Bradley Completes Move to Villa; Busiest Transfer Window Ever for U.S. Players?

As expected, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley finalized a loan Monday from relegation-threatened Borussia Moenchengladbach of the Bundesliga to Aston Villa of the Premier League.

He watched as the Villans’ two-game winning streak came to a halt today against Manchester United, but he could debut for the Birmingham club on Saturday against Fulham and fellow American Clint Dempsey.

Bradley’s move led the way, but there was plenty of activity involving Americans during this transfer window. Take a look:

Jozy Altidore from Villareal to Bursaspor (loan). Bursaspor is the defending Turkish champion, and currently sits second in the Süper Lig at 12-2-5.

Oguchi Onyewu from AC Milan to FC Twente (loan). Much-needed move for Gooch, who couldn’t get a game for the Serie A leaders. He’s played three already for his new Dutch club.

Jermaine Jones from Schalke 04 to Blackburn (loan). He’d fallen out of favor with management at Schalke and needed a change of scenery. Named Man of the Match in his debut for Blackburn.

Eddie Johnson from Fulham to Preston North End (loan). Johnson started just one EPL game this year; now he goes to the club whose fans fondly remember previous Yanks Brian McBride and Eddie Lewis. If only they weren’t sitting dead last in the Championship (second level in England).

Freddy Adu from Greek side Aris (by way of Benfica, and several other clubs) to Rizespor of the Turkish second flight. Sigh.

Brad Guzan from Aston Villa to Hull City (loan). Brad Friedel’s apprentice at Villa was languishing on the bench while the ageless Friedel continued to shine between the pipes for the Villans (including today, when he stood on his head to keep it 1-3 vs Man U). Guzan is starting for Hull, which is in 13th place in the English second flight.

Robbie Findley from Real Salt Lake to Nottingham Forest (transfer). Forest is vying for promotion to the Premier League. Findley wasn’t a starter at RSL last season; how will he stack up in the Championship?

Clarence Goodson from Norwegian first-division club IK Start to Brondby of the Danish top flight. Lanky defender sealed this deal in November; it took effect in January.

Other moves of note:

Jonathan Bornstein from Chivas USA to Tigres of the Mexican top flight. Bornstein committed to this transfer a while ago, and joined his new team for preseason training in December.

Diego Restrepo, undersized but highly skilled former UVA goalkeeper, signed with America de Cali in the Colombian first division, while former St. John’s University midfielder Eric Opsahl signed with Reading in the English second flight.

Opsahl, 18, made just three appearances for St. John’s during his freshman season this past fall, but did enough in a two-week trial to earn a contract with Reading, former home of Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann. Who says college soccer is no good?

For more on Opsahl’s interesting route to Reading, see here. And it may be worth asking why DC United, where Opsahl was an academy player, didn’t snap him up.

Finally, two American players came home this winter, as striker Kenny Cooper transferred from 1860 Munich of the Bundesliga 2 to MLS expansion side Portland Timbers, and defender Hunter Freeman departed IK Start of the Norwegian top flight to join the Houston Dynamo.

Cooper joins No. 2 draft pick Darlington Nagbe and Colombian speedster Jorge Perlaza in what could be a potent strike force in Portland.

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