New U.S. men's national team winger Tyler Boyd has signed with Turkish power Besiktas, the club announced on Monday.
Boyd, who changed his FIFA allegiance from New Zealand to the United States ahead of his participation in this summer's Concacaf Gold Cup, will return to Turkey after spending the second half of last season on loan with Ankaragucu from Portuguese parent club Vitoria Guimaraes. The transfer is reportedly worth $2.2 million.
While in Turkey with Ankaragucu, the 24-year-old Boyd scored six goals and assisted on four others. Upon his call-up to the U.S. national team, he continued his productive form, scoring two goals in the USA's 4-0 win over Guyana to open play in the Gold Cup.
Boyd's mother is American, thus qualifying him for U.S. eligibility despite being born in New Zealand. He lived in the U.S. for the first 10 years of his life but represented New Zealand at the youth level before filing for his FIFA one-time switch.
Boyd won't be playing on the Champions League stage just yet, with Besiktas, a perennial power in Turkey, settling for a third-place finish and a spot in the Europa League group stage. He will, however, be exposed to the intensity of playing in Istanbul for one of the Turkish Super Lig's most storied clubs.
"The style of football over there really suited me, and I was able to get good game time and to produce," Boyd told U.S. Soccer's official website about his first taste of playing in Turkey. "I loved the culture–the people are really nice as well. ... In terms of learning the language, we had translators around us at all times, even at the warm-ups they’re translating. Meetings with the coach-it’s all translated-so I didn’t actually get to learn too much Turkish, but as far as going to a restaurant and ordering a few things I can do that."
Boyd joins a series of Americans on the move this summer. Christian Pulisic officially joined Chelsea after signing with the Blues in January and spending the latter half of the season on loan back at Borussia Dortmund. Giovanni Reyna has joined Dortmund to keep the American quota steady at the German power. Tim Weah, meanwhile, has left PSG for Lille in Ligue 1, while another young attacker, Haji Wright, departed Schalke for VVV Venlo in the Eredivisie. U.S. veteran forward Aron Johannsson, meanwhile, departed Werder Bremen and will look for a rejuvenation at Hammarby in Sweden.