U.S. soccer stars have had trouble latching on with Europe’s biggest clubs — until this year. Ten American stars under the age of 26 will take part in this season’s UEFA Champions League, the tournament involving the best clubs across Europe.
While it’s still not fully representative of what should be the U.S.’s soccer potential — Serbia has as many players represented with just 2% of the population — it signifies a trend in the right direction. There are now 30 Americans playing in Europe, the most ever.
At the top of the trend is 22-year-old Christian Pulisic, who was acquired by Premier League club Chelsea in a $73.1 million transfer deal last year — by far the most ever for an American.
Rising American Soccer Transfer Values Since 2017:
Christian Pulisic — Chelsea, $73.1 million
Sergiño Dest — Barcelona, $25 million
John Brooks — VfL Wolfsburg, $18.7 million
Timothy Weah — Lille OSC, $11.7 million