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The USA’s best soccer players


The first organized governing body for the game was the American Football Association (AFA) created back in 1884. Since then, the sport has seen rises and falls in professional organization.

A huge boost to the popularity of the sport came in 1994 when the USA hosted the FIFA World Cup. This truly put the USA on soccer’s international stage and marked a massive draw for fans and supporters. This was followed by the first season of the newly created Major League Soccer in 1996.  

The women’s game is also extremely popular in the USA. The States hosted the 1999 Fifa Women’s World Cup. The success of this competition saw a renewed interest in the organization and financing of the sport.   

United States men’s national soccer team – latest matches and current form

Over the years the USA’s international teams have fielded a selection of excellent soccer players. The following are a selection of the most successful at both international and club level. 

Brad Friedel

Brad Friedel is one of the most successful American soccer players ever. Playing in the occasionally unheralded position of goalkeeper, Friedel made 82 appearances for the USA international team.

A long history of club competition in England’s Premier League saw an occasionally troubled start at Liverpool become successful at Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur. Friedel has the record number of consecutive appearances in the league, underlining his reliability.

Friedel played until the age of 44, and spent some time as a goalkeeping coach and is now in the USA working as a player’s agent.

Landon Donovan

Donovan is the joint top goal scorer in the USA’s international history. Over 157 appearances for the side he has scored 57 goals and made 58 assists.

The talented and super-fast forward also had a successful club career, playing for clubs such as Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, England’s Everton and back home with LA Galaxy.

Clint Dempsey

Dempsey is another legendary US forward who made a huge impression on the US men’s national team, or USMNT. The joint record goal scorer with Donovan, the recently retired forward also scored 57 goals and made 21 assists over 141 appearances.

A massively successful club career saw Dempsey leave the MLS and New England Revolution for the English Premier League. At Fulham he became a top scoring midfielder, recording 50 goals for the club. He then had a season at Tottenham Hotspur before moving back to the MLS with Seattle Sounders FC. 

Michael Bradley

Bradley has been a major part of the USA’s national team since he was 16 and shows no sign of slowing down. The current team captain has made over 150 appearances, scoring 17 times from his midfield role.

The player nicknamed ‘the general’ has also had a successful club career, playing in the Dutch league for Heerenveen, Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany, and Chievo, and Roma in the Italian Serie A. He also had a brief spell with Aston Villa in the English Premier League. 

Claudio Reyna

Reyna was the lynchpin of the US national soccer team during a long period of 1994 – 2006. The playmaking midfielder provided a solid presence and is considered one of the best players the US game has produced.

Despite missing out in the 1994 World Cup tournament through injury, Reyna still appeared in three World Cups. In total, he made 112 appearances for his country, scoring eight times.

Reyna also enjoyed a sparkling club career, playing for major teams such as Bayern Leverkusen, Rangers, Sunderland and Manchester City.  

Christian Pulisic

Pulisic is one of the up-and-coming stars of US football. A mainstay of US national youth teams from the start of his career, the skilled attacker attracted the attention of a whole host of clubs across the world. 

His senior career has seen him play three seasons with Borussia Dortmund where he scored 10 goals over 81 appearances. He then joined Chelsea in the UK’s Premier League in 2019 where he has scored 10 goals over 44 games. 

Pulisic made his debut for the full US international team at just 17 years old in 2016. He has played in 36 games for his country, scoring 15 times. Pulisic was also the youngest player to ever captain the USMNT when he was 20 in a friendly game against Italy in 2018. Pulisic has struggled for regular game time this season, which perhaps isn’t a surprise given the amount of competition for places. Chelsea are among the favorites according to most Champions League odds, and if they are victorious, he would be just the second American to get his hands on the trophy.

Cobi Jones

Cobi Jones is the most capped player in US soccer history, with 164 appearances. Most of his club career was spent with LA Galaxy in the MLS, where he scored 70 goals in 306 appearances.

At the start of his professional career, Jones also had a season each at Coventry City in England and Vasco de Gama in Brazil. With his striking hairstyles and dynamic attacking style of play, Jones was a fan favorite wherever he played.

Now a commentator and analyst, Jones is one of the most respected figures in US football.

USA, Donovan
Hartford, Connecticut, 10 th October 2014: Landon Donovan #10 of the United States reacts as he receives a gift during a ceremony in his honor before an international friendly with Ecuador at Rentschler Field on October 10, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut.