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How did USMNT players perform in Premier League this season?

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season.

From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, it is time to analyze the U.S. national team contingent playing in the Premier League. The pool has grown smaller over the past few years and it is set to shrink once more this summer.

With Tim Howard heading back to Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids and Brad Guzan‘s Aston Villa relegated, for the first time in decades we will not have a U.S. goalkeeper in the PL.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Five USMNT players saw minutes in the Premier League this season, so we thought now would be a good time to analyze how they got on.


Geoff Cameron

Geoff Cameron, Stoke City FC

Another very solid season for the Massachusetts native as he operated mainly at center back and in central midfield for Stoke but also slotted in at right back when needed. Cameron has now notched 129 Premier League appearances in his four seasons at Stoke and has become a mainstay in Mark Hughes‘s side. The Potters flirted with the top six and were knocked out on penalty kicks by Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semifinals. For the third-straight season Stoke finished ninth and Cameron suffered a nasty ankle injury midseason which he recovered from well.

[ VIDEO: Live from Geoff Cameron’s living room ]

The highlight for Cameron was perhaps scoring the winning penalty kick in an early Capital One Cup tie against Luton Town as fans chanted “USA! USA!” repeatedly. He also put in stellar performances against Manchester City in midfield and against Chelsea away from home. All in all, another hugely successful season as Cameron will be a sure starter in central defense for the U.S. this summer at the Copa America Centenario.

Premier League Appearances: 30


Tim Howard

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15: Tim Howard of Everton shakes hands with team mates after his final Everton match during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on May 15, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

This season turned out to be Howard’s 13th and final campaign in the Premier League. The New Jersey native, 37, said an emotional farewell to Everton on Sunday as he’s ended his 10-year association with the Goodison Park club. Howard has had his critics among the Everton faithful this season but it seemed a little harsh, especially given the shaky defense he was playing in front of. Everton — who finished in 11th place — fired Roberto Martinez after a poor season but scattered in among in all that Howard put in some great displays, with one at Tottenham sticking out early on. Midway through the campaign he did lose his place to Joel Robles after a loss of form and struggling with a calf injury.

[ MORE: Howard chats with JPW ]

Now that Howard’s 13-year career in the PL is over and he heads to Colorado in MLS for the next chapter in his career, he can look back fondly on his 491 total appearances in England with Manchester United and Everton.

The U.S. national team goalkeeper has been leading the charge for American players to gain respect overseas and he has certainly succeeded in doing that. With U.S. flags aplenty and adulation from all four corners of Goodison on Sunday, it was a fitting end to Howard’s fine career in England.

Premier League Appearances: 25


Brad Guzan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: Brad Guzan of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on August 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

What an awful, horrendous season for Guzan. The Illinois native wasn’t solely at fault for Villa’s relegation but he will be hugely disappointed as they were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in their history. Guzan will be playing in the Championship next season if he chooses to stay with Villa.

Guzan, 31, has had an up and down year as he’s been dropped for Mark Bunn, made a few high-profile errors but also kept the scoreline from getting embarrassing for Villa on many occasions. It was also alleged he was involved in an incident between some players and Villa fans during an FA Cup game at Wycombe Wanderers in January. Overall, a bad season for Guzan just as he was threatening to take over the number one jersey for the USMNT.

Premier League Appearances: 28


DeAndre Yedlin

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: DeAndre Yedlin of Sunderland is tackled by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on February 13, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As the season wore on Yedlin got better and better. On loan from Tottenham Hotspur, the Seattle native struggled to get into the team at the Stadium of Light under Dick Advocaat. However, as soon as Sam Allardyce arrived his fortunes turned around and he helped Sunderland on its way to performing yet another great escape as they stayed up in the Premier League.

Yedlin was caught out defensively early on with Manchester City and Arsenal teaching him a lesson but the right back has become more solid throughout the campaign and has picked his moments to attack. Allardyce called him out on some of his defensive duties but the raw pace and athleticism he possesses will always be a threat to opponents. He provided a superb assist for Jermain Defoe in the crucial win against Chelsea last weekend and reports suggest that Sunderland will make an offer to Tottenham to sign Yedlin, 22, permanently this summer.

Let’s see what happens there but Yedlin will certainly be Klinsmann’s first-choice right back this summer and has improved almost on a weekly basis during his loan spell at Sunderland.

Premier League Appearances: 23


Matt Miazga

SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: Jefferson Montero of Swansea City and Matt Miazga of Chelsea compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 9, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Just two appearances for Miazga, 20, since his shock move to Chelsea from the New York Red Bulls in January. On his debut he looked composed and calm in a 4-0 win at Aston Villa, however he was hooked off in his second game at half time at Swansea after a few mistakes.

