Pulisic, McKennie, Yedlin & the Americans Abroad Best XI

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It was a rough year for several veteran American players around the world, but proved to be a breakout campaign for a number of promising youngsters

It was a bittersweet year for American soccer players plying their trade in leagues outside of the United States. Along with managing the hangover left by missing out on the World Cup, it was a year that saw several veterans endure rough campaigns, while some talented youngsters took big steps forward in their careers. 

Geoff Cameron endured a nightmare season at Stoke City, with the Potters being relegated in a campaign that saw him lose his long-standing hold as a regular starter. Omar Gonzalez also endured a roller-coaster year that saw him go from playing in the Club World Cup in December to not even dressing for Pachuca for much of the Clausura season.

Bobby Wood has also had a season to forget, with his Hamburg side on the verge of relegation from the Bundesliga. John Brooks and Fabian Johnson weren't a part of the national team last October, but they were members of last year's Americans Abroad Best XI. Both have endured injury-riddled club seasons in Germany.

Ethan Horvath was another American who has struggled to get playing time in 2018, stuck on the bench at Club Brugge since losing his role as a starter last October. But who did make Goal's Americans Abroad Best XI?

  1. William Yarbrough | Club Leon

    A repeat selection, William Yarbrough had a strong year with Club Leon, but he is also the only American goalkeeper to spend the past year as a regular starter abroad. Ethan Horvath's benching at Brugge eliminated Yarbrough's toughest competition for this spot, with Bill Hamid's move to FC Midtjylland yielding just three appearances to date.

    Yarbrough was consistent in net for Club Leon, helping the team reach the Apertura play-offs. The Clausura campaign was an overall disappointment, with Leon finishing in 13th place. Landon Donovan's surprising arrival grabbed the attention, but it was Yarbrough who finished the season as one of his team's better players.

  2. Tim Ream | Fulham

    Tim Ream is in the final stages of what has been a standout season at Fulham, which he has helped guide to the brink of promotion to the Premier League. The Cottagers fell just short of automatic promotion, and now face a promotion play-off clash with Derby County.

    The 30-year-old has been instrumental in Fulham's success, serving as his team's most dependable defender. Ream's next match will help him set a new personal record for games played in a season.

  3. Matt Miazga | Vitesse Arnhem

    Miazga is another repeat Best XI selection, delivering a second strong season on loan with Dutch club Vitesse. The 22-year-old center-back set a new personal best for matches in a season, and he has developed into a threat on set pieces as well, scoring three goals this season. Miazga's confidence on the ball grew as well, as he posted nearly twice as many completed passes this season as last season, converting at an 84 per cent rate.

    A much more well-rounded player than he was when he first left the New York Red Bulls, Miazga will be expected to rejoin Chelsea and contend for a place on the Blues squad next season.

  4. Cameron Carter-Vickers | Ipswich Town

    It isn't often that a player as young as Cameron Carter-Vickers becomes a starter for two different teams in the same season, but he successfully made the transition from his loan stint with Sheffield United to his loan with Ipswich Town. His play improved in the second half of the season, and he finished strong despite logging more minutes than ever before.

    The 20-year-old central defender played a combined 34 matches, settling in as the right center-back in a three-man system. That experience should help him make a case for a role with Tottenham next season.

  5. DeAndre Yedlin | Newcastle United

    The only American to earn regular playing time in the Premier League, DeAndre Yedlin has recorded 32 starts for Newcastle United since helping the Magpies earn promotion last season.

    He has continued to hone his defensive skills, and helped Newcastle remain in the Premier League for another season.

  6. Tim Chandler | Eintracht Frankfurt

    It was always going to be difficult for Tim Chandler to top his stellar 2016-17 season for Eintracht Frankfurt, but he came pretty close, improving the attacking qualities in his game to help Eintracht reach the DFB-Pokal final and earn another top-10 finish in the Bundesliga.

    Chandler contributed two goals and four assists for an Eintracht side that was in contention for a Champions League place before some late-season struggles.

  7. Weston McKennie | Schalke

    Expectations for Weston McKennie heading into the season weren't all that high, but when he broke in as a regular for Schalke early in the campaign, we saw someone capable of having a special year.

    He wound up making 21 appearances for a Schalke side that finished in second place in the Bundesliga, playing predominantly in a defensive midfield role, which isn't often occupied by 19-year-olds. He would have played more if not for injuries that cost him a chunk of the second half of the season.

  8. Joe Corona | Club America

    When Joe Corona joined Club America on loan, there was some concern about just how much playing time he would find at a club with so much firepower.

    Manager Miguel Herrera had worked with him before, and called on the midfielder 17 times in league play while also turning to him in the CONCACAF Champions League, with Corona currently looking to help Club America win the Clausura title.

  9. Christian Pulisic | Borussia Dortmund

    A new manager didn't slow Christian Pulisic's continued progression at Borussia Dortmund. He had some ups and downs, but still put together another strong campaign, recording seven goals and eight assists in all competitions heading into the final weekend of Bundesliga action.
  10. Romain Gall | GIF Sundsvall

    Two years after being released by the Columbus Crew, Romain Gall has revived his career in the Swedish first division, emerging as a starter at the end of the 2017 season.

    He hit the ground running in 2018, scoring six goals in all competitions through the first 10 matches of the year. His five league goals are currently tied for second-most in the Swedish league.

  11. Andrija Novakovich | Telstar

    It has been a dream year for Andrija Novakovich. The 21-year-old forward left Reading to join Dutch second division side Telstar on loan and he has made the most of his opportunity, scoring 19 goals so far this season.

    His scoring exploits earned him a U.S. national team debut in March, and now he's looking like a good candidate to try and fill the target forward void heading into the next qualifying cycle.