Continuing its preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team welcomes four-time champions Germany to East Hartford, Conn. on Saturday to kick off a pair of important matches in the October window (3 p.m. ET – TNT, Telemundo, Peacock, Fútbol de Primera Radio platforms).
While the USMNT will look impose its own style and identity against Die Mannschaft, the faces and style of the German National Team will be familiar to many members of the U.S. squad. Five players in the squad currently play in the Bundesliga, the top division in German soccer and one of the best leagues in the world, while another four have past experience there. What’s more, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter spent a good chunk of his playing career in Germany.
Ahead of the clash in Connecticut, here’s a closer look at the USMNT’s German connections…
CURRENTLY PLAYING IN BUNDESLIGA
Brenden Aaronson – Union Berlin
On loan from English side Leeds United, Aaronson has appeared in seven matches for Die Eisernen thus far in the 2023-23 Bundesliga campaign, including five starts. The 22-year-old attacker also earned minutes in Union Berlin’s first two UEFA Champions League Group Stage matches against Real Madrid and Braga.
Lenny Maloney – Heidenheim
Coming into a USMNT camp for the first time, the Berlin-born Maloney rose through the Union Berlin youth academy and made his Bundesliga debut in 2021-22 during a stint with Borussia Dortmund. Maloney joined Heidenheim in July 2022, playing 33 matches in the 2.Bundesliga to help his club to the top of the table, earning promotion to the first division. Maloney has logged seven appearances – all starts – in Heidenheim’s debut Bundesliga campaign this season, and will be the first player in club history to represent a national team. A dual citizen of the United States and Germany, the defensive midfielder earned caps for Germany’s U-18 and U-19 squads before appearing at the U-20 level with the United States.
Kevin Paredes - Wolfsburg
After two strong seasons with D.C. United in MLS, Paredes moved to Wolfsburg in January 2022 at age 18. The Virginia native has earned 26 Bundesliga appearances during the past three seasons, including four in the current campaign.
Gio Reyna – Borussia Dortmund
Aged 17 years and 66 days, Reyna became the youngest American to play in the Bundesliga when he made his Borussia Dortmund debut on January 18, 2020. Since then, Reyna has appeared in 107 matches with Die Schwarzgelben across Bundesliga, Champions League, Europa League, DFB-Pokal and German Super Cup competition. At just 20 years old, Reyna boasts 13 goals and eight assists in his young Bundesliga career, highlighted by seven goals last season.
Joe Scally – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Fresh off his first Bundesliga goal of the season this past the weekend, Scally has been a constant presence in Gladbach’s back line through the past three seasons. Since joining the club in 2020, the Long Island-born defender has accumulated 70 appearances for Die Fohlen.
Weston McKennie – Schalke
Making the move to Germany at the age of 18, McKennie graduated from Schalke’s youth system to make his professional debut with the club in May of 2017. During four seasons, the Texas native made 91 appearances for the club across all competitions before moving to Juventus in the summer of 2020.
Ricardo Pepi – Augsburg
Transferring from FC Dallas in January 2022, Pepi made 16 appearances for Augsburg across domestic competitions. After scoring 12 goals in a successful loan spell to Dutch side Groningen last season, El Tren moved to Holland permanently, signing with PSV Eindhoven during the summer transfer window.
Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund
Pulisic made his Bundesliga debut in 2016 at the age of 17 after graduating from Dortmund’s youth ranks. In four seasons playing at Signal Iduna Park, Pulisic made 127 appearances and scored 19 goals across domestic and European competitions, helping deliver the 2016-17 DFB-Pokal title. Pulisic moved to Chelsea in 2019 where he spent four seasons, highlighted by the club’s 2020-21 UEFA Champions League win. Pulisic joined AC Milan in the offseason, and even returned to Dortmund when the two clubs met in the UCL last week. The U.S. attacker has already tallied four goals for the Rossoneri in the 2023-24 Serie A campaign.
Chris Richards – Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich
Shortly after signing a professional contract with FC Dallas in 2018, Richards joined perennial German powerhouse Bayern Munich on loan. Eventually earning a permanent contract, Richards made his Bundesliga debut with the Bavarian side in 2020. In loan moves to Hoffenheim during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, Richards was a regular for Der Blau’s defense, totaling 24 appearances across domestic competitions. Richards joined Premier League side Crystal Palace ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Gregg Berhalter – Energie Cottbus, 1860 MunichThe USMNT boss’s 18-year playing career included seven seasons spent in Germany with Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich. Following impressive performances at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he signed with Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus that summer where he spent four seasons, captaining the side for the final two and eventually helping the team win promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of the 2006 campaign. From there, Berhalter joined 1860 Munich, where he continued to wear the armband for three seasons before departing to join the LA Galaxy in the summer of 2009. Across those seven seasons, Berhalter played in 184 matches in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, tallying a total of 17 goals.