Summer transfer 2022

A look a Tyler Adams moving to Leeds - plus a breakdown of the transfer window, so far

It has been a busy transfer window so far for American players. Key USMNT players have already moved. Tyler Adams moving to Leeds is just the latest but he was preceeded by Brenden Aaronson, Matt Turner, and Jordan Pefok. Gianluca Busio, Zack Steffen, Chris Richards are likely next. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks it all down for you. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
July 06, 2022
1:00 PM

THE SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW is moving on and Tyler Adams heading to the Premier League is the biggest story of the window. None of the other moves were completely unexpected, and there are still players likely to be moved who haven’t moved yet.

In terms of American players moving out of MLS, the pace is slower than last summer or the most recent January. It’s almost a period between cycles where so many left that the top young MLS players still are another year or so from being ready. There are still a few to keep an eye on.

But overall, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Mostly it’s been players moving within Europe.

ASN has already written a lot about Brenden Aaronson moving to Leeds United and Matt Turner moving to Arsenal. They’re both potential U.S. national team starters and both have had huge years to put themselves into big positions.

For Aaronson, the most critical element to his move is that Leeds wanted to sign him last winter before Jesse Marsch took over as head coach. This is important because it shows that the entire organization rated Aaronson, not just Marsch who is a fellow American who coached him at Salzburg. But now Aaronson will have a manage who knows him well and who believes in him. With a huge pricetage – the second highest ever paid for an American player, Aaronson is going to have every opportunity to prove himself. The club is heavily invested in him and will do everything to make it work.

For Turner, it is tough news that he won’t be playing regularly leading into the World Cup, but still, he will play for Arsenal in preseason and then there will be three months before the World Cup. He won’t be too far removed from his starting days at New England. He will get to test himself, and who knows if a situation will present itself when he can start. But he can’t turn Arsenal down and he’s worked incredibly hard to get to this point.

But here is a look of the more recent moves as well as the players who could still likely move.


Tyler Adams

RB Leipzig to Leeds United


This is the biggest move for an American player. Adams is an unquestionable leader of the U.S. national team who should start so long as he’s healthy. His ending at RB Leipzig didn’t necessarily have a happy ending – which is the case for most top transfers when they leave a club.

Now heading to Leeds United, Adams will have a new opportunity in a different league. The Premier League is a tougher league than the Bundesliga, and for the first time as a professional, Adams is going to be playing on bottom half-team (New York was top team in MLS when he was there and RB Leipzig was a Champions League caliber club in Germany). Leeds United is going to see Adams under fire defensively at a rate where he has never been before. On top of that, it’s just a better league.

Fortunately, I think this is where Adams is at his best. His primary responsibilities will be using his top-tier work-rate to chase down opposing attackers. He will be looked to close down space and then spark counter-attacks. There might be a period of adjustment, but this should suit Adams well.

Then you get to the most intriguing and most obvious part of the deal. It will reunite Adams with Jesse Marsch for the third time in a third different league. Marsch has watched Adams develop and grow since he was 16 years old. Marsch knows the strengths and weaknesses of Adams better than anywhere else. But unlike Leipzig, Marsch is now in a better standing with his club.

Overall, there should be a lot to like about this move.


Jordan Pefok

BSC Young Boys to Union Berlin


After winning the scoring title in the Swiss Super League, Jordan Pefok moved to Union Berlin with the deal becoming final last week.

This is going to be Pefok’s third attempt at making it in a “Big 5” European league. His last two stints were in France with Stade de Reims and Rennes. Neither of those two attempts were successful. Pefok was among the best forwards in Ligue 2 with Reims before it was promoted, but in Ligue 1 he never found success. Then in Switzerland with BSC Young Boys, Pefok was a terrific finisher. He was able to get quality service deep inside the attacking box and he repeatedly made the most of it.

With Union Berlin buying Pefok, it should offer a clear representation of Pefok’s level. Is he a player who can succeed in a “Big 5” league, or is he a player who destined to dominate in the league just outside that level? It is hard to see him getting another chance in a “Big 5” league if this doesn’t work out. Since he is now 26, we will learn a lot about Pefok this upcoming season.

Pefok has a lot going for him. He’s big, he’s strong, and he has refined his finishing skillset close to goal. But can he also create for himself or help his teammates in the attack? That’s going to be a further test because he’s going to need to show even more given that the defenders he goes up against will also be better.


Ethan Horvath

Nottingham Forest to Luton Town (loan)


This is a move that had to happen. Ethan Horvath, 26, has not been at a club situation where he was a starting since 2019, when Club Brugge bought Simon Mignolet. He hoped to be in the starting plans when he moved to Nottingham Forest last season, but Brice Samba secured the starting gig all season. Even with Samba leaving Forest, the club opted instead to bring in Dean Henderson and look for another backup. It was clear Horvath had to leave. 

Now he’s moving on loan to Luton Town, who surprised last season in the Championship and qualified for the promotional playoffs. The big question is whether Horvath will play?

