"Pssst, Weston, we Americans have got this scoring thing down!"- Christian Pulisic (l.) and Weston McKennie (r.) have both found the target in the Bundesliga this season, as have five of their compatriots. - © 2019 DFL
"Pssst, Weston, we Americans have got this scoring thing down!"- Christian Pulisic (l.) and Weston McKennie (r.) have both found the target in the Bundesliga this season, as have five of their compatriots. - © 2019 DFL
bundesliga

Americans in the Bundesliga in 2018/19

Christian Pulisic has played his final game for Borussia Dortmund, but he has been far from the only American to make waves in Germany’s top-flight in the 2018/19 season.

Join bundesliga.com as we round-up the star-spangled progress of the USA’s finest from what has been a thrilling campaign…

Christian Pulisic
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 20
Position: Winger/attacking midfielder
Games: 20(9 starts)
Goals: 4
Assists:4

Pulisic has bull-dozed record after record since making his debut for Dortmund under Thomas Tuchel in January 2016 – the youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga and the youngest player ever to play and score for BVB in the UEFA Champions League among others – but persistent injury problems curtailed his impact in his final season at the Signal Iduna Park.

Pulisic returned to top form in the final weeks of the season, though, scoring in consecutive games against Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf – the latter his final performance in front of the Yellow Wall before swapping Dortmund for Chelsea – and an assist on the final day win at Borussia Mönchengladbach helped his overall output to show how devastating a player he remains, with his goals and assists coming in at a rate of every 115 minutes he has featured this term.

Watch: Pulisic's emotional Dortmund farewell

Tyler Adams
Club: RB Leipzig
Age: 20
Position: Defensive midfielder
Games: 10 (8 starts)
Assists: 2
Clean sheets: 7

Adams is the most recent MLS export to arrive on German shores, swapping the New York Red Bulls for RB Leipzig in January. The young defensive midfielder hit the ground running in Ralf Rangnick’s side, Die Roten Bullen only conceding a three goals in the 723 minutes he has played.

“We're averaging three points per game with him,” said a delighted Rangnick in March. That number may now have settled down to two, but Adams has only suffered one defeat in a Leipzig shirt - which came with a much-changed final day squad - and if anybody looks ready to pick up Pulisic’s American Bundesliga baton, it’s him.

Tyler Adams has immediately settled into life at RB Leipzig and shown himself a cool customer in the middle of the pitch. - imago images / Picture Point LE

John Brooks
Club: Wolfsburg
Age: 26
Position: Centre-back
Games: 29 (29 starts)
Goals: 3
Clean sheets: 8

Brooks enjoyed a brilliant second season at Wolfsburg, the hulking left-footer helping the Wolves into a UEFA Europa League group stage place with imperious displays at the back. At 6’4”, he, perhaps unsurprisingly, won an average of four headers per game, and also completed 89 per cent of his passes out from the back as well as chipping in with a career-best three goals and two assists at the other end.

John Brooks and Wolfsburg have had plenty to celebrate in 2018/19. - imago/Camera 4

Weston McKennie
Club: Schalke
Age: 20
Position: Box-to-box midfielder
Games: 24 (19 starts)
Assists: 4
Duels won: 238

McKennie’s club Schalke endured a difficult campaign in 2018/19, only ensuring their top-flight survival with a goalless draw against Augsburg on Matchday 32, and yet the young American still managed to impress. Starting 10 games from his preferred central midfield position, as well as three at the back, two wide on the right and even one up front, McKennie has unfussily thrown himself into an average of 20 challenges per match, laid on four goals – scoring one of his own – and even found the target against Lokomotiv Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.

McKennie once told bundesliga.com, “I’d play goalie if I had to!” but he remains at his best when marauding forward from central midfield. Just ask European champions Portugal, against whom he scored his first international goal 21 minutes into his debut.

Weston McKennie has proven himself a tactical asset for Schalke coaches with his versatility. - 2018 DFL

Josh Sargent
Club: Werder Bremen
Age: 19
Position: Striker
Games: 10 (1 start)
Goals: 2
Shots: 3

Teenager Sargent made an instant impact in the Bundesliga, scoring the fastest-ever goal by a Bremen debutant with his first touch for the first team, just 86 seconds after coming off the bench at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf in December. He doubled his tally just two games later at RB Leipzig and made his first start in February against VfB Stuttgart. It’s been a gentle introduction for the Missouri native but Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann has tipped the striker for “an even bigger role” with the first team next season.

Josh Sargent made an immediate impact for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga, but there is still more to come. - 2018 DFL

Bobby Wood
Club: Hannover (on loan from Hamburg)
Age: 26
Position: Striker
Games: 20 (12 starts)
Goals: 3
Assists: 1

Hannover only registered four Bundesliga wins all season but it was Wood who got his new club their first three points of the campaign with his brace at home to Stuttgart. Five matches later the Hamburg loanee was on target again – after only 22 seconds against Borussia Mönchengladbach – to register what was then the fastest goal of the season. A persistent knee injury, however, curtailed the Hawaiian’s campaign and didn't feature again from early-March, leaving him unable to prevent a second consecutive personal relegation.

