"Have you heard about the Bundesliga?" Christian Pulisic (r.) convinced USMNT teammate Weston McKennie (l.) to cross the Atlantic to further his career. - © © imago
"Have you heard about the Bundesliga?" Christian Pulisic (r.) convinced USMNT teammate Weston McKennie (l.) to cross the Atlantic to further his career. - © © imago
Bundesliga

Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and the USMNT stars flocking to the Bundesliga

With the emergence of Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, the Bundesliga is becoming a breeding ground for talented American soccer players keen on catapulting their careers, with many leaving the land of the free for the land of footballing prosper.

While in the past many USA stars plying their trade in the Bundesliga already had German links, often through parentage such as John Brooks, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones and Julian Green, nowadays the hop across the Atlantic is being taken by USMNT wannabes who have successfully showcased their talents in the Bundesliga and earned their stars and stripes through their performances.

bundesliga.com takes a look at why the Bundesliga is becoming the destination of choice for up-and-coming soccer stars.

Watch: The Bundesliga celebrates its American stars

McKennie netted his first goal as a Schalke player in their UEFA Champions League victory over Lokomotiv Moscow, repaying the faith being placed in him by the Royal Blues' coach Domenico Tedesco. His was the latest Made in America goal in what is steadily becoming a star-spangled Bundesliga; a place hot US prospects are finding increasingly accommodating for the furthering and fulfilment of their aspirations.

"I rarely single a player out, and I don’t like to either, but Weston was outstanding today," said Schalke's sporting director Christian Heidel after McKennie gave his club's Champions League campaign lift-off. "I'm extremely pleased for him that he scored the winner and gave the team their reward as well."

Watch: Introducing Weston McKennie

Heidel was only leading the praise for a player embodying the art of seeking and taking the sort of opportunity the Bundesliga provides. "Weston works hard to improve every single day," said Schalke vice-captain Naldo. "You can see in his performances that he's made a lot of progress, and now he's rewarded himself with a goal. He's an important part of this team."

McKennie arrived in Germany in August 2016, turning his back on a Major League Soccer Homegrown Player contract offered to him by FC Dallas to tread a similar path to Pulisic, a close friend and former teammate in US youth teams, and a significant source of inspiration. "I made the right decision and I don't regret it at all," he said. "It wasn't easy for me to let go of FC Dallas. But you've got to think 'will I look back in 10 years and wish I could’ve gone over to Europe?'"

- © imago / ZUMA Press
- © imago / Jan Huebner