U.S. Soccer players who succeeded in the English Premier League

Tim Howard
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Editorial — As the MLS continues to grow and develop stars of the future, it’s increasingly likely we’ll see more United States youngsters making their way over to Europe after emerging here.

One of the biggest soccer leagues in the world is the English Premier League, which has played host to several top US internationals over the years.

There are a huge number of exciting players in the MLS who could easily go on to play in the Premier League. Some of them could potentially be U.S. National Team stars of the future.

So without further ado, let’s look at the homegrown players who have played successfully in arguably the best soccer league in the world.

Brad Friedel
Photo of Brad Friedel courtesy of Dagur Brynjólfsson.

Brad Friedel

Friedel is perhaps one of the best-known U.S. players to have had a successful career in England. English clubs have always had a certain affinity with United States goalkeepers. Friedel is a perfect example of why.

The giant stopper played for Liverpool, Blackburn, Spurs and Aston Villa during an English career that spanned 17 seasons.

The former head coach of the New England Revolution, the 48-year-old made 82 international appearances and lifted the Football League Cup with Blackburn in 2002.

John Harkes
Photo of John Harkes courtesy of Hayden Schiff.

John Harkes

John Harkes was one of the most successful United States players ever to grace the Premier League. He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1990, before Sky Television had injected money into the English top flight.

The New York Times reported that in 1993 he became the first American to score a goal at Wembley stadium as the Owls were defeated in the League Cup final against Arsenal.

The midfielder, who represented the U.S. in two World Cups, also played for West Ham United before returning to the states and finding MLS success with D.C United.

Tim Howard 2
Photo of Tim Howard courtesy of Jarrett Campbell.

Tim Howard

Tim Howard played for two of the biggest clubs in England during his stay in the Premier League but was signed by arguably the most famous manager in the world.

In a Ladbrokes guide to ‘Premier League Managers’ they report how Sir Alex Ferguson led Manchester United to 12 Premier League titles. This makes him the most successful manager in the league’s history and one of the most well-respected figures in soccer. It was certainly an indication of Howard’s value when the legendary manager brought him in to replace Fabien Barthez.

Howard played 77 times for Manchester United. However, he later turned out for Everton over 400 times, making him one of the most successful US imports ever in the Premier League.

He’s still playing now, keeping goal for Colorado Rapids in the MLS.

DeAndre Yedlin
Photo of DeAndre Yedlin courtesy of IIJ Events.

DeAndre Yedlin

Still only 26, DeAndre Yedlin is perhaps the highest-profile U.S. international currently playing in the Premier League. An article by the BBC explains how he left Seattle Sounders for Tottenham Hotspur, although he struggled to break through at White Hart Lane.

He later spent time on loan with Sunderland but is now a relative success in the north east of England with Newcastle United. Fox Sports suggested he cost them £5m ($6m) when he dropped into the second level of English soccer.

The move was certainly a success. He helped them to promotion from the Championship in 2017 and has since chalked up 62 Premier League appearances.

Clint Dempsey
Photo of Clint Dempsey courtesy of Victor Araiza.

Clint Dempsey

Dempsey is one of the most decorated soccer players in the United States, with 141 appearances for his country and 57 goals as well.

Much of his domestic football came in England, firstly with Fulham and later with Tottenham Hotspur. He joined Fulham from New England Revolution for a fee described by the Boston Globe as an MLS record at the time.

A total of $4m was what it cost to take the attacker across the Atlantic Ocean. He returned eight years later having played over 200 times in the Premier League and represented Fulham in the prestigious Europa League final in 2010.


FEATURED PHOTO: Photo of Tim Howard courtesy of Philipp Zachl.