USMNT winter transfers graded: Zack Steffen earns A; Gio Reyna doesn't score high with move to Premier League



The winter transfer window can be a dull one but for the members of the United States men’s national team, it has been anything but with players left and right making moves to new teams ahead of a busy year that includes the the Olympics in Paris as well as the Copa America and Concacaf Nations League semifinals. It’s critical for as many members of the USMNT setup to be playing regularly. From Gio Reyna moving to Nottingham Forest to Miles Robinson moving to FC Cincinnati, members of the USMNT have taken quite different paths to secure that playing time, so let’s take a look at some of those moves and grade them.

Gio Reyna to Nottingham Forest

After struggling for playing time at Borussia Dortmund, Reyna has gotten a move to the Premier League on a six-month loan. If he can break into the starting XI under Nuno Espirito Santo, it is an opportunity to raise his stock but with Forest only two points above the relegation zone and with entrenched starters in attacking positions, the fate of this move is reliant on how much playing time Reyna can earn.
Grade: C

Ethan Horvath to Cardiff City

The keeper chronicles continue for the USMNT. After Matt Turner joined Nottingham Forest, the odd man out was Horvath who spent the first half of the season unregistered. A steady championship keeper, now Horvath will likely be a starter again which could be enough to get USMNT looks considering the uncertainty of minutes for his competition.
Grade: B

Paxten Aaronson to Vitesse

He wasn’t playing much at Eintracht Frankfurt and is expected to be part of the Olympic squad for the USMNT. Getting a move to the Eredivisie and to a club known for development is a decent move. If he can help them stave off relegation, it could be excellent.
Grade: C

Johnny Cardoso to Real Betis 

From Internacional in Brazil to La Liga, Cardoso has already received his first start for Betis in a great developmental move for the 22-year-old. Depth options for the USMNT midfield are thin and learning from Manuel Pelligrini in Spain is a good way to move up the depth chart.
Grade: B

Cade Cowell to Chivas

One of two USMNT players to move to Mexico, it’s hard to tell if this is an improvement over San Jose. Experiencing a new league is good but when clubs like Bologna in Italy were reportedly interested in Cowell, it’s hard to say that this is a better move.
Grade: C

Zack Steffen to the Colorado Rapids

A return to MLS from Manchester City could end up being excellent for Steffen. After injuring his knee and not being able to leave City, he needs consistent playing time which he’ll get in Colorado. If Steffen ends up staying healthy, there is a path back to being the USMNT starter.
Grade: A

After rejecting Orlando City’s latest contract offer, the writing was on the wall for McGuire to head somewhere but for a bit, it seemed like the move to Blackburn wouldn’t happen. But joining on loan, McGuire is following a well-worn path of forwards drafted by Orlando heading to Europe. Considering Cyle Larin and Daryl Dike’s success abroad, expectations are high.
Grade: A

Djordje Mihailovic to the Colorado Rapids

Opening up about personal circumstances causing him to need to seek a domestic move from AZ Alkmaar, it’s hard to give Mihailovic’s move a true grade because it’s one where he’s doing what is best for him. A known quantity in MLS, he’s back and close to his family which is a transfer well done.
Grade: A

Sam Vines to the Colorado Rapids

Returning to the Rapids from Royal Antwerp in Belgium, Vines is best known for the Belgian club forgetting to register him for their Champions League squad but he was a regular member of the side. If Vines turns this into a bigger move down the road, it can be a good platform.
Grade: INC

Brandon Vazquez to Monterrey

Only six months removed from almost going to Germany, Vazquez has now joined a stacked Monterrey side leaving FC Cincinnati. Already with three goals in Liga MX, it’s a move that will work out well for him but it also won’t help him in the USMNT depth charts long term.
Grade: C

Miles Robinson to FC Cincinnati

Closing the chapter on a great run at Atlanta United, Robinson has stuck in MLS to become an anchor in the Cincinnati defense. While playing alongside Matt Miazga could be great for future Gold Cup rosters, Robinson has to shine in order to earn starts as the left-sided centerback during Copa America and this may not be a big enough platform.
Grade: C





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