With the 2022 FIFA World Cup draw complete, much focus abroad shifts to European leagues wrapping up their 2021-22 season.

Relegation is becoming a real threat as races heat up. A number of US and Canadian internationals are in the thick of it, as well as some key MLS exports from recent years.

What is the status of those battles and what might relegation mean for their futures?

This list is not comprehensive for every single American, Canadian or MLS export on the globe. Rather, we tried to keep it to players realistically in the Canadian/American national team pools and higher-profile MLS exports.

Players on the same team are lumped together for the sake of redundancy.

Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessmann, Nani
Venezia (Italy, Serie A)

VeneziAmerica are in trouble.

The Italian side with American ownership and gorgeous kits currently sits in the relegation zone in Serie A after 30 matches and are three points from safety, though do have a game in hand over 17th-place Caligari (who they play on the final weekend of the season).

Venezia have won just once in their last 17 league matches. They faced fellow relegation-threatened Spezia (seven points ahead of Venezia and the relegation zone entering the game) in their first match following the international break... which they lost 1-0 thanks to a heartbreaking stoppage-time goal. That marks five losses on the bounce with time running out.

Americans and MLS midfield exports Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann joined the club last summer, with Busio departing Sporting Kansas City for $6 million up front with incentives that could take the fee to $10.5 million, amid a flurry of bids and widespread interest. Tessmann arrived from FC Dallas for $4 million.

Tanner Tessmann Venezia
FC Dallas export Tanner Tessmann, left, dribbles against Atalanta.

Busio has been a crucial player, making 25 appearances, while Tessmann has been a regular on the teamsheet with 18 appearances (just under 600 Serie A minutes).

Tessmann would likely get more minutes in the first team with expected departures following a potential relegation – that's if he sticks around. As for Busio: Would it make sense for him to head to Italy's Serie B after a number of other European clubs tried to sign him just last summer? Would it make sense for Venezia to cash in on him as revenues decrease with relegation? These are all things to think about if the worst-case scenario happens and Venezia can't avoid the drop.

Nani, who left Orlando City SC this winter, joined the club on a free transfer in January. The 35-year-old has only played 266 minutes, though. He assisted on his debut but that’s his only goal involvement thus far.

Ricardo Pepi, Carlos Gruezo
FC Augsburg (Germany, Bundesliga)

Life in the Bundesliga hasn’t quite gone to plan for Ricardo Pepi after becoming Augsburg’s club-record signing in January, joining from FC Dallas for nearly $20 million. All the fears about a team struggling to create chances in a relegation fight have come true thus far.

Pepi is yet to score in his eight appearances with the club, but started their huge 3-0 win over Wolfsburg last weekend and came off the bench in their 2-1 win over Mainz midweek.

The bottom two (17th and 18th place) are automatically relegated in Germany, while 16th place goes to a promotion playoff. Six points separate 17th and 13th currently, with Augsburg up to 13th thanks to their two consecutive victories, though they're not out of the woods yet. They have six games left alongside the rest of the teams in the relegation battle.

Ricardo Pepi Augsburg
Ricardo Pepi joined Augsburg from FC Dallas for nearly $20 million.

Former FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo is still at Augsburg, though there has been serious interest from FC Cincinnati and Real Salt Lake about trying to bring him back to MLS. The league's Primary Transfer Window remains open until May 4, and Gruezo has started three of the club’s last six games after returning from injury.

If Gruezo were to return, he'd have to be acquired via the Allocation Order. FC Cincinnati currently have the top slot.

George Bello
Arminia Bielefeld (Germany, Bundesliga)

We’ll stay in the Bundesliga here as USMNT fans will be watching this race closely for a number of teams, including Atlanta United homegrown product George Bello at Arminia Bielefeld.

Bielefeld are in the relegation playoff spot in 16th place, one point behind Stuttgart and five behind Wolfsburg. It’s going to be super tight.

George Bello
George Bello joined Arminia Bielefeld in January from Atlanta United.

The 20-year-old left back has quickly become a regular, appearing in six of the eight matches he has been available for, including two consecutive starts before the March international break.

