Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The 2000s saw a multitude of American MLS talent venture away from their domestic leagues and towards their childhood dreams of playing in Europe. Starting around 2003, the USMNT saw its core players, such as Tim Howard, Clint Demsey, Brad Guzan, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu and Maurice Edu depart to the faraway lands of Spain, England, Holland, Scotland, and Belgium. Many have since returned and today the USMNT relies on a mix of mostly MLS players and dual nationals from Germany and Mexico.
What happened to that export product?
The 2014 World Cup proved rather barren in terms of Americans winning big European contracts. The USMNT roster this year included plenty of late bloomers like Kyle Beckerman , Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (all in their late twenties and early thirties). The latter two of whom were offered contracts across the pond, but turned them down to sign contract extensions with Sporting KC. Others were considered too old to sign.
But with more young talent in MLS than ever before, who is going to be the next wave of young exports?