Horvath has a shot. Luton Town’s current No. 1 is James Shea, but Shea suffered a serious knee injury in April that could keep him out all this season. For this season, that leaves Horvath competing with Matt Macey, who also moved to Luton Town this summer from Hibernian in Scotland, plus Harry Isted who filled in briefly for Shea after his injury.

Likely it will be a battle between Horvath and Macey to be the club’s No. 1 this season. It’s a winnable battle for Horvath.

Horvath is far from a lock to make the U.S. World Cup team and his last outing against El Salvador didn’t help his case. Sean Johnson is his main competition to likely be the U.S. team’s No. 3. But Horvath has put himself into a position to play regularly and give himself a shot. First, he needs to win the battle with Macey in the Luton Town preseason.



Zack Steffen

Manchester City to Middlesbrough (loan)


This deal is not yet complete, but by all English reports it is imminent. This is a big move for Steffen during a World Cup year to now be playing regularly. The last time he played regularly was during the first half of the 2019/20 season when he started for Ingolstadt on loan from Man City. Knee problems, however, ended his season early.

Steffen has been sitting as the backup keeper for Man City the past two years and his occasional appearances have shown rust. On top of that, he’s also been dealing with injuries. There are a lot of questions surrounding Steffen right now and he needs to answer them – not just for the World Cup, but for his own career. Can he shake off the rust and be a top keeper? Can he stay injury free?

Middlesbrough is a good level for him. It is a bigger Championship team with legitimate hopes of being promoted. If Steffen starts for them, and he likely would, it will help give an accurate reflection as to where he is in his career.


Griffin Yow

DC United to Westerlo


DC United is not a happy place to be as a player these days. It’s a contender for the “wooden spoon” and it’s hard to see an immediate turnaround. Griffin Yow, 19, did well to secure a move to Belgium to play for Westerlo. Westerlo is one of the smaller teams in the league and was just recently promoted to the top-flight. But the club has legitimate hopes of surviving and the goal this season is to finish midtable. Yow is a player who can compete for minutes on the wing and it should be a better environment for him.



Bryan Reynolds

Roma to Westerlo on loan


Griffin Yow won’t be the only American at Westerlo this season. Former FC Dallas right back Bryan Reynolds joined on loan from Roma, and it should be a nice boost for Westerlo. The big question for Reynolds is how he left things at Kortrijk. He was recently on loan at Kortrijk last season for his first loan away from Roma. It was tough to gauge Reynolds and his time at Kortrijk because almost as soon as he joined in January, the club tanked with a 16-game winless streak. Reynolds was far from the biggest problem at the club, but he was not the solution either.

Now at Westerlo, Reynolds will have a preseason with a club and expectations are modest – just to survive and not suffer relegation. It is another step down from Kortrijk (and probably from FC Dallas too) but it should give him the chance to start all season and begin to show progress.


Lennard Maloney

Borussia Dortmund to FC Heidenheim (free)


After making a two first team appearances with Borussia Dortmund last season and predominantly playing with the club’s second team, German-American defender Lennard Maloney will head to the 2.Bundesliga on a free move to FC Heidenheim. It’s a good move for Maloney who, at 22, needs to start thinking about playing regularly. Prior to joining Dortmund, Maloney was at Union Berlin and failed to break into their first team. He then had a few trials that did not end with a contract offer.

Heidenheim finished sixth last season and expectations are for a promotion push. It’s not unrealistic and Maloney needs to push for a starting job there. There will be competition but it comes down to how much he improved at BVB.


Caleb Stanko

PAS Giannina to Asteras Tripolis (free)


The lesson from Caleb Stanko’s career is that there are huge benefits to finding a manager who believes in you and then continuing that relationship, even when you aren’t playing under that manager.

Stanko, 28, has done a great job with this. Normally, a player who does not have his contract option picked up by the worst team in MLS is looking at USL to continue his career. But not for Stanko. After Cincinnati declined his contract option in 2021, Stanko signed for PAS Giannina in the Greek Super League. He had this connection because PAS Giannina’s manager was Iraklis Metaxas, who coached Stanko at SC Freiburg’s reserve team (and as a first team assistant) from 2013-2015. Stanko remained in touch and the two had a bond. Metaxas rated Stanko as a player. Then when Stanko’s contract was declined at Cincinnati, Stanko had an offer at Giannina.

This summer, Metaxas moved within the Greek Super League from PAS Giannina to Asteras Tripolis and Stanko is once again following Metaxas. Stanko offers a good lesson on the benefits of building relationships in soccer. At Asteras, Stanko and Metaxas will hope to build upon last season’s midtable finish in ninth place.


Jack DeVries

Philadelphia Union to Venezia


After spending last season on loan from the Philadelphia Union to Venezia, Jack DeVries will return to the club on a permanent basis. Last season, DeVries spent the season with Venezia’s Primavera (U-19 team) and did well. But he has aged out of the Primavera and Venezia was relegated out of Serie A last season. Serie B should be a good place for him to make his transition to becoming a first team player. Earning promotion, however, will be tough.

From a national team perspective, DeVries was one of the many players helped by the U.S. U-20 team’s recent success. Their Olympic qualification opens the door up to the 2001 and 2002-born players to compete for spots on the Olympic team as this includes DeVries (born in 2002).


Upcoming players on the move


Here are some quick thoughts on players almost certainly to move this summer.


John Brooks: It’s a bit of a surprise that Brooks hasn’t found a new club yet given that it’s been known he was leaving Wolfsburg since January. Brooks has had a rocky relationship with clubs and managers throughout his career, but he still has the talent and is still under 30. He’s a well-known player and clubs know what they’re getting with Brooks.  That’s why it is puzzling. He will still almost certainly land in a Big 5 league and be heavily motivated by getting back into the U.S. team and getting beyond his Wolfsburg exit – which didn’t seem great after the two negative pieces were run on him in Bild.

Gianluca Busio: After Venezia’s relegation, Busio could be on the move thanks to contractual clauses make it favorable for him to be loaned out. But it all comes down to who is wants to take him. He played well at the first half of last season but struggled in the second half. He is a good passer, but can he handle the defensive and physical side of the game yet? That might not lead to attractive offers within Serie A. Maybe Serie B is the way to go but my gut says he gets loaned out, perhaps elsewhere in Europe.

Luca de la Torre: After Heracles relegation, Luca de la Torre is certainly going to be on the move. Standard Liege was rumored at one point, but the Eredivisie and Belgium’s Pro League are the likely landing spots. The Eredivise seems to make the most sense because those teams have watched de la Torre the most and know his quality. That’s going to be important too because his stats don’t jump out at anyone (1 goal, 1 assist, in nearly 3000 minutes for a team relegated out of the Eredivsie). His national team resume really helps as well. But teams are going to have to do their homework on de la Torre to understand his quality.

Malik Tillman: The German-American winger/midfielder recently switched his international affiliation from Germany to the United States and played with the U.S. team in June. He played only a few times for Bayern Munich last season (during times of squad rotation) and there were reports that he was going to head out on loan next season. That seems likely for all parties. The best bet is that he remains within Germany. 

Chris Richards: After two consecutive seasons on loan at Hoffenheim, Richards is back with Bayern Munich for the preseason. But there are still numerous reports linking him to various loans. That makes sense and it would be better for all parties. Richards needs to play to further his development and the minutes still aren’t at Bayern. The two seasons at Hoffenheim and occasional minutes at Bayern give him the resume to land in a good situation inside of Europe’s “Big 5.”

Matt Miazga: Miazga is coming off a tough loan to Deportivo Alaves and his entire career since leaving the Red Bulls has been Chelsea followed by loan after loan. Most of the time it has worked out, but last season halted a lot of momentum in his career. He still has another year left on his Chelsea contract and he needs to play. FC Cincinnati has been rumored and there is interest there. But he’s now in his prime years and playing time is critical. He can’t have a second consecutive year of not playing much.

Austin Trusty: The Colorado central defender was sold to Arsenal last winter but loaned back to Colorado for the first half of the season. The recent 3-2 loss to Austin was his last game before the move. He is going to be loaned out immediately and his first half of the season with Colorado was rough – despite having a good 2021. Hopefully it was simply a case of him looking ahead to the move, but he is not moving to Europe with much momentum. He will have to turn things around quickly, no matter where his landing spot is – which is almost certainly going to be in a second tier of a top country or outside the “Big 5.”

Haji Wright: After a breakout season last year with Antalyaspor (on loan from SonderjyskE in Denmark), it was initially reported Wright was going to be heading to Hull, which has an ownership link with SonderjyskE. But now it looks as if the best bet is that he remains in Turkey. Trabzonspor is the most talked about destination and there is a lot of movement within Turkey. The best players tend to flow up within that league and moving to the Super Lig champs would be a big platform for him.

Gaga Slonina: The Chicago Fire teenage goalkeeper continues to start and build up his resume. Big clubs have been circling and it seems as if it is only a matter of time before the Fire accept an offer.

Tyler Boyd: The former U.S. national team winger has failed to replicate the success he had when he moved to Turkey in 2019 with Ankaragucu. He moved to Besiktas but loans to Sivasspor and most recently Rizespor have not worked out either. Besiktas is going to want to unload him, but to where? Back to New Zealand or Portugal? Is there interest in MLS?

Sebastian Soto: Once a U.S. U-20 star, Sebastian Soto's career is in a very tough point. He moved from Hannover to Norwich and has seen multiple loans fail to work out (except for one brief stint in the Dutch second tier). Last season he failed to get meaningful minutes at a lower-half club in Scotland. He'll return to Norwich but another loan or a cheap transfer seems very likely. 

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