Bello’s future isn’t likely to be determined by relegation, given he only joined the club in January and pushed to sign there rather than Belgium's Cercle Brugge. It’s not like the threat of relegation is a surprise.

Kevin Paredes, John Brooks
Wolfsburg (Germany, Bundesliga)

It's not a stretch to put Wolfsburg, a Champions League club last fall, in the relegation battle conversation. Wolfsburg are in that cluster Pepi and Bello find themselves in, only five points clear in 14th place. Six games remain in their season.

Kevin Paredes joined Wolfsburg for $7.35 million from D.C. United this winter and the wingback is yet to make his first-team debut. That’s not hugely surprising; at his age (18) and profile this was always viewed as a move for the future. The US youth international was among the top talents in MLS before his move and was being tracked by the likes of RB Salzburg and others, meaning Wolfsburg had to act quickly.

Kevin Paredes
D.C. United product Kevin Paredes awaits his Wolfsburg debut.

Fellow American John Brooks is at the club (for now). Wolfsburg already announced Brooks will depart when his contract expires in the summer, so he will not be totally impacted by Wolfsburg’s status. Perhaps an MLS move is in the offing?

Josh Sargent
Norwich City (England, Premier League)

Norwich City’s difficulties have been long documented and, while they’re not mathematically relegated yet, it’d take quite the great escape to stick in the Premier League next season. Norwich are bottom of the league, seven points from safety, and a fellow relegation-territory team above them (Burnley) has one game in hand. They face three teams in the top seven (Tottenham, West Ham, Manchester United) over their remaining eight games, further compounding matters.

For months the overwhelming assumption is that they were destined for relegation, leaving Josh Sargent in a tough spot. His August 2021 move to Norwich in the first place was sparked in part due to Werder Bremen getting relegated from the German top flight.

Would it make sense for the USMNT forward to move again? A key pillar to that question relies on if Norwich see him playing center forward or if he’ll keep playing on the wing in the second tier.

As for the national team, sticking around in the Championship wouldn’t hurt his chances for call-ups.

Antonee Robinson has gotten consistent call-ups despite being in the Championship this year with Fulham. Tim Ream had been called up in the past from the Championship. Former Orlando City forward Daryl Dike made a move to the Championship two winters in a row with the coaching staff’s blessing. Seattle forward Jordan Morris and FC Dallas forward Paul Arriola went on loan to the second division last year too, both joining Swansea City before injuries stunted those opportunities.

Jack Harrison
Leeds United (England, Premier League)

Leeds United have been a bit of an enigma this year and fell towards the relegation zone fast over the past few months, with highly respected manager Marcelo Bielsa stepping away from the club and American Jesse Marsch taking over (with former NYCFC winger Jack Harrison already a key player).

The club has moved up to 16th place, with back-to-back stoppage-time winners alleviating some pressure and injecting a much-needed dose of optimism and momentum for this squad before the March international break. Leeds are eight points above the relegation zone despite carrying a negative-33 goal difference, easily second-worst in the Premier League.

Jack Harrison Leeds United
Jack Harrison has played for Leeds United since 2018.

Harrison has appeared in 28 of Leeds' 31 matches, adding six goals and one assist. He was with the club in the Championship before they got promoted.

Marsch, the former New York Red Bulls and CF Montréal manager, was let go by RB Leipzig after a brief stint and took over Leeds who were terribly out of form and sinking fast when he arrived.

No matter what happens with this Leeds team, it’ll be a wild ride to the end.

Miguel Almiron
Newcastle (England, Premier League)

An uptick in form has gotten Newcastle out of the thick of the relegation battle, now sitting in 15th place, nine points ahead of the drop zone. They can breathe.

Regardless of what happens, former Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron is reportedly on his way out of Newcastle as new ownership is in the process of overhauling the squad, with big new budgets. He had appeared in almost every game he was available for since his MLS-record move ($26 million) from the Five Stripes, but he recently went two months without a start.

Matt Doyle has been trying to speak into existence an Almiron return to MLS. That’d be fun, wouldn’t it?

