The next destination of our alphabetical world tour is the USA. Four-time Champions of North America, the USA national team have been outshone by their female counterparts in recent years.
They have a rich history of Premier League players, however. According to the Premier League website, 45 players have represented the USA in the Premier League, including three in the inaugural season.
First Player – John Harkes (Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham, Nottingham Forest; 1992-93, 1995-96, 1999)
Having been with the Owls since 1990, John Harkes made his first appearance of 1992/93 as a substitute in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in August 1992.
Harkes made 29 league appearances as Wednesday finished seventh and reached both domestic cup finals. Though the Owls lost both, Harkes’ memories will not be totally bitter as he scored his side’s goal in the 2-1 League Cup final loss to Arsenal.
Though he swapped the Premier League for the second tier in August 1993, he would later have spells with West Ham and Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, making a further 14 appearances.
Most Appearances: Brad Friedel – 450 (Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Spurs; 1997-2000, 2001-15)
A Premier League legend; goalkeeper Brad Friedel spent the best part of two decades in English football with four clubs.
He played into his 40s and did not miss a Premier League match between May 2004 and October 2012, an incredible record-breaking run of 310 games.
Friedel is also one of six goalkeepers to have scored a Premier League goal, notching a late equaliser for Blackburn against Charlton in 2004 – Blackburn immediately conceded however and lost the game 3-2.
Top Scorer: Clint Dempsey – 57 (Fulham, Spurs; 2007-14)
A midfielder with an eye for goal, Clint Dempsey is a legendary figure at Craven Cottage following five brilliant years with Fulham. He was a key figure in Fulham’s incredible run to the Europa League Final in 2009/10, scoring THAT goal to overcome Italian giants Juventus in the last 16.
He sealed a move to Spurs in 2012, but struggled to establish himself and returned to the MLS after one season. He rejoined Fulham for a brief loan spell in the MLS off-season of 13/14 but was unable to save Fulham from relegation.
Three Americans appeared in the 2019/20 Premier League season before the suspension – Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) and DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle).
Defender Matt Miazga is still under contract at Chelsea, but has not made a league appearance since 2016 and has spent the last four seasons out on loan.
- According to the Premier League website, the USA have had 45 Premier League players, the most of any CONCACAF nation.
- Only two non-British or Irish players have made more Premier League appearances than Brad Friedel (Mark Schwarzer and Sylvain Distin).
- Only 21 players have made more official international appearances than former Everton winger Landon Donovan (155).
- Clint Dempsey has scored the same number of goals (57) in the Premier League as he did for the US national team. Both are records, with the national team record held jointly with Landon Donovan.