2012 was a banner year for Americans playing in Europe, highlighted by Clint Dempsey’s goal-filled year in England, Brad Guzan winning the starting job over Irish international Shay Given at Aston Villa, Michael Bradley’s big move to Roma and four Americans seeing significant action in the Champions League.
Picking the 11 best players for 2012 is a bit of a difficult task with Americans playing in over a dozen countries and having widely different standings in the United States men’s national team pool.
With being said, here is the criteria being used.
- Since the list is for overseas players, no one playing in North America is on the list. Since everyone realistically in consideration plays in Europe, it is essentially a list of the best 11 Americans playing in Europe.
- Form, caps, position and call-ups for the USMNT have no bearing.
- A player’s form in 2012 in the only consideration. This is not a ranking of the best American players per se, it is a list of the best American players over the past calendar year.
- Comparing players from league to league is impossible, so while it was given some weight, a player’s overall performance in 2012 was the biggest factor.