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…
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Winger/attacking midfielder
Games: 20(9 starts)
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
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Defensive midfielder
Games: 10 (8 starts)
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.
Games: 29 (29 starts)
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.
Position: Box-to-box midfielder
Games: 24 (19 starts)
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.
Club: Werder Bremen
Games: 10 (1 start)
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.
Club: Hannover (on loan from Hamburg)
Games: 20 (12 starts)
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.
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
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.
Games: 7 (2 starts)
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.
Club: Fortuna Düsseldorf
Position: Box-to-box midfielder
Games: 23 (16 starts)
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.
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Position: Wide midfielder/full-back
Games: 18 (11 starts)
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.
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.
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.