The ten best American players obviously include Fulham and star who made Jordan Henderson cry

John Nicholson
Fulham players Clint Dempsey and Brian McBride
Can't beat some Clint and Brian

Anyone who is anyone in the American game has passed through Fulham at some point. And then there are the smart keepers, one of whom started at Liverpool.


Clint Dempsey
There was a time when everyone wanted Clint while he was at Fulham, for whom he scored 60 times in 225 games. A rangy, tall, advanced goalscoring midfielder, Liverpool wanted him briefly and made Jordan Henderson cry over it. Spurs signed him for $9million, but he only played one season for them, scoring 12 times in 43 games. The move made him the best-paid American player. He finished up at Seattle Sounders after a loan back to Fulham.


Brad Friedel
To me, he was at Liverpool for years, but in fact he only played 31 times for them between 1997 and 2000 whereas he played 357 times for Blackburn and 131 times for Villa. An excellent keeper, he always seemed unusually middle-class for a top footballer in that he could cohere sentences like a normal human. Retired in 2015 having played 668 games. Went into management and launched an academy which went bust.


Landon Donovan
Was a bit of a superstar in the States, primarily playing for LA Galaxy but had 22 games for Everton on loan. Was very impressive, despite people thinking he must be rubbish because of his nationality. Won Player of the Month. Had an excellent passing game and a tremendous  work ethic. Honestly, who’s called Landon? Sounds like a cockney saying London.


Cobi Jones
Spent most of his career at LA Galaxy but started with 24 games for Coventry in the top flight. Seemed quite exotic with flowing dreadlocks. Scored a couple of goals and was a midfielder with a bit of bite, despite being just 5′ 7″. Got 164 caps and was a real grafter. Went into coaching and worked under Ruud Gullit for LA Galaxy. Jones is a part of the ownership group of Angel City FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.

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Brian McBride
Big six-footer. Appeared to be made out of metal. Played mostly for Fulham, for whom he was a bit of a legend. Had short spells at Preston and Everton. People liked him because he was the opposite of the perceived modern player as a faker cry baby. Traditional number nine. Whacked defenders and defenders whacked him. Was frequently battered but didn’t care. Never rubbed an injury and smashed his way to 41 goals in over 150 games for Fulham. Ninety-six caps. Retired playing for Chicago Fire.


Tim Howard
Howard is the most-capped goalkeeper of all-time for the United States men’s national team. Didn’t he have Tourette’s? Spent four years at Old Trafford but only played a couple dozen games. Kept goal 414 times for Everton and helped make it appear David Moyes knew what he was doing. Was the first international ambassador in the United States for Everton.

Is a Devout Christian but not in a looney American way, it seems. His arm and torso have tattoos for PETA’s ‘Ink, Not Mink’ anti-fur campaign, which is nice.


Claudia Reyna
Captained his country; played for Rangers, Sunderland and Manchester City. Cost Sunderland £4million and played in midfield as a playmaker. Speaks Spanish and German which doubtless came in useful ordering sausages in Sunderland. His son plays internationally and he has been accused of being part of America’s football elite. I don’t remember him being exceptional to be honest but he was apparently nicknamed Captain America, possibly because he wore his underpants on the outside.


Tyler Adams
Now at Bournemouth, transferring from Leeds. Played only 26 games for Leeds and injury meant he only played three games for the Cherries. Has got 38 caps and was the youngest American captain since 1950. An all-action midfielder, he was well-suited to an energetic press in Yorkshire. Was 2022’s American Player of the Year. Still only in his mid-20s but has a surname as a first name, which is always annoying

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John Harkes
First American to play in the U.K. and some didn’t take him seriously as a player due to nationality, which was stupid. A mainstay for the USA in midfield for most of the ’90s. A trailblazer in many ways, got dumped out of the national side for having an affair with Eric Wynalda’s wife. Earned 90 caps and played over 160 games for Wednesday, Derby, West Ham and Forest. His dad was fae Dundee.


Kasey Keller
Part of the triumvirate of American goalkeepers who were smarter than the average bear. Was in Millwall’s net for 201 games and was their Player of the Season in 1992/93, then went to Leicester for over 100 games. Also played for Spurs, Southampton and inevitably, Fulham, which has been the home for Americans. Got a correspondence degree in Sociology while at Millwall which went against the usual stereotype. Won the cup with Leicester. Retired after playing for Seattle Sounders and stayed in the area to work on tele. Got 102 caps and remarkably played in World Cup 1990 and 2006.