Hit or Miss: USMNT stars in Serie A as Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah unite at AC Milan after Tim Weah completes Juventus transfer

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GOAL takes a look at the history of American stars in Italy's top flight as a number of the current crop prepare to join Scudetto challengers

For years, the United States men's national team's biggest stars have generally zeroed in on two of the so-called 'Big Five' European leagues. If there was an American star bound for big things, the odds would be on them winding up in the Bundesliga or Premier League. The former has long been a home willing to welcome top USMNT stars, while the other has always seen as the pinnacle of the sport, and for good reason.

This summer, though, the tide is shifting. It appears that the current crop of American stars are flocking to Italy. Last season, we saw Leeds United States of America; this summer we're seeing Serie USA.

Tim Weah has joined Juventus, where he'll join up with Weston McKennie, at least for now. Christian Pulisic, meanwhile, has completed a move to AC Milan, and he will be joined at San Siro by Yunus Musah after he sealed his transfer from Valencia. More could yet follow them to Italy, but for now, those are four key starters for the USMNT, and there's a chance that, come the start of the season, all four will be plying their trade in Serie A.

The league, traditionally, hasn't been the most welcoming to Americans, although that appears to be changing. But who are the American stars that have played in Italy, and how did they fare? GOAL takes a look...

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  1. Michael Bradley

    Michael Bradley

    Bradley's time in Serie A was somewhat brief, having only played in the league for two-and-a-half years, but he certainly did endear himself to supporters. He originally joined Chievo in 2011, and quickly made himself a fan favorite, earning the nickname of 'Il Generale', or 'The General'. His success led to a step up the ladder as he joined Roma after just one season at Chievo.

    Bradley was ever-present for Roma, despite a few injuries during his time. He featured in 46 games across his year-and-a-half stint in Rome before opting to return to MLS with Toronto FC. The midfielder surely had the talent to stay in Serie A and, during his time in the league, he proved he had the ability to compete at the highest level.

    Result? HIT!

  2. Oguchi Onyewu

    Oguchi Onyewu

    The former USMNT center-back had one memorable moment in Italy, but it certainly didn't come on the field. Onyewu famously fought Zlatan Ibrahimovic during training at AC Milan ahead of a league match against Bari. The story goes that the Swedish icon was a bit reckless in a tackle, prompting the American to confront him.

    It would prove to be his biggest moment in Italy, although he did make one Champions League appearance for the club. Onyewu went on to play in the Premier League, La Liga, the Championship and MLS after his time in Serie A, having already been a star in the Belgian Pro League earlier in his career.

    Result? MISS!

  3. Sergino Dest
    Getty Images

    Sergino Dest

    We won't mince words here: Dest's brief spell in Serie A was a disaster. Loaned to AC Milan from Barcelona, Dest was never a priority for the Italian giants, who couldn't find any sort of use for the right-back. He played just 14 games in all competitions and was frozen out for the entire second half of the season as Milan totally gave up on him.

    Dest is set for a move elsewhere this summer, having essentially wasted a year at San Siro.

    Result? MISS!

  4. Gianluca Busio

    Gianluca Busio

    The ex-Sporting KC star was the biggest signing in Venezia history as he moved for a club-record fee. His time in Italy, though, has been up and down.

    He made 29 appearances in his first season, scoring one goal against Cagliari, but Venezia were relegated from the top flight. He was in and out of the line-up in 2022-23, playing 28 total games in Serie B. It's still early for Busio, who is just 21, but his experience in Italy has been a bit rocky so far.

    Result? MISS! (so far)

  5. Alexi Lalas

    Alexi Lalas

    Lalas played in Serie A in a much different time, as the big-haired USMNT star truly was a trailblazer when it came to playing in Europe.

    After rising to prominence during the 1994 World Cup, Lalas sighed with Padova. He scored two goals for the then-Serie A side, including one against AC Milan, as the club finished 14th in his first season, before winning a relegation play-off in June 1995.

    He eventually moved back to MLS for the league's debut in 1996, but remained at Padova on loan until the league kickstarted in February of that year.

    Result? HIT!

  6. Bryan Reynolds

    Bryan Reynolds

    The full-back moved to Roma after breaking out with FC Dallas in February 2021. The switch seemingly confirmed Reynolds' status as a future USMNT star, as he departed for Italy with plenty of hype following him stateside.

    It didn't start well. After just eight appearances in his first year at the club, he was loaned to FC Kortrijk in January 2022. He returned that summer and, clearly still out of Jose Mourinho's plans, he was loaned to Belgium once again, this time with Westerlo.

    He shined during the latter loan spell, and having failed to make any kind of impact in Serie A, joined Westerlo on a permanent basis in the summer of 2023.

    Result? MISS!

  7. Tanner Tessmann
    Venezia FC

    Tanner Tessmann

    Another member of Venezia's American revolution. Tessmann emerged as a rising star at FC Dallas, making just 28 appearances for the MLS club before Venezia came calling. He made 20 appearances in Serie A in the club's lone season in the top-flight, and was a regular last season for the club in Serie B.

    He has fared better than Busio, playing a bigger role than his American team-mate, and, like Busio, the 21-year-old midfielder still has a lot of growing to do.

    Result? HIT!

  8. Weston McKennie
    Getty Images

    Weston McKennie

    His stock has taken a bit of a hit due to his loan to Leeds, but you can't deny that McKennie had some good moments at Juventus prior to that move.

    He joined from Schalke in 2020, initially on loan, and quickly became a key figure at Juventus. That first season was his best in a Juve shirt, as he scored five goals in 31 games for the club, with two coming against Barcelona and Milan. Additionally, he assisted Dejan Kulusevski in a Coppa Italia FInal win over Atalanta as he won his first career club trophy.

    In total, McKennie has made 96 appearances for Juve, scoring 13 times.

    Result? HIT!