Join us as we present a complete guide on the best American soccer players of all time. Whether they spent their professional career in North America or dominated elsewhere, these soccer superstars have proved themselves to be recognized as some of the elite players on a global stage.
Having spent time competing in the German Bundesliga, English Premier League, and America’s Major League Soccer division, Landon Donovan is undeniably the most successful player to have ever competed for the USMNT.
Donovan, a six-time MLS Cup winner, holds a remarkable record with the most assists in MLS history (136). He also has the record for most goals with the U.S. men’s national team and is the only North American player to exceed 50 goals and 50 assists for the United States.
Donovan’s professional soccer career began in Germany, where he competed in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen. After returning home on loan to San Jose Earthquakes, the LA Galaxy assisted his permanent move back to the states, where he joined their rankings full-time. He had brief spells at Bayern Munich and Everton, but the 113 goals he scored for LA was where he made the most noise.
Come back in five to ten years, and there’s a high probability that Christian Pulisic will have evolved into the most successful U.S. soccer player in the country’s history. Aged 23 years old, Pulisic has already made his mark on the sport, and the best is yet to come.
Pulisic’s career began in Germany, where he was a part of the 2016/17 German Cup-winning squad of Borussia Dortmund. Chelsea soon threw $73 million at Dortmund, and Pulisic arrived in the Premier League while breaking the record for the most expensive American player of all time.
During Chelsea’s 2020/21 Champions League winning season, Pulisic scored a goal in the semi-final and became the first American to play in a final and the first American to win a UEFA Champions League final.
Pulisic will arrive at the Qatar 2022 World Cup as the most valuable player on the USMNT. As PA sportsbooks are now some of the best in the industry, the odds adjustment to support Pulisic’s goal-scoring chances can provide some excellent betting positions for supportive Americans.
Sports betting interest aside, Pulisic could further etch his name in the soccer history books if the U.S. squad can overcome Wales, England, and Iran in their World Cup Group B setting.
Clint Dempsey boasts a record that speaks volumes, and you’ll instantly understand why he made our list. He was deadly in the final third and is the joint top goal scorer for the U.S. men’s team with 57 goals.
During his first three FIFA World Cup appearances, Dempsey found the net, one of which was the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup tournament history.
However, the spotlight for Dempsey was primarily found in the Premier League, where he played for Fulham and Tottenham. To this day, he remains Fulham’s top goal-scorer ever (50) while competing in the topflight.
Scoring goals isn’t easy but stopping them is even more challenging. That’s why we must put “The Human Wall” Brad Friedel on our list. Most known for his epic performance at the 2002 World Cup, Friedel is one of the most excellent shot-stoppers that ever played for the United States national soccer team.
Friedel didn’t just impress between the sticks for USMNT; his elite skills saw him spend most of his career playing in the Premier League. He competed for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, and Tottenham, owns the record for most consecutive EPL appearances (310), and is eighth on the all-time clean sheet list.
Friedel was one of the first North-American born soccer standouts that assisted the overall profile of American players joining the elite levels of European club soccer. He was lightning quick when stopping shots with cat-like reflexes, and he always stood firm in the penalty – thus receiving the nickname “The Human Wall”.