Now since Jesse Marsch is the manager of Leeds United, he plans to have a fellow American or two on the squad for next season. Football is growing rapidly in the United States, with more MLS expansion clubs coming soon and the launch of the youth league, MLS Next Pro. The growth now has America’s 3rd manager in English Premier League history, the first being Bob Bradley and the second being German-American David Wagner. So who might be the incoming American (or Americans) to play for Leeds United in the 2022-23 season.
10. Matt Miazga (Centre-back)
Ever since arriving at Chelsea, Matt Miazga still hasn’t found his permanence in any club. Season after season, Miazga finds himself getting loaned and no sign of a return to Chelsea. With Marsch in Leeds, Miazga’s bouncing around days may be over and can alternate with fellow centre-backs Pascal Struijk, Liam Cooper, and Diego Llorente in every match. Miazga has good height (6ft 4in, 193 cm) to make good challenges and be an addition to help Leeds United score in corner kicks.
9. Luca de la Torre (Center Midfielder)
Luca de la Torre is set to be a free transfer this coming July 1st and picking him up would be a great steal for Leeds United. A centre-midfielder, de la Torre has top-class ball control and speed. Rodrigo currently sits in the CM position but Marsch can have LDLT be a left or right midfielder or maybe have 2 CMs in some matches depending on the opponent. LDLT easily fits in any position as shown in recent U.S. World Cup qualifiers.
8. Chituru Odunze (Goalkeeper)
The 19-year-old and 6 ft 7in (201 cm) goalkeeper is considered to be one of the U.S.’s future goalkeepers in the years to come. Currently in the Leicester City U23, Chituru Odunze has a golden opportunity to learn and grow in Leeds United with Marsch around. Marsch has a history of transforming young players turned into world-class stars such as making New York Red Bull homegrown players Matt Miazga and USMNT captain Tyler Adams into U.S. internationals during Marsch’s early managerial days with the New York Red Bulls.
7. Kevin Paredes (Left wing-back, Left winger)
Kevin Paredes has been recently bought by VfL Wolfsburg but like many USMNT players who have been recently sold to other different Bundesliga clubs, they’re not going to spend most of their career there since there is a high demand for USMNT players. Paredes is known to cover the entire left side of the pitch since he plays left-wing and can defend as a left wing-back when needed to. His defensive skills and Junior Firpo’s presence as left-back will make Leeds United’s left side of the pitch more difficult for opponents to break down.
6. Aaron Long (Centre-back)
Aaron Long is another former player of Marsch back in early 2018 and continues to be the centre-back of the RBNY today as well as being the club’s captain this season. Long is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury last season but ever since his return to the lineup, he became the same lockdown centre-back that earned him the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year. His dominant return also earned him his way to the USMNT. It is unsure whether Long will stay with the RBNY any further since his contract expires on December 31st, he can be a great free transfer acquisition for Leeds United in the winter transfer window.
5. Djordje Mihailovic (Attacking Midfielder)
Djordje Mihailovic has been linked to join Leeds United and targeted by other clubs recently. Mihailovic is known for his aggressiveness in 1v1s and playmaking ability with Montreal. He hasn’t seen much USMNT action in a while but if wants to earn a return, then making an impact in Leeds United would be the solution to his national team absence.
4. Josh Sargent (Forward)
Josh Sargent is the only player on this list who has Premier League experience and may be arriving at Leeds United now that Marsch is around. Also with the possibility that Norwich City will be relegated, Sargent will find himself offers to stay in the Premier League from different clubs and Leeds United is the perfect destination for him. Sargent brings a lethal presence in the attack and when he gets help from the midfield, he will be dangerous to the opposing defence.
3. Caden Clark (Attacking Midfielder)
The 18-year-old Caden Clark was just named into NXGN 2022 list of the top 50 “best wonder kids” in the world, with Clark ranking 24th. The former FC Barcelona academy trainee just earned a move to RB Leipzig only to be loaned for another season with the RBNY and earned a senior national team call-up in December. Clark brings precise assisting and can be utilized anywhere in the midfield. With Raphinha set to leave Leeds United for FC Barcelona, Clark is a perfect replacement.
2. Gabriel Slonina (Goalkeeper)
If Leeds United wants their goalkeeper of the future then they should look no further than Gabriel Slonina. Last season, Slonina became the youngest starting goalkeeper in MLS history at 17 years, 81 days and has played for the U.S. U-15, U-16, and U-17 levels and now is a regular in the U-20 squad. Slonina has quick reaction time to any shot coming right at him and knows how to retake the ball if dealt in a 1v1 situation with a forward without committing a penalty foul. Slonina was recently linked to go to Chelsea but due to the Russia sanctions on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the move will not happen and Leeds United should take this opportunity and snatch him away from other interested clubs before it’s too late.
1. Brenden Aaronson (Attacking Midfielder)
It is no surprise that Brenden Aaronson was going to top this list due to his interest in joining Leeds United this summer. Aaronson is no stranger to Marsch due to their time together in Red Bull Salzburg, winning the Austrian Cup and Austrian Bundesliga in 2020-21. Aaronson brings a lethal scoring presence in the attack and has been utilized as an attacking midfielder, winger, and a forward. With Raphinha set to depart Leeds United, Aaronson is the most likely replacement for the Brazilian winger.
Anything could happen once the summer transfer window begins on July 1st. With Marsch as manager, Leeds United can bring at least two or maybe more USMNT stars to play in Elland Road for the 2022-23 season.