Some heads were turned when PSV concluded the summer transfer window with a total of 3 incoming USMNT internationals (Sergiño Dest, Ricardo Pepi, Malik Tillman) entering the ranks. However, much to the amusement of club director Earnie Stewart, all three additions have been welcome contributors to the Eindhoven giants who currently sit atop the Dutch Eredivisie 6 points clear. This of course, should come as little surprise given the CV of the aforementioned Stewart.
Earnie Stewart only recently departed his role as director for the United States Soccer Federation, before returning to Holland where he held a respectable playing career of his own in the 90’s. With him, he brought many connections, relationships, and seemingly some signings as well. As I reported via X, potential January signing Miles Robinson has been discussed as a potential option to reinforce the center-back spot as far back as June.
Sharing a spot on the shortlist is his national team center-back partner in Crystal Palace’s Chris Richards, as well as USA U20 youth talent Owen Wolff (Austin FC), and the Mexican-American Fidel Barajas (Charleston Battery). Injuries to PSV defenders Armel Bella-Kotchap and Armando Obispo this season could force PSV to prioritize defensive reinforcements this upcoming window. Robinson (26), soon to be a free-agent, seems the preferred option, with his name even mentioned by the club director via ESPN on television. In Richards (23) however, exists a younger and already European-proven defender ready to mount a rigorous title challenge with the winning DNA instilled in his blood from his time at German giants Bayern Munich. No doubt, permanently prying a precious defender away from a middling Crystal Palace side that spent 12 million Euros on him only a year ago will prove difficult, but minutes have been rather hard to come by for Richards, and a loan move just might suit all parties.
The question still remains whether or not such a slew of signings from one country will offset the dynamics of the locker room and appease the fans of the historic club. American fans will remember the embarrassing capitulation that was the Leeds United 2022-2023 Premier League season that saw USMNT midfielders Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Weston Mckennie, as well as American coaches Jesse Marsch and Chris Armas sign and struggle in a season of fatal relegation. All names would later leave the club.
USMNT fans will hope their American contingent fares better should it grow, and even lifts silverware come the seasons end.