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With January here, the winter transfer season is upon us and while the moves of big European stars will rule the headlines, there are a bunch of American players in dire need of loans or transfers this month.
You know it's not an ideal trend. Seeing so many European-based Americans recording 'Did not Play' and 'Did Not Dress' in our Americans Abroad section. For many of those players, a loan or transfer is absolutely imperative because another half season of sitting on the bench will hurt their careers and, for some, their national team standing.
Here is my Fox Soccer piece on five U.S. national team pool players who absolutely need loan or transfer moves this winter. Most of them are expected to move, but these aren't the only players who could potentially use a change of scenery.
It should also be noted that there are some players who people might think need moves, but who are better off staying put. Here is a look at some other American players who could make moves, players who could use moves and some players who are unlikely to move:
Eddie Johnson, Fulham
He garnered some playing time for the Cottagers thanks to a slew of injuries, but with Fulham forwards returning, Johnson has been pushed to the side again. It's probably time for him to pack it in and look for a new club.
Kenny Cooper, 1860 Munich
Having just recently recovered from a broken ankle, Cooper is back with an 1860 side he seemed destined to leave before being sidelined by a long-term injury. His career has hit the skids since leaving FC Dallas and you have to wonder if it's time for him to come back to MLS. Whether he comes back or not, you have to wonder how long he could last in Germany.
Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa
You might think it's crazy to include Lichaj on this list, but given Gerard Houllier's recent rant about Lichaj's mistakes in Aston Villa's loss to Manchester City, and Lichaj's subsequent benching, you wonder if he'll have a serious chance to play much the rest of this year. If he isn't, Lichaj could be well-served to go on loan. He had a pair of productive loan spells last year and needs to be playing. Of course, if Aston Villa sells Luke Young, Lichaj could wind up sticking around to provide cover.
Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
When you lose the starting job on the worst team in the English Premier League, it's time to move on. You figure Hahnemann will return to MLS eventually, and this winter is as good a time as any.
Jozy Altidore, Villarreal
Many U.S. national team fans are frustrated by the fact that Altidore doesn't see more playing time, but the fact remains he's on a top team in a top league and is still getting minutes, and in cup play, he's getting starts. The bigger concern is his lack of goals, but the fact that Altidore is still getting playing time suggests he is impressing Villarreal's coaches. With Brazilian star striker Nilmar sidelined by a knee injury, Altidore could benefit with even more minutes. In short, Altidore is in a good spot and doesn't need to go anywhere.
Michael Bradley, Borussia Moenchengladbach
When Bradley failed to make a transfer move last summer it was seen as a missed opportunity for a player who enjoyed an outstanding World Cup, and that feeling has only intensified as Bradley's club sits in the Bundesliga relegation zone. As much as Bradley would be better served to be on a better club, Moenchengladbach won't be selling in the middle of a relegation fight. Bradley is much more likely to move this summer, when he'll have just one year remaining on his contract.
Which players are you hoping make moves this winter?
Share your thoughts below.