The Premier League's USMNT stars: From Pulisic's Sterling problem to the Return of the Jedi

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Christian Pulisic Antonee Robinson Chelsea Fulham GFXGetty/GOAL

For the first time in a while, there's a sizable contingent of U.S. men's national team stars in the Premier League.

Just three Americans earned minutes in England's top flight last season, but that number should balloon this season, with a number of USMNT players now on the books of some of the country's top teams.

Christian Pulisic remains the star attraction for American audiences, of course, and the winger will be once again looking to lock down a place in Thomas Tuchel's starting line-up.

However, Pulisic has been joined in the Premier League by several international teammates, from newly-promoted veterans to big-money transfers.

Below, GOAL runs through the Americans set to test themselves against English football's finest in 2022-23...

  • Christian Pulisic Chelsea 2022-23Getty

    Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)

    While still the biggest name in American soccer, Pulisic has a fight on his hands to prove himself at Chelsea.

    Pulisic has had plenty of bright moments with the Blues, proving his worth to Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel several times over.

    However, injuries have always seemed to strike at the wrong time, preventing him from truly cementing his place as the club's starting winger.

    That task will become even more difficult this season as Chelsea splashed the cash to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

    Romelu Lukaku's loan move to Inter may have freed up some space in the forward line but Sterling's arrival means that Pulisic has another world-class player to compete with for a spot out wide.

  • Brenden Aaronson Leeds United 2022-23Getty Images

    Brenden Aaronson (Leeds)

    The first of two American stars brought in by Jesse Marsch at Leeds, Aaronson has taken a logical step up in class by reuniting with his former boss at RB Salzburg.

    Even after Marsch's departure in the summer of 2021, the Philadelphia Union product continued to shine in Austria, with his impressive performances paving the way for his move to Elland Road.

    The $31 million (£25m) price tag is lofty, but it's also one befitting of a player with Aaronson's skillset. A midfielder with relentless energy and an improved skillset in the final third, he should fit nicely into Marsch's system.

    Indeed, he dished out three assists in the club's preseason finale against Cagliari and should be a major player for Leeds, who will be hoping to take a significant step forward this term after narrowly avoiding relegation last season.

  • Tyler Adams RB Leipzig 2021-22Getty Images

    Tyler Adams (Leeds)

    The second member of the Leeds United States of America, and another already well-known to Marsch, who worked with Adams at Red Bull-owned clubs in Germany and New York.

    Indeed, there's probably no player Marsch knows better than Adams, who will slot right into Leeds' midfield as the No. 6.

    With Kalvin Phillips having departed for Manchester City, Adams will be crucial to Leeds' Premier League hopes this season.

    Adams has said he isn't a like-for-like replacement for Phillips, and he's definitely right, as Phillips is certainly a bit more complete than Adams is at this stage.

    But Leeds will expect Adams to up his game and lock down a starting spot as they rebuild under Marsch.

  • Antonee Robinson Fulham 2022Getty Images

    Antonee 'Jedi' Robinson (Fulham)

    The Return of the Jedi (and Fulham)!

    One of England's great yo-yo clubs, the Cottagers are back in the top flight after winning last season's Championship.

    And Robinson was a key player in that promotion push, making 36 league appearances in total.

    Robinson will remain the go-to left-back for Fulham, and the USMNT, for the foreseeable future and, at just 24, there's still plenty of time for the defender to improve.

    There's a reason that AC Milan once expressed an interest in his services, and that's because Robinson is a pretty good left-back.

    If he can help keep Fulham in the Premier League, there's a chance that other clubs could come calling in the future, too.

  • Tim Ream Fulham 2022Getty Images

    Tim Ream (Fulham)

    Another American doubleheader, with Ream also back in the Premier League thanks to Fulham's promotion.

    He's been at Craven Cottage since 2015 and this season will be his third in the top flight.

    After making just seven appearances in the Premier League in 2020-21, he was a mainstay for Fulham last season, featuring 46 times in the Championship.

    At 35, Ream's USMNT days are probably over but, given the lack of center backs in Fulham's squad, consistent minutes in the Premier League may be coming his way.

    It will likely be a difficult season, though, as the jump from the Championship to the Premier League has never been bigger thanks to the influx of star strikers like Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, to name but two.

  • Chris Richards Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace

    Chris Richards (Crystal Palace)

    Following two loan spells away from Bayern Munich, Richards will now look to kick on, having joined Crystal Palace on a permanent transfer this summer for $13.2m (£10.9m).

    Patrick Vieira has already raved about Richards, a good, young center back around whom the French coach could construct a defence in the coming years.

    "He’s a solid defender who loves to defend, especially in a one-v-one situation. He’s really comfortable with the ball," Vieira said. "He needs time, of course, to get used to what we are doing and how we want to play. He’s an important asset for the football club."

    For Richards, it will be vital to start the season in good form as he looks to battle incumbent starters Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen for a starting role.

    The World Cup is looming, and Richards could very well be a starter for the USMNT if things go to plan.

    It's a tough task, even with Miles Robinson out, but Richards is arguably the most gifted center back American soccer has.

  • Matt Turner Arsenal 2022Getty

    Matt Turner (Arsenal)

    A dream move for the former New England Revolution star. The question is: what he can make of it?

    Turner is competing to be the USMNT's No. 1, with fellow participant Zack Steffen making his own move in that battle by going out on loan to Middlesbrough.

    However, while Turner's switch to England was made to boost his USMNT chances, he may now find himself in the same situation Steffen did last season.

    It'll be difficult to get meaningful minutes ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, especially as the England goalkeeper pushes for his own World Cup spot.

    Bernd Leno is gone, though, and that means Turner will almost certainly be Arsenal's No.2, meaning he should see game time in the cups.

    Will that be enough? Will appearances in the Europa League help him convince Gregg Berhalter that he should start in Qatar? Time will tell.

  • Gabriel Slonina Chelsea unveiling 2022Getty Images

    Gabriel Slonina (Chelsea)

    One for 2022, but Slonina's move to the Premier League is finally complete.

    He'll join Chelsea after the MLS season as the goalkeeping wonderkid looks to continue his career after becoming a breakout star stateside.

    With Edouard Mendy at Chelsea, Slonina is definitely one for the future and, at just 18, that future is very, very bright. He'd been linked to virtually every mega-club, including Real Madrid, but, in the end, Chelsea won out.

    After finishing up with the Fire, he'll head to London and start working towards his debut.

    Could that happen in the FA Cup or Carabao Cup somewhere down the line? Possibly, but keep an eye on Slonina in the years to come as he looks to fulfil his incredible potential.

  • Zack Steffen, Man City 2021Getty

    In the Championship

    The top flight isn't the only place to find USMNT stars that could be vital in Qatar this fall.

    Strikers Josh Sargent and Daryl Dike are very much in the mix to start, even if both have fallen down the depth chart a little. Sargent will look to find his scoring touch for Norwich after a tough debut season in England, while Dike will look to stay healthy enough to continue bullying defenders for West Brom.

    Steffen is now at Middlesbrough, giving him a chance to earn consistent, first-team minutes for the first time in years. He'll have plenty of chances to play in the Championship, where games come thick and fast.

    The same could be said for Ethan Horvath, who may be on the outside looking in for the World Cup. On loan at Luton Town for Nottingham Forest, Horvath will battle the likes of Slonina and Sean Johnson for that third goalkeeper spot.