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USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841325 Stars and stripes Stars+and+stripes USA

A host of top American players will spend their Independence Days outside of their home country. The preparations for the upcoming season have already commenced in Europe and Mexico, leaving these ex-pats to celebrate the holiday elsewhere.


This edition of Americans Abroad offers a look at the toil ahead next season for a handful of those stars and supplies a quick update on their World Cup outlooks ahead of the potential trip to Brazil next year.


--Kyle McCarthy

Bjorn Holland - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31839424 Fabian Johnson, D/M, Hoffenheim Fabian+Johnson%2C+D%2FM%2C+Hoffenheim USA

Johnson sidestepped a potential summer move when Hoffenheim emerged victorious from the relegation playoff and secured another season in the Bundesliga. His stable situation permits him to focus on his marauding runs up the left flank and his regular station in the starting XI this summer.


World Cup future: If Johnson maintains his form, he should start at left back or on the left side of midfield in Brazil.

Dennis Grombkowski - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841335 Jermaine Jones, M, Schalke Jermaine+Jones%2C+M%2C+Schalke USA

The combative midfielder remained a key fixture for Schalke as it claimed yet another Champions League berth at the end of last season. He must sustain his recent form in order to keep his place in the engine room ahead of the upcoming campaign.


World Cup future: U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann trusts Jones implicitly. If he maintains his performance levels (and perhaps even if he doesn't), he will make the squad for Brazil.

Dimitri Messinis - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841334 Herculez Gomez, F, Club Tijuana Herculez+Gomez%2C+F%2C+Club+Tijuana USA

Gómez joined the Xolos – and U.S. international teammates Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona – in one of the higher-profile transfers of the Liga MX draft. The industrious forward should have ample opportunity to establish himself in the starting XI with Alfredo Moreno and Duvier Riascos now plying their trades elsewhere.


World Cup future: A spot in the squad beckons if Gómez can muster his usual form in his new digs.

David Becker - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841333 Stuart Holden, M, Bolton Stuart+Holden%2C+M%2C+Bolton USA

U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann included Holden in his squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in a bid to accelerate his return to match fitness. Bolton boss Dougie Freedman must play his part as well once the Championship season starts in order to facilitate Holden's transition to regular first-team action.


World Cup future: Holden must prove his fitness and his sharpness before he can force his way into the crowded central midfield picture.

Michael Steele - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841332 Danny Williams, M, Reading Danny+Williams%2C+M%2C+Reading USA

Williams ended his spell with Hoffenheim and sealed a move to the relegated Premier League side in June. After falling out of the Hoffenheim team during the second half of last season, Williams will expect regular playing time in the Championship to rectify the fitness issues that saw him leave U.S. camp in June.


World Cup future: Williams' national team future hinges upon his return to fitness and his influence in the Royals' bid to return to the English top flight. Make no mistake: his margin for error decreased when he opted to leave the Bundesliga.

Thorsten Wagner - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31839423 Brad Guzan, G, Aston Villa Brad+Guzan%2C+G%2C+Aston+Villa USA

At this time last year, Guzan faced yet another year stuck behind Shay Given. His player-of-the-season efforts in 2012-13 ensure he will not enter this campaign in a similar predicament. The former Chivas USA goalkeeper must replicate that form in order to maintain his perch, though.


World Cup future: U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann will retain Tim Howard as his number one, but Guzan remains firmly entrenched as the backup.

Chris Brunskill - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31839419 Clint Dempsey, F, Tottenham Clint+Dempsey%2C+F%2C+Tottenham USA

Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas deflected interest from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer, but he maintains a fervent desire to upgrade his striking options. The prospect of adding another option or two up front could impact Dempsey's playing time given the choices at Villas-Boas' disposal in midfield.


World Cup future: Dempsey could spend the entire year in the Spurs reserves without endangering his critical role in the Americans' South American excursion.

Carl Recine Livepic - Action Images/Reuters
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841323 Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover Steve+Cherundolo%2C+D%2C+Hannover USA

Cherundolo aggravated a lingering left knee injury last Tuesday. The issue prompted him to submit to a second arthroscopic left knee surgery on Friday. The exact timetable for his return remains uncertain, but it is a troubling development for the 34-year-old fullback as he attempts to add to his 300 Bundesliga appearances next season.


World Cup future: The former starter at right back must return to full fitness before sketching out his place in the defensive pecking order.

USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31841324 Geoff Cameron, D, Stoke City Geoff+Cameron%2C+D%2C+Stoke+City USA

The arrival of well-traveled manager Mark Hughes provides Cameron with a new lease on life. Hughes will likely retain some of the side's defensive structure and shy away from the more robust approach preferred by former boss Tony Pulis. Cameron's role – whether in defense or midfield – could change accordingly.


World Cup future: Cameron's versatility places him in a good position to claim a place in the squad, but he now faces an uphill battle to claim a starting place.

Craig Brough - Action Images/Reuters
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31839418 Michael Bradley, M, AS Roma Michael+Bradley%2C+M%2C+AS+Roma USA

Hellas Verona found its interest in the U.S. midfield lynchpin summarily dismissed after Bradley's solid first season in Rome. The persistent upheaval in the dugout – former Lille manager Rudi Garcia took charge in June – creates some cause for concern, but Bradley's displays should earn him a chance to impress under new management.


World Cup future: Book his place on the plane and etch his name into the starting XI.

Giuseppe Bellini - Getty Images
USA 2737 43 Americans Abroad: Summer edition 31842178 Jozy Altidore, F, AZ Alkmaar Jozy+Altidore%2C+F%2C+AZ+Alkmaar USA

Several European clubs placed Altidore on their list of potential summer targets after his 30-goal season in the Eredivisie last year. AZ will not give the prolific striker away on the cheap, but it will accept a reasonable bid if a serious suitor – perhaps a Premier League side – emerges before the end of the summer window.


World Cup future: As long Altidore continues to score at the international level, he will remain firmly fixed in Jürgen Klinsmann's plans for Brazil.

Paul Vreeker/United Photos - Action Images/Reuters
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