently returned to North America from Roma to play for Toronto, in a move to maintain his spot in the international set-up.
This worked, and he was impressive in Brazil for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. Although he only joined his current side earlier this year, a big switch and guaranteed action with Newcastle to Everton would surely tempt him back to Europe.
The dreadlocked central midfielder is a five-time MLS All Star and one of the division’s top performers. The Real Salt Lake man is now 32, but even with plenty of miles on the clock he was still been able to out a shift in at the World Cup.
Everton are known to be on the lookout for a replacement for Gareth Barry, and Beckerman could well fill the void.