The 2017-18 English Premier League season kicks off this weekend, while the second-tier English League Championship got things started last week. With World Cup Qualifying hitting the home stretch and a potential spot in Russia on the line, performance with a club will be critical to each player’s hopes for a shot at the World Cup.
Here’s a look an outlook for U.S. MNT players in the two leagues:
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; English Premier League)
The 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran enters his sixth season at Bet365 Stadium and continues to be a key piece for the Premier League club. Though he’s mostly featured at center back or right back for the USA, Cameron is often utilized as a defensive midfielder for the Potters and will look forward to being back in full health to start the season after a hyperextended knee kept him out for much of the middle portion of last campaign. Along with the U.S. MNT, Stoke will hope to keep the 32-year-old defender healthy as they look to improve upon a 13th place finish from 2016-17.
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; English Premier League)
The decision to drop down to the Championship at the start of last season has served DeAndre Yedlin well. The right back got ample playing time and seasoning with a newly-relegated Newcastle United side that was determined to return to the Premier League where the Magpies will begin their campaign on Sunday against Yedlin’s former club Tottenham Hotspur. While Yedlin is back in the top flight, he’s set to miss the beginning of the season with a hamstring injury, but should figure into Rafa Benitez’s plans once fit.
Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town; English Premier League)
If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s sort of been the case for midfielder Danny Williams, who helped Reading to the English League Championship promotion playoff final in May, only to fall on penalty kicks to Huddersfield Town at the famed Wembley Stadium in London. Though he lost on the day with Reading, Williams went on to secure a summer move to John Smith’s Stadium ahead of the club’s first season in the Premier League. Williams will be coached by former U.S. international David Wagner and will hope his play in the English top flight will help him earn his first call-up since October 2016.
Tim Ream (Fulham; English League Championship)
A resurgent second half of the season put Tim Ream and Fulham into the Championship Promotion Playoffs, where they came up just short in a 2-1 aggregate loss to Reading in the Semifinals. Now Ream enters his third season at Craven Cottage, where the 29-year-old will have hopes of pushing Fulham back into the Premier League while also making his case for further inclusion with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest; English League Championship)
Long an enigma in the U.S. MNT player pool, Lichaj became reacquainted with the side after being part of the Gold Cup-winning roster this summer. After lifting the trophy in Santa Clara, Lichaj returned to Nottingham Forest where he’s beginning his fifth season and 10th overall in England. In helping Forest avoid relegation from the Championship, Lichaj also won the club’s Player of the Year award, and after an extended run with the U.S. this summer will look to use the Championship season to stay in Bruce Arena’s plans.
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; English League Championship)
The start of the 2016-17 season was a great one for Lynden Gooch, who earned an extended string of Premier League appearances with Sunderland and even made his U.S. MNT debut in last October’s friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand. Just as the calendar was set to turn to 2017, Gooch suffered ankle ligament damage which left him to make just two substitute appearances for the club at the end of the season. With Sunderland relegated to the Championship, the 21-year-old winger should see more playing time during the rigorous 46-game schedule this season.
Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth; English Premier League)Having moved to Bournemouth from Fulham at the start of last season, the 21-year-old made the most of a loan move to Rangers where he appeared in 18 matches, tallying four goals and two assists along the way. Now back at the Vitality Stadium, Hyndman will look to make his Premier League breakthrough for the Che