The very best American Soccer Players in the Premier League are few because there are not many of them.
However, in this article, we’ll highlight the few best of them based on their longevity and total impact in the Premier League.
John Harkes was the United States of America’s first export to the English Premier League. His sojourn in the league started after a move from Albany Capitals to Sheffield Wednesday.
Later, he moved to Derby County before a one-year loan with West Ham United.
Harkes cleared the pathway for Americans in the EPL.
In his first two seasons with Sheffield Wednesday, Harkes and his team played in the second and first division in England.
However, in his third season, he had his first taste of the EPL.
That season, he helped his club to a 7th place finish in the league.
Also, they made it to the FA Cup and League Cup finals. He is the first American to play in the final of an English tournament and the second to score at Wembley Stadium.
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Certainly, McBride is one of the best American footballers to play in the Premier League. He played for Everton and Fulham. Although he had a stint with Preston FC in the English first division too.
McBride engraved his name in Fulham’s history with some impressive displays. In his four years with Fulham, he was voted the club’s best player twice (2007, 2008) and top-scored in 2007.
Also, he was named as captain in his final season with the club.
Impressively, the club renamed its sports bar after him- “McBride’s”.
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Brad Friedel played for 18 years in the English Premier League. He represented Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur.
His longevity and consistency in the EPL helped him earn the record as the American with the most appearance in the Premier League.
Furthermore, he holds the record for the most consecutive appearances in the EPL. Also, he is the second goalkeeper to score in Premier League history.
He won the League Cup in 2002 and was voted into the PFA Team of the Year in 2003.
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Clint Dempsey is one of the best American Soccer Players to play in the Premier League. Following his move from New England Revolution to Fulham in 2007, Dempsey quickly established himself in the EPL.
His goal against Liverpool towards the end of the 2006/07 EPL season helped Fulham avoid relegation. While at the club, he became the club’s all-time top scorer in the league. Also, he was the first American footballer to score a hat-trick in the EPL.
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In the 2009/10 season, Dempsey appeared in the Europa League final for Fulham against Atletico Madrid. Thus, he became the first American to appear in a major European cup final. Two seasons later, he was voted the club’s best player of the season.
In his final season with Fulham before his transfer to Tottenham, Dempsey was nominated for the FWA player of the year award.
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Howard no doubt fits into the list of Best American Soccer Players in the Premier League.
Interestingly, Howard is one of the Goalkeepers who Scored in the Premier League.
Howard is remembered fondly for his performances in England, especially with Everton. His first taste of the EPL started with Manchester United. In his first season, he was named in the PFA Team of the season and won the FA Cup and Community Shield.
After about 3 seasons with the club, he moved to Everton on a season-long loan before his permanent transfer. It was with Everton that he showed the best version of his goalkeeping abilities with several eye-catching performances.
Interestingly, he scored from about 100 yards against Bolton Wanderers. That goal earned him a place amongst goalkeepers to ever score a goal in the EPL.
Howard is the joint-record holder for the most clean sheet by an American goalkeeper in the EPL with 132 clean sheets.
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Other Americans in the EPL
Besides the aforementioned, there are other Americans who featured in the EPL at some point in their careers. The likes of Kasey Keller, Carlos Bocanegra, Roy Wergerle, Marcus Hahnemann, and Landon Donovan left their marks in the EPL.
Christian Pulisic might come to your mind as well having won the Champions League with Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel’s guidance.
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Final Thought on American Soccer Players Who Played in the Premier League
Of course, you’d agree that that the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. It is very much expected the best players in the world would want to feature in it (including the American Soccer Players).
Although Soccer is not the most dominant sport in America, it is getting reasonable attention in recent times.
Hopefully, there will be more influx of American Soccer players in the English Premier League and other major leagues.