Postcard from Europe: What now for Yanks on the move?
AMSTERDAM – With seven American exports moving clubs over the final days of the summer transfer window, it's time to gauge how many of them will feel lucky in their new environs.
We'll go over how each should fit in with the new boss' plan and the competition pressures ahead.
The big American catch of the summer has merely crossed London to set up shop at White Hart Lane. There is a new coach at Tottenham Hotspur, several new players in attack and a winless start to the season, so any talk of Dempsey not being able to win a starting role are silly – all positions are open where André Villas-Boas is concerned.
Besides, Spurs are in four competitions and Deuce can play three places in their ever-evolving formation. The club wants to win silver and reach the Champions League, goals which happen to match Dempsey's. It would not be a lark to suggest his high offensive production will continue in a side bound to create more chances than Fulham did.
Relegated from La Liga last season, Racing Santander have started slowly in the Segunda Division and their attack won't frighten anybody. The stable has six defenders age 25 or younger. This certainly sounds like a job for Captain America.
While Santander are not a promotion favorite, Bocanegra will definitely be more well-drilled for CONCACAF-style offenses playing in a Spanish second flight that is more challenging than the Scottish Premier League.
Some may be surprised he went to Málaga, but Gooch now has another ripe opportunity to carve his place on a side in big championships. He successfully became a regular at Sporting CP last season (at right) ahead of quite arguably stiffer competition than he has now at Málaga. Martín Demichelis will play the left center back position, but the partner slot is there for the taking.
Even in a worst-case scenario, Onyewu becomes a spot-starting cup play specialist due to his continental knowledge. As for pressure, let's be real: In Spain, Unless your name is Barcelona and Real Madrid, there isn't much. Málaga have maybe a bit more than that because they financially need success on the field.
While Stoke City play with two defensive midfielders, US teammate Geoff Cameron appears well on his way to locking one of those spots down. For the other spot, Edu will need to displace 36-year-old Rory Delap, Honduras ace Wilson Palacios (who can also play wide right), Glenn Whelan (not necessarily a club favorite) and Dean Whitehead (a fair-sized ask).
In other words, it's conceivable but no lock that the US midfielder will get a desirable amount of playing time as the Potters do EPL battle this season. In conjunction with their decent defensive start, arriving last might mean he waits until the all-hands-on-deck winter schedule to truly break through.
The US midfielder has stepped into the Rosenborg machine expertly, with two Man of the Match awards in only five games. Not only is Mix (right) already a starter in ink, he's quickly become a standout in a No. 8 two-way role.
The Troll Kids are very much alive in two competitions, with a one-point deficit in the Tippeligaen title race nine games from the wire and a place in the Europa League group stage. All told, this move is a great opportunity for Diskerud.
The Leeds United winger has already started seeing pitch time for his loan employers. While Stevenage are unbeaten through four games, the offense has been sub-par. The chance to take over a starting role and work with some decent veteran attackers is there for the taking.
With last season's sixth-place finish and several exciting new players in the squad, The Boro have designs on reaching the Championship for the first time in the club's 36-year history.
It's unclear where St. Pauli manager André Schubert will field the Hoffenheim loan man in the team's 4-4-2 "empty bucket" set. The starting forwards have played well without actually scoring much and left-side attacker Florian Bruns seems to be losing his legs. Expect Gyau to initially see time at both spots.
The club's lukewarm start to the season won't dampen the fans' expectations for a finish near the top. The good news is St. Pauli supporters are among the most supportive in Europe for players having a struggle – something not to be underestimated when considering young prospects.