Bobby Wood scored the then quickest goal of the Bundesliga season, against Borussia Mönchengladbach. - 2018 Getty Images

Timothy Chandler
Club:
Eintracht Frankfurt
Age: 29
Position: Right-back
Games: 1 (16 minutes played)

The 2018/19 campaign was one of major frustration for the Frankfurt full-back. A serious knee injury restricted the 2018 DFB Cup winner to just 16 minutes of competitive action, coming off the bench on Matchday 32 at Bayer Leverkusen – his first appearance in exactly a year.

It has been a frustrating campaign for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler as he made his way back from a serious knee injury. - imago/Sch¸ler

Haji Wright
Club:
Schalke
Age: 21
Position: Striker
Games: 7 (2 starts)
Goals: 1
Shots: 3

After spending the 2017/18 season on loan at Bundesliga 2 outfit Sandhausen, the 21-year-old Los Angeles native was slowly introduced to life in the top flight under coach Tedesco, featuring seven times and also scoring against Leverkusen. Despite Schalke’s troubles, they had a positive record with Wright in the team (W3, D2, L2).

The 6’3’’ striker may not have featured under interim boss Stevens but scored for fun with the reserves, netting 14 goals in 21 outings. Like McKennie, the Californian will also be hopeful of more senior action under new coach David Wagner.

Haji Wright scored his maiden Bundesliga goal for Schalke against Bayer Leverkusen. - 2018 Getty Images

Alfredo Morales
Club:
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Age: 29
Position: Box-to-box midfielder
Games: 23 (16 starts)
Goals: 1
Duels won: 202

Like his club, 13-time USA international Morales enjoyed a very good return to the Bundesliga in 2018/19. The midfielder was a key member of Friedhelm Funkel’s side that, perhaps against most expectations, avoided relegation by some considerable margin. Despite not playing in a side renowned for its passing game, Morales completed an excellent 80 per cent of his 595 passes to teammates, as well as chipping in with a goal and an assist – both leading to crucial 2-1 wins over Hoffenheim and Augsburg respectively.

Alfredo Morales and promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf surprised many people to finish in mid-table. - Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Fabian Johnson
Club:
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Age: 31
Position: Wide midfielder/full-back
Games: 18 (11 starts)
Goals: 1
Clean sheets: 6

Johnson scored in Gladbach’s opening win over Leverkusen and was a regular feature of Dieter Hecking’s side throughout the season, being used on either wing as well as at right-back. Just one game short of 100 for the club, Johnson proved his reliability on the ball with an almost 84 per cent pass completion, the 57-time USMNT international helped the third-meanest Bundesliga defence keep six clean sheets and leave the Foals bound for a UEFA Europa League campaign next season.

Now a Gladbach veteran with almost 100 games, Fabian Johnson has helped the Foals to the verge of Champions League qualification. - 2018 DFL

Sebastian Soto
Club:
Hannover
Age: 18
Position: Striker
Games: 3 (26 minutes played)

Expect to see much more of Soto in the years to come. In his first season in Germany, the teenage striker scored 17 goals in 24 games for Hannover’s U19s, forcing his way into contention for the first team as they struggled to avoid relegation. He was handed three late cameos by coach Thomas Doll and could return from this summer’s U20 World Cup in Poland as the player to lead the line for Hannover going forward as they look to rebuild in Bundesliga 2. A productive campaign in the second tier could see the Lower Saxony club immediately bounce back to the Bundesliga and bring Soto a step closer to his dream of swapping jerseys with Robert Lewandowski.

Sebastian Soto has had a brief taste of Bundesliga football and will be itching for an immediate return to the top flight with Hannover. - imago images / Christian Schroedter

Timothy Tillman
Club:
Nuremberg (on loan from Bayern Munich)
Age: 20
Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
Games: 6 (1 start)

Unlike Germany-born Brooks, Johnson and Chandler on this list, Nuremberg native Tillman has yet to feature for the USMNT, although the Germany U20 international has spoken of his willingness to switch allegiance to his father’s homeland. It was a baptism of fire for the Bayern loanee, making his Bundesliga debut at Hoffenheim with Nuremberg sitting bottom of the table. All six appearances have come under caretaker coach Boris Schommers as Der Club just fell short of completing the impossible down at the bottom, but it was too late for the 20-year-old attacker to make any impact. As it stands Tillman will return to Munich at the end of the season.

Bayern Munich loanee Timothy Tillman broke through late in the season for relegated Nuremberg. - imago images / Zink