With the Scotland-based Americans now enjoying a short holiday break, there isn’t a better time than now to have a look back to see how our trio of Yanks have been getting on north of the English border, and how things can pan out for them and their respective teams when proceedings get back underway in January.
Cameron Carter-Vickers, one of the American journeymen from an English Premier League team, left Tottenham Hotspur in the summer to join 51-times Scottish champions, Celtic.
One thing that can be guaranteed for any player who signs on with the Hoops is that they will pick up some silverware. The English-born American has already done just that, winning the Scottish League Cup this month.
Celtic have dominated the league for a very long time, winning nine titles in a row while their main adversary, Glasgow Rangers, served their punishment in the lower leagues. They won the title last season however, after ten years. The Hoops will be looking to regain their dominance but are currently six points out of the top spot.
Carter-Vickers has only made Celtic better since his arrival, putting in solid defensive performances and also contributing a pair of net benders. He has taken part in 15 league games, as well as five Europa League battles.
Holding down sixth place, the home of Californian-born forward Christian Ramirez is Aberdeen FC, who have jumped back and forth between extremes this season.
The Dons started off the season with a pair of league wins but then things went downhill rather quickly where they only managed to pick up two points out of a possible 21. Things fortunately picked back up in early October with two wins and a draw. This change in fortunes didn’t last, however, with a trio of defeats that followed. December was again kind to four-time league champions, where they went on a run of four wins out of five.
Ramirez, who signed on with the team from Houston during the summer, has been a stalwart, appearing in all 20 league games, including 19 starts. The 30-year-old has also found the back of the net on eight occasions.
Having finished in fourth place last season, Aberdeen should have no aspirations about winning the league title with Rangers running away from them, six points ahead of Celtic and 24 ahead of the Dons. They could squeeze into a European place for next season however.
One place below, in the seventh spot is Ian Harkes and Dundee United. The Tangerines won their season opener and steadily picked up points but after their late November win over Aberdeen, the wheels fell off the tangerine bus. After surrendering the equalizer in the 93rd minute to Ross County, they went on a five-game losing streak. The only thing that stopped their nose-dive was the winter break.
Harkes, the son of former USMNT and Derby County midfielder, is in his fourth season with the team that he helped gain promotion back into the Premiership two seasons ago. The Wake Forest alumnus has started 17 games this season and came off the bench once, so he obviously has been an integral part of the team. Harkes has also contributed three goals to the cause.
As for the rest of the season, well, hopefully the break will benefit the England-born American and his teammates because if they carry on the way they have been, they’re likely to return to the Scottish Championship in the summer.
Compared to Americans plying their trade in other European leagues, it’s refreshing to see that these three guys are embedded into their teams and when you look at the game day roster, you’re likely to see them in the starting XI.