Picking an All-Time American EPL Best XI
Many American stars have tried to make their name in the English Premier League—some have gone on to become legitimate stars of the English competition.
Given the expansion of the game, more and more American-based stars are wanting to move to the Premier League than before, with the success of fellow internationals who have gone before them serving as the inspiration for any American hopefuls.
But who have been the best players ever to play in the Premier League? Moreover, if we were to put together an all-American EPL team, how would it look?
Read on to see a starting side made up solely of American players who have played in the EPL. Given the talent available we've been forced to play one or two players slightly out of position, and we've had to adopt a very attacking 3-5-2 formation, but a starting side it is nonetheless.
Let's take a look at the best American stars to have graced the English stage.
GK: Brad Friedel
Few players in history can attest to the performances of Brad Friedel, who has been a stalwart for various Premier League clubs throughout his career.
Currently at Tottenham Hotspur, Friedel has managed to hold his own against one of the best young goalkeepers in the world in Hugo Lloris, and has deserved his starting spot as well.
He is a natural selection in this list, despite the number of good goalkeepers that America has produced for the Premier League over the years. There is simply nobody who has achieved what Friedel has achieved, and it will not be that surprising if nobody ever does.
LB: Carlos Bocanegra
Currently at Real Racing Club, Carlos Bocanegra was a very strong player on the left-hand side during his time in the English Premier League—receiving the distinction of Fulham's captain courtesy of his strong and consistent performances.
One of the few genuine defenders that America has produced for the Premier League, Bocanegra's inclusion in this list is well-deserved.
CB: Jay DeMerit
Jay DeMerit might have only played the one season in the Premier League, but having seen him drag Watford up to the top class with his dogged determination and then keep them in the hunt in years afterwards, it's hard not to mention him as a great American defender.
DeMerit is still playing today—currently captaining in the MLS for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
RB: DaMarcus Beasley
We might be kind of cheating here by putting DeMarcus Beasley in, given that he only played one season in the Premier League for Manchester City.
Yet whilst he might not have shown it in this time with the Citizens, Beasley has become a very important player for the USMNT over the years and was instrumental in their historic 0-0 draw at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico recently—thus earning an inclusion here.
Even if he's not a right-hand-side defender.
LW: Stuart Holden
Time for a bit of love for Stuart Holden, who showed in his debut Premier League season just how successful he could be at Bolton Wanderers.
The 27-year-old did struggle to hold down a place in the Wanderers' starting side, though, due to injury, and they were relegated by the time he was fully fit.
Look back at that first year, though, and you'll see just how important Holden was to Bolton.
CM: Jonathan Spector
Defensive midfielder Jonathan Spector was one of those players that every squad wanted to have—giving his all, every single week despite not being the most talented guy on the field.
His versatility made him an excellent squad player, and he enjoyed great success at West Ham despite having a career dogged by injuries and ailments.
Spector was horribly underrated given how often he was asked to change positions.
CM: Claudio Reyna
Spending time in the Premier League for Manchester City, Claudio Reyna will no doubt go down as one of the true American greats to feature in the English game.
Reyna was a complete outfield player whose creativity and talent saw him hold down positions for many years despite various knee and back injuries, with a herniated disc eventually forcing him into retirement in 2009—far too soon into his career with the New York Red Bulls.
A favorite of the British press, Reyna completely deserves his spot on this list.
RW: Clint Dempsey
Do we really need to explain Clint Dempsey's inclusion here?
The USMNT's main man, Dempsey has been simply superb for the national team over the years, with his form at Fulham making him a Premier League favorite as well.
The attacker has a great eye for goal and has the ability to hurt any defensive with his mazy dribbling and turn of pace. And whilst he hasn't been able to completely show those skills for Tottenham Hotspur just yet at 30 years of age, there'll be plenty more chances for Dempsey to prove himself for Spurs.
Not that some of what he's done so far hasn't been scintillating.
CAM: Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan needs no introduction here as one of the top American footballers ever—if only for the massive amounts of fan support that he continued to create.
His time in the Premier League was short-lived, but he impressed greatly during his time at Merseyside. Donovan scored some big goals and created some lovely assists, so much so that he ended up winning Player of the Month despite only spending seven weeks at Goodison Park.
Donovan's following in the MLS has always been huge, and he has been fundamental to the explosion of support that soccer in the U.S. has had over the past few years.
And for that, he deserves a mentioning on this list.
ST: Roy Wegerle
Roy Wegerle might not have been the most brilliant striker in the world (given that he was on some relatively poor teams throughout his Premier League career) but he deserves his inclusion on this list simply for this brilliant goal that he scored.
Sit back, and enjoy this brilliant effort that earned Goal of the Season for Wegerle, as he finished third in the scoring chart of the First Division for 1990-1991.
ST: Brian McBride
Brian McBride made himself a hero at Fulham with his courageous consistency for the Cottagers, and he was one of the best ambassadors for American footballers in the English Premier League.
The hard-nosed McBride was twice named Fulham's Player of the Year and awarded the captain's armband for his performances on and off the field.
He was a shining example of a determined footballer who gave his all every time he stepped on to the field, and it is therefore little wonder that Fulham fans named a bar inside Craven Cottage in his honor.
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