How many Americans played in Italy’s Serie A? Christian Pulisic latest USMNT player opting for Italian calcio

Serie A welcomes a new USA soccer star for the 2023/24 season after Christian Pulisic completed a transfer switch to AC Milan.

Pulisic had grown frustrated with his peripheral role at Chelsea in recent months and the former Borussia Dortmund forward is now looking for a new challenge in Italy.

However, despite Pulisic’s status as one of the most world-recognised American players, becoming the first to play in and win a Champions League, he is not the only American to play in Italy.

The list of Americans to try their luck in the Italian top-flight is not as lengthy as other nations, but it includes some iconic names for U.S. fans.

MORE: Christian Pulisic to AC Milan: All the details on USMNT captain’s move

USMNT players in Serie A

Pulisic joins a list of Americans to play in Serie A, primarily dominated by players from the last decade, including some current USMNT international star names.

  • Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona, AS Roma)
  • Gianluca Busio (Venezia)
  • Jack de Vries (Venezia)
  • Sergino Dest (AC Milan)
  • Armando Frigo (Fiorentina, Spezia)
  • Alexi Lalas (Padova)
  • Patrick Leal (Venezia)
  • Weston McKennie (Juventus)
  • Alfonso Negro (Fiorentina, Napoli)
  • Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan)
  • Christian Pulisic (AC Milan)
  • Bryan Reynolds (AS Roma)
  • Tanner Tessmann (Venezia)
  • Tim Weah (Juventus)
  • Yunus Musah (AC Milan)

MORE: Will Christian Pulisic start for AC Milan?

Following Christian Pulisic’s move to AC Milan, Yunus Musah followed him to the club as the two will suit up together. Tim Weah also made a move this summer to Juventus, set to take the field alongside Weston McKennie who returned from a loan spell at Leeds.

Alongside McKennie, Dest and the incoming Pulisic, Gianluca Busio played Serie A football with Venezia (prior to their relegation in 2022), with Patrick Leal and Tanner Tessmann also at Venezia and right-back Bryan Reynolds returning to AS Roma although a move outside of Italy is expected for him.

Sergino Dest had hoped his short time in Italy would spark a revival after his Barcelona career stagnated, but he saw little playing time and returned to Spain, only to seal another loan deal to Dutch side PSV for the 2023/24 season.

Stretching further back, former USA captain Michael Bradley spent three seasons in Serie A, at Chievo and AS Roma, before joining Toronto FC in 2014. USA 1994 World Cup star Alexi Lalas signed for Padova on the back of the tournament and spent 18 months at the club.

Bradley and Lalas were modern trailblazers, but the USA-Serie A ink has deeper historical roots with Armando Frigo playing for Fiorentina and Spezia during World War II and New York-born Alfonso Negro starring for Fiorentina and Napoli in the same era, before opting to declare for Italy.

Former U.S. international Oguchi Onyewu famously joined AC Milan in 2009 but his only appearance for the club came in the Champions League.

MORE: Christian Pulisic’s jersey number at AC Milan

USMNT players in Serie A titles won, trophies

McKennie is the only US player to win a major trophy in Italian football.

The USA midfielder was part of the team that secured the Supercoppa Italiana in 2020 and the Coppa Italia in 2021.

Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah will be hoping to change that as they team up at AC Milan, who won the league title in 2022.

MORE: Are more American players heading to AC Milan?

American owners in Italy

The increasing numbers of American players in Italy can be attributed to improved player development in U.S soccer circles, and also to a growing American influence at Italian clubs.

There are several American investors in Italian clubs at various levels, from Milan and Roma to Parma in Italy’s second division.

  • Atalanta: Stephen Pagliuca co-owner
  • Fiorentina: Rocco Commisso
  • Genoa: 777 Partners
  • AC Milan: RedBird Capital Partners
  • Parma: Krause Group
  • AS Roma: The Friedkin Group
  • SPAL: Joe Tacopina
  • Spezia: Robert Platek
  • Venezia: Duncan Niederauer

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