[ MORE: Sitting down with Miazga at Chelsea ]

Miazga is young and his future remains uncertain at Chelsea with new manager Antonio Conte arriving in the summer. He showed he has potential to play for the first team but next season he will likely go out on loan to gain experience playing in Europe. The RBNY academy product is rough around the edges and it will be interesting to see if Klinsmann selects him in his final 23-man squad for Copa America this summer.

Premier League Appearances: 2

Liverpool – Aston Villa preview: How to watch, stream, prediction, odds

Liverpool - Aston Villa preview
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Liverpool – Aston Villa preview: Liverpool will welcome Aston Villa to Anfield on Sunday with a more urgent perspective on its place in history (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN or online via NBCSports.com).

Liverpool hasn’t gotten its usual return on results for some time. Dating back to the 3-0 loss at Watford on Feb. 29, the Reds are 2W-1D-4L from their last seven outings across all competitions.

STREAM LIVERPOOL – ASTON VILLA

In an odd coincidence, Liverpool won the Premier League during this stretch.

Take the start of that run back another week to the first leg against Atletico Madrid and the Reds have won just three times from nine, beating Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and West Ham.

Alanis Morrissette screwed up the concept of irony for me forever, but I think that applies here somehow? Maybe?

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Of course all Aston Villa will see is one of the best teams in the world in the first match at Anfield since clinching a first English crown in 30 years and, oh yeah, their last outing was a 4-0 blowout loss to their rivals Man City.

The Villans have 27 points, one point back of 17th place Watford and three fewer than West Ham.

Team news

Liverpool’s Joel Matip is out for the season and Dejan Lovren won’t play Sunday. Xherdan Shaqiri makes the bench and there are starts for Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Divock Origi.

As for Villa, Matt Targett misses out through injury, as do Bjorn Engels, Wesley, and Tom Heaton. Frederic Guilbert is available on the bench after injury, while American prospect Indiana Vassilev is also a sub.

What they’re saying

Jurgen Klopp on not taking a club job post-Liverpool“When it is time, hopefully I am still healthy and I can say … ‘great, I loved it but now I would like to watch other people doing it. So, I hope I find this inner mood to say … ‘see you later, I wish you all the best, best of luck, love you all but don’t call because of any football matters.’ That’s the plan.”

Dean Smith on Villa taking inspiration from other upsets“You saw Brighton win in the last minute against Arsenal and West Ham win in the last minute against Chelsea. It didn’t escape me that West Ham’s stats were pretty similar to ours against Chelsea but they managed to stick the ball in the net a couple of times. We can take great heart from that, knowing you can go and beat these big teams.”

Odds and ends

Villa are tied with Southampton for the second-biggest underdog status in Matchweek 33 (+800). A Liverpool win stands at -315, according to DraftKings.

Villa took Liverpool to the limit at Anfield earlier this year, taking a Trezeguet-inspired lead into the 88th minute only to see Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane score in the final throes of the match.

Prediction

The Reds record in those nine referenced matches doesn’t match their performances. Liverpool comes out of this one with a 3-1 win.

Report: Rangers sell one-time USMNT player Polster to New England

Matt Polster Rangers
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An American abroad is coming home after an uneven time in Scotland.

Former Southern Illinois and Chicago Fire mainstay Matt Polster will return to Major League Soccer this summer with the New England Revolution.

Bruce Arena’s Revs will reportedly pony up about $375,000 to buy Polster from Rangers, where he signed on a free transfer in January 2019 following three-plus MLS seasons that saw him earn a USMNT cap.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Hazard comparisons ]

He was called up to two January camps for the U.S., going 90 minutes at right back against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018. Polster was also a contributor to the U.S. Olympic qualification push in 2015.

Polster, 27, finishes his time with 10 appearances and an assist Steven Gerrard’s Glaswegian set, getting Scottish Premiership and Europa League experience this season.

A defensive midfielder and right back in MLS, Polster played only the latter with Rangers thanks to Scott Arfield, Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, and Glen Kamara chewing up minutes in the middle of the park.

Transfer news: Saint-Maximin in demand, Norwich back to German giants

Saint-Maximin to PSG
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
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The Sunday morning papers are helping the transfer rumor mill buzz after a weekend of matches in Europe.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Hazard comparisons ]

Newcastle is mentioned as a home for several players but the biggest Magpies name is one linked with a departure to big, big clubs.

Saint-Maximin to PSG, PL big boys

Newcastle supporters, avert your eyes and trust Steve Bruce (What a sentence and maybe a mantra).

Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin has caught the eye of everyone on Tyneside and most of the Premier League but is being linked with a big money move back home.

Steve Bruce is flat-out denying there’s any chance of selling the Frenchman, 23, who is being linked with Paris Saint-Germain and “all of England’s current top six sides.”