Reggie Cannon
Boavista (Portugal, Primeira Liga)

Reggie Cannon was destined for a transfer away from Boavista all summer, but a move never materialized with a potential loan to England's Fulham falling through just before the deadline. It seemed pretty certain that he would leave in January.

That didn’t happen, either. Cannon is still at Boavista and is a regular starter once again, with the club in 11th place (of 18) and five points clear of the relegation zone. Portugal's bottom two teams automatically go down, while the 16th-place side enters a relegation playoff.

Keep an eye on this former FC Dallas fullback's future regardless if they stay up or not.

Reggie Cannon Boavista
Reggie Cannon's exit from Boavista could be in the works.
Matt Miazga
Alavés (Spain, La Liga)

One of the many players away from Chelsea as part of their infamous loan army, Miazga is at his fifth different loan club since originally joining the Blues in 2016.

Now at La Liga side Alaves, Miazga has fallen out of the starting XI after a run of games early in the year. The former New York Red Bulls center back has started just three league games since October, impacting his place on the USMNT depth chart.

Alaves are bottom of the league, now six points from safety.

Matt Miazga
Alavés is Matt Miazga's fifth loan away from Chelsea.
Matthew Hoppe
Mallorca (Spain, La Liga)

Staying in Spain, another US national teamer is in jeopardy of relegation. Mallorca sit ahead of Alaves, but occupy an automatic relegation spot to LaLiga 2 (18th place). They are two points from safety with eight games remaining.

Matthew Hoppe was signed from Schalke in the summer following their relegation to the German second tier and he’s hardly seen the field, playing just 127 league minutes over four games. The 21-year-old has six caps with the USMNT.

David Junior Hoilett
Reading (England, Championship)

Thanks in part to a six-point deduction due to breaking the English Football League's financial regulations, Reading are currently just above the relegation zone in England’s second tier (21st place, 34 points).

Canadian international Junior Hoilett has spent the majority of his career in the Championship and has 22 appearances with Reading this season, joining from Cardiff City in the summer.

Former D.C. United star Wayne Rooney’s Derby County are currently second-from-bottom thanks to a 21-point deduction as well.

Alberth Elis
Bordeaux (France, Ligue 1)

In September 2020, Houston Dynamo FC transferred Honduran international forward Alberth Elis to Portuguese club Boavista, who have since loaned him to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

It wasn’t supposed to be a relegation-threatened club. The only time Bordeaux had ever finished even 15th (of 20) was 2004-05, the only time they were worse than 14th since 1996-97.

But Bordeaux sit bottom of the table and are in real danger of the drop. They are four points off 18th, which would give them a chance at survival via a promotion playoff. They are five points behind complete safety. There are eight matches left in the French season.

Alberth Elis
Ex-Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis is on loan at Bordeaux.

Elis has been extremely productive during his two seasons in Europe. He has nine goals and an assist in 1,451 minutes in France after 8g/6a in 32 appearances in Portugal.

Houston still have a sell-on percentage in Elis, which is believed to be around 20%.

Erik Palmer-Brown, Ike Ugbo
Troyes (France, Ligue 1)

Staying in France, Troyes are currently better off than Bordeaux, but not totally safe yet. Troyes sit in 15th, but just five points ahead of the promotion playoff place of 17th. They still have to play four teams in the top seven, including league-leaders PSG.

Sporting KC product Erik Palmer-Brown joined the club this year, initially on loan from England's Manchester City before a permanent move. While it took a bit for him to get into the lineup, he started 10 straight matches recently.

His form earned him a surprise call-up with the USMNT, appearing in a World Cup qualifier at Mexico as they later clinched a Qatar 2022 spot. Palmer-Brown nearly joined Italy's Venezia in the summer before ultimately landing with Troyes.

Palmer-Brown turns 25 in April. Would it make sense for him to stick around in the second division (Ligue 2) at this stage of his career if his side can’t avoid the drop?

Canadian international Ike Ugbo is at Troyes as well, but he's on loan from Belgium's Genk, so the club’s 2022-23 fate won’t directly impact him. The 23-year-old Chelsea product has two goals in six appearances with Troyes.