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Top American Soccer Athletes in History

US soccer players

Since the late 1960s, American interest in the sport has been growing quickly, and it gained a massive boost as the U.S. staged the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. So much so that behind American football, baseball, and basketball, soccer is the fourth most-played sport in the United States.

While many people in the United States enjoy watching soccer, only a few follow any particular league or team. Instead, they follow the individual players and will continue to follow them no matter which side they play for. Let’s take a good look at the most successful American player in the history of soccer!

Christian Pulisic

The first American player to win and compete in a significant soccer title is Christian Pulisic, who is gaining steam in the international soccer odds. In 2021, he played in the final game as Chelsea defeated Manchester City to win the Champions League. Pulisic won the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup with Chelsea in the same year.

Before we put him on this list of great American soccer players, several crucial factors were considered. Both his goals and championships with the national team are significant. Another factor to consider is his success in his career in Europe. Nonetheless, the player’s age is the most crucial factor. At 24, he still has a long, fruitful career ahead of him.

Landon Donovan

As the icon of American soccer, sticking with it and staying with Major League Soccer, Landon Donovan has more claim to this recognition than any other player today.

Donovan is a prime example of a player born and raised in the U.S. who made it to the professional levels, and excelled when it seemed that U.S. Soccer’s main goal was to identify the next fresh talent discovered abroad and persuade him to represent the country.

Landon Donovan, arguably the best U.S. soccer player ever, led the team in goals and appearances at the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Cups. And when it comes to Major League Soccer, he’s also an all-time great.

Mia Hamm

Most soccer experts agree that Mia Hamm was the greatest female player in history. She is the only female soccer player on this list, not because soccer is a sport that is primarily played by men, but instead because of her achievements, which are unmatched by any other American female soccer player.

She spent 17 years as a member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, during which time she amassed one of the largest fan bases of any American sports figure. Only a few football players have received as many honors as Mia Hamm. The forward had a remarkable career, highlighted by two World Cup titles and two Olympic gold. She brought home the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999 and Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004.

Hamm co-founded the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the country’s first professional women’s soccer league. When she retired at 32 in 2004, she definitely left a trail of success for young women to follow.

Clint Dempsey

Although he was born in Texas, his transfer to England propelled him into history. With the struggles of players like Freddy Adu and even Landon Donovan, who had a less-than-successful stint in Germany, the American international has perhaps been the most successful player in Europe.

His stats on a global scale are as impressive. During his time in England, he set several scoring records for players of American origin, including the most goals scored in a single season, the most goals total, and the most goals in the Premier League.

For Fulham, Clint Dempsey tops the player list with 212 games and 17 goals. Fans of Fulham, Tottenham, and soccer in the United States will look back on his time in London with nothing but respect!

Tim Howard

The American goalkeeper Howard is largely regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats. With 121 appearances between 2002 and 2017 for the U.S. men’s national team, Howard holds the record for most appearances by a goalie in national team history.

Howard’s international career was just as impressive, as he became a team leader for the United States national soccer team and played in two World Cups. Howard won the FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Glove in 2009 and was chosen to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2003–04.

Whether or not it was intentional, the breathtaking goal he scored from 100 yards out against Bolton remains one of the most iconic soccer star moments in the Premier League’s history. The driving wind caught Adam Bogdan by surprise on what looked to be a regular goal kick.


Athletes don’t stop practicing after a single day but do so indefinitely. Their commitment to their work is undeniable, and we, as supporters, should celebrate the honor they’ve brought to their country.

All the players we’ve named here are key pillars of American soccer. These all-time greats in their respective fields have ensured that the U.S. will go down in history as a world power in soccer!

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