Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 10 US Players Overseas

The number of American soccer players who compete in the top leagues of Europe continues to grow. Here is a list of ten of the most prominent American professional soccer players currently playing in Europe, re-ordered from the list at in order to reflect my own favourite players and prejudices:

1. Clint Dempsey: No American player gets more attention in Europe than Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, who is now surely the greatest soccer player from Texas ever. Dempsey is a key creative figure for the Cottagers and is finding success in manager Mark Hughes’ lineup, netting six goals already this season in the Barclay’s Premiere League.

2. Carlos Bocanegra: US National Team Captain Carlos Bocanegra has played 16 times this season, scoring and assisting his teammates at St. Etienne of the French Ligue 1, and has made over 100 appearances in English Premier League play with Fulham FC in his career.

3. Michael Bradley: It’s tough times at Borussia Moenchengladbach again as the team wallows around in the relegation zone, but Michael Bradley seems to have engrained himself in the line up with 3 goals and 3 assists in 18 appearances. Playing in one of the best leagues in Europe is a great experience for any player, but if the team gets relegated, Bradley may be best served to find a new club, be it in Germany or elsewhere.

4. Maurice Edu: Edu has pushed his way into Walter Smith's lineup at the Rangers 14 times this season. The former Toronto FC man has proved worth every penny of his transfer, providing youth and quality in the Rangers midfield. He's One of only a few Americans to feature in the Champions League this year and played a crucial part in the team's scoreless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

5. Tim Howard: For Tim Howard’s Everton side, it’s been anything but roses this season, as they’ve struggled to get results and have issues surrounding squad depth. Howard has given up 27 goals in 22 games, decent results for most keepers, but his teammates have lacked attacking prowess scoring only 25 times in that span. A marquee goal keeper on a marginal team.

6. Jonathon Spector: Attacking midfielder or defender? Jonathon Spector’s time on the pitch at West Ham United seemed to be floundering under Avram Grant, but a brace of goals against former club Manchester United in the Carling Cup spelled revival for Spector. He was nothing short of brilliant in the Hammers 4-0 pounding of United, ensuring that someone new will lift the trophy.

7. Oguchi Onyewu: Onyewu has secured a loan move from AC Milan to FC Twente of the Dutch Eredivise, where he is more likely to see regular playing time than the Serie A club. He is a veteran of Eurpopean football, having previously played for Newcastle United in the English Premier League, as well as AC Milan.

8. Jozy Altidore: Altidore is on the verge of a loan move to Sporting Gijon of La Liga. He hasn't seen much time at Villareal playing behind Guiseppe Rossi but if Manchester United are successful in their pursuit of Rossi, Altidore could step up in pecking order. If that doesn't happen, a loan move is probably the best thing for him.

9. Stuart Holden: Holden is part of a formula at Bolton. This season, he has only two goals but both have been come at crucial times for the Wanderers. Coach Owen Coyle has been delighted with the performance of Holden which is why he has featured in 18 of their 23 games.

10. Jermain Jones: Recent addition to the U.S. national team Jermain Jones has moved from Schalke 04 to Blackburn of the English Premiere League. His new employers bought the club earlier in the year and have been looking to shore up the Rover lineup with some fresh talent, so Jones is set to make his debut as a key player in the team's future.

Go Sam’s Army !