4. Brad Freidel
Brad Friedel has competed in a total of 82 national soccer matches. How many goals has he scored? The answer to that question is 0.
That might not sound very impressive. You might be asking yourself, if he has never scored a goal, then what is he doing in this list of top soccer players(see also: Best Argentinian Soccer Players )?
Well, if you didn’t know already, it might be worth mentioning that Brad Friedel is a goalkeeper. Therefore, he can’t score goals. However, defending is just as important as attacking.
As one of the best goalkeepers in the country, Friedel has definitely stopped the opposing team from scoring time and time again.
Raised in Ohio, Brad went on to play in the Premier League in the UK. During his time here, he played for Liverpool, Aston Villa, Blackburn, and Tottenham.
Having played 301 matches in the Premier League, he boasts the record for most appearances in a row. He ranked 8th of all time in the clean sheets.
These are very impressive achievements. Freidel is often considered to have played in the shadows of more popular players, such as Kasey Keller and Tim Howard.
However, he is just as talented, if not more so, than his peers. He boasts sharp and quick reflexes which only seemed to improve and develop as he got older.
He has certainly earned his place on this list.
3. Clint Dempsey
Coming in at number 3 is Clint Dempsey. This player has played in an impressive 1888 matches. During these matches, he has scored an incredible 47 goals.
This makes him an amazing soccer player, and definitely worthy of the third top position on this list.
Unlike other, more polarizing figures, such as Jozy Altidore or Landon Donovan, Dempsey does not divide opinion.
Ask any soccer fan, and they will tell you have massive respect for this player. This is because Dempsey is admired universally.
Dempsey, like most soccer players, has not led a career completely free of controversy. Bruce Arena once accused him of trying to cheat. However, he is well renowned despite this.
With amazing control of the ball, and demonstrating incredible skill on the field, he is viewed as a determined, head-strong player who wants to claim victory just as much as the fans.
His most memorable moment was when he scored an opening goal when competing with Ghana during the 2014 World Cup. This was the fifth-fastest goal in the history of the world cup.
He also played for Fulham in the Premier League, where he was their top leading scorer ever. He still holds this title today.
He scored 50 goals during the Premier league. This demonstrates his determined and head strong attitude.
2. Claudio Reyna
Number 2 on my list, and just missing the top spot by one place, is Claudio Reyna. Reyna participated in 112 different matches. The total number of goals he scored was 8.
Although this may seem low for a player I’m putting at number 2, I think this player demonstrated amazing talent which should put him here.
After all, it’s not always about how many goals a player personally scored, but rather about how many matches they helped their team win.
Hailed as one of the great midfielders of American soccer, Reyna is known for his ability to perfectly mobilize the ball from his position at the middle of the field.
He was one of the prominent figures of three World Cups, having competed during the 1998, 2002, and 2006 games.
Sadly, however, he did not compete in the 1994 World Cup. This was the year hosted by the US. Unfortunately, the player had injured his hamstring and was unable to participate.
Fans of the game are left to wonder what could have been if he had been in a position to compete. Would the US have lost to Brazil if Reyna had been on the field?
Raised in New Jersey by Argentiina parents, Reyna went to university in Virginia, despite receiving several offers from European clubs.
His career went on to be a stand out in American soccer, being one of the very first players to build up a career overseas.
He played in German teams such as Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen. He even went to play in England, as part of the Sunderland and Manchester City trams. He also played as part of the Rangers in Scotland.
1. Landon Donovan
Number 1 on my list, and in my opinion the very best American soccer player ever, is Landon Donovan.
Having participated in 157 different matches, and having scored an incredible 50 goals in his career, Donovan has definitely earned his place at the top of this list.
Landon Donovan was a fantastic goal scorer and a gifted midfielder.
As those at the top of their game often are, he is still considered a polarizing figure. During his career, he would be attributed with all sorts of opposing traits.
One minute he would be called too soft and quick to hold back, the next too quick to attack.
Donovan has many notable achievements which make him stand out amongst other American soccer players.
He re-defined success for US soccer, bringing a new kind of energy to the match when he played in the quarter final of the 2002 World Cup. This is still regarded as his team’s most notable victory to date.
Another notable moment for this acclaimed soccer player was when he won a strike against Algeria in 2010 (for more great soccer moments, read our ‘Best Moments In Soccer‘). The whole of the US went nuts over this strike, and it is still fondly remembered today, over 12 years later.
Donovan retired in 2014 at the age of 32. With an amazing career spanning over 15 years, he has certainly earned his place at the top of this list.