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Top 5 American Players in Bundesliga History

Kasey Keller
"Kasey Keller vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2011" by Noelle Noble is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Who are the best American players to have ever graced the German top flight?

The Bundesliga has seen its fair share of talented American players throughout its history. These players have made significant contributions to their respective clubs and have left a lasting impact on German football.

Here are the top five American players in Bundesliga history:

Kasey Keller – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Kasey Keller, the former goalkeeper of Borussia Mönchengladbach, may have spent only two-and-a-half seasons in the Bundesliga, but his impact was significant. Joining Gladbach in January 2005, Keller played a crucial role in the club’s battle to avoid relegation. His exceptional performances, including seven clean sheets in 17 appearances, helped secure their survival. Keller, known for his impressive debut shutout, went on to accumulate 22 clean sheets in 80 games for Gladbach. He was also named club captain during the 2006/07 season.

Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund

Christian Pulisic, widely regarded as one of the best American soccer players, attributes much of his success to his time with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Pulisic made his Bundesliga debut in January 2016 and went on to achieve remarkable feats for the club. He holds several records, including being the second youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga and the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances. Pulisic scored 13 goals in his Bundesliga career, making him the league’s highest-scoring American player.

Claudio Reyna – Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg

Claudio Reyna, a skillful playmaker, made his mark in the Bundesliga while playing for Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. Reyna joined Leverkusen after his fantastic performances in the 1994 World Cup. Although his playing time was limited, he later joined newly promoted Wolfsburg, where he excelled. Reyna became the first American to captain a European club during his time with Wolfsburg. His contributions helped the team stay in the top flight, and he scored four goals in 28 Bundesliga games during his first season.

Tom Dooley – Homburg, Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke

Tom Dooley played a significant role in the Bundesliga during his career, representing Homburg, Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, and Schalke. After a gap of several years without an American player in the Bundesliga, Dooley helped Homburg climb from the third tier to Germany’s top-flight league. He experienced great success with Kaiserslautern, winning the DFB Cup in 1990 and the club’s first Bundesliga title the following year. Dooley also represented the United States in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and lifted the UEFA Cup with Schalke in 1997.

Steve Cherundolo – Hannover

Steve Cherundolo is widely recognized as a legend and fan favorite at Hannover, making him one of the best American players in Bundesliga history. Cherundolo joined Hannover at the age of 19 and spent his entire career with the club. He made over 400 competitive appearances for Hannover, becoming the club captain and earning a reputation as a one-man club. Cherundolo’s loyalty and consistent performances established him as one of the league’s most reliable defenders. Even after retiring, he remained connected to Hannover by taking up coaching roles and has contributed to the growth of soccer in the United States.