“ASM” has four goals and seven assists in 25 appearances entering Sunday morning’s match versus West Ham and is one of just three players to average more than four dribbles per game, his 4.7 sandwiched between Adama Traore (5) and Wilfried Zaha (4.5).

It’s not just about the numbers with Saint-Maximin, though, whose magnetic dribbling and personality keep both a defense off-balance and a team hopeful and happy. Newcastle is 1W-3D-7L in the Premier League when Saint-Maximin plays, 10-6-5 when he’s out there.

Any sale, especially with Newcastle’s takeover looming, would have to be well over the approximately $20 million paid by the Magpies last summer.

Schick to Newcastle (amongst others)

The same report lays out a more realistic shopping list for the Magpies than many of the rumors since reports emerged of a big money takeover at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle is being linked with Roma’s Patrik Schick, Nice’s Arnaud Lusamba, Benfica’s Florentino Luis, Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri, and Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey.

Let’s focus on Schick and Lusamba.

Patrick Schick Leipzig Bundesliga
DORTMUND, GERMANY – DECEMBER 17: Patrik Schick (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schick was once among the most sought-after names in the game. The 24-year-old Czech striker has nine goals in 22 caps for his country.

Three seasons removed from his breakout season at Sampdoria, Schick has profound his footing on loan to RB Leipzig from Roma. The center forward has 10 goals in 22 matches despite Timo Werner carrying the water in fine fashion for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig.

Like Saint-Maximin last season, Lusamba has been in- and out-of-favor with Nice boss Patrick Vieira. But it’s worth noting that the manager has tried to find a place on the pitch for the 23-year-old center midfielder, deploying him at center forward and right mid at times.

Lusamba averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Godfrey to Borussia Dortmund

Speaking of Godfrey, could he be going from the bottom of the Premier League table to the upper reaches of Germany? For close to $30 million, to boot?

Two of the Bundesliga’s top clubs continue to monitor top young Premier League talent including the aforementioned Godfrey, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig eyeing the 22-year-old.

A center back in Norwich’s maligned and injury-battered defense, England youth international Godfrey has played the seventh-most minutes for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.

Relegation victims have often yielded incredible value for bigger clubs, two great cases in point being ex-Hull City man Andrew Robertson and former Aston Villa force Idrissa Gana Gueye. We don’t need to tell you where they wound up.

Sheffield United snares late point at Burnley

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John Egan’s late goal gave Sheffield United a 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

James Tarkowski had put the Clarets ahead in the first half.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

Blades stay above Burnley by two points but both will lament not strengthening their Europa League stock.

Sheffield United’s point gives it 48 points and eighth place, two points and one spot above the host Clarets.

BURNLEY – SHEFFIELD UNITED FULL MATCH REPLAY

Burnley has lost just once in 11 outings including a win over Manchester United and draws with Tottenham and Arsenal.


Three things we learned

1. Blades never say die: Burnley will lament not putting the game to bed with some promising chances but don’t take credit for the point away from Chris Wilder’s Blades. A late short corner routine involved four players on its way to goal, the last moves a clever Billy Sharp flick to the back post for Egan to finish with style. There were some stumbles out of the coronavirus pause and this result can fit in that camp but the resolve of United is real.

2. Burnley’s hopes of a Europa return take a hit: The Clarets booked a pair of 1-0 wins after a blowout loss to Man City and looked very much set for the same on Sunday before the late Blades corner kick. Burnley would’ve loved to directly affect a rival’s point total but has a lot of points available on the docket even considering upcoming matches with Liverpool and Wolves. And might success keep Sean Dyche around his beloved Turf Moor a bit longer despite recent drama with the board?

3. Deputizing skipper as Man of the Match: Tarkowski was quite good apart from his rare goal despite usual center back partner Ben Mee’s absence from the lineup. It was fitting that Tarkowski took the arm band in Mee’s stead, making nine clearances, an interception, two tackles, winning myriad duels including 13 in the air, and completing four of nine long balls (SofaScore).


Burnley – Sheffield United recap

Sheffield United had the best of the first 20 minutes, though Burnley had one solid chance that Matej Vydra was unable to convert.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope had a rare rough moment when a long throw-in made its way into the goal but he was saved by a foul in the build-up

VAR did not see an unknowing Erik Pieters handball off a corner kick reason to send Blades to the spot.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

So it follows that, in Burnley fashion, the hosts went ahead of a set piece. Tarkowski slid onto Jay Rodriguez’s flick of a free kick to give the Clarets a 43rd-minute lead.

Burnley kept the game in control and nearly doubled its advantage with a classic Rodriguez rip from distance, which Dean Henderson parried in a good place for a misfiring Dwight McNeil.

It was a really good goal to make it 1-1, a well-worked corner kick routine flicked to the back post for Egan to finish with authority.