Apr 11, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT
Since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, some great American players have graced the English game. Here are the top 5 players who have had the biggest effect on the Premier League:
5. KASEY KELLER
After moving to England to play for Millwall in the First Division in 1992, the talented goalkeeper enjoyed four excellent years there, becoming a fans favourite in the process. He moved to Leicester in 1996, by which time he was first-choice ‘keeper for the national side, and won the League Cup with Leicester in 1997. After a spell in Spain, he returned to the Premier League in 2001 with Spurs, and he played every league game for two seasons. He eventually waved goodbye to English football in early 2005. Keller won 101 caps for America.
4. BRIAN MCBRIDE
Mcbride was a big, robust striker who enjoyed an excellent time in the Premier League between 2003 and 2008. He played eight games on loan for Everton in 2003, scoring an impressive four goals, before he made a permanent move to Fulham in 2004. He scored 41 goals in his four and a half years at Craven Cottage in a side that was often struggling at the wrong end of the rankings. He was held in high regard by the Fulham supporters, who appreciated his work-rate and hunger for the game. Mcbride left in 2008 to play in the MLS. He scored 30 goals in 96 appearances for the national team.
3. CLINT DEMPSEY
Tottenham: 2012- present
He might not be enjoying a great spell at Spurs at the moment, but Dempsey has been a terrific addition to the Premier League since his first game in 2007. That was at Fulham, who he signed for from New England Revolution, and he was one of the star players at Craven Cottage, playing with Mcbride for a short period. In 2010 Dempsey helped Fulham reach the Europa League final, and his winning goal against Juventus was memorable. Last season he scored a superb 23 goals, which earned him a move to Spurs. His debut season there has not been great, but his spell at Fulham was awesome.
2. TIM HOWARD
Manchester United: 2003- 2007
Everton: 2007- present
Nobody knew too much about Howard when he signed for Manchester United in 2003, but his career there started very impressively. An error in a huge Champions League game with Porto in 2004 ended up defining his United career, and he eventually joined Everton permanently in 2007, following an earlier loan spell. He has been hugely consistent for David Moyes’ side, becoming an integral part of an increasingly impressive squad, and he is in him prime right now. He has 85 caps and counting for America, and is a top class ‘keeper.
1. BRAD FRIEDEL
Aston Villa: 2008-2011
Tottenham: 2011- present
Yet another goalkeeper in the list, but Friedel is on another level to Keller and Howard. Arguably in the top 5 ‘keepers to have graced the Premier League, the fact that he is held in similar regard to Peter Schmeichal, David Seaman and Petr Cech says it all. It didn’t start off great for him in England though, after a poor spell at Liverpool. Once he left Anfield, however, he never looked back. He enjoyed eight great years at Blackburn, three at Aston Villa and is in his second season at Spurs at the age of 41. In these three spells he broke the Premier League record for number of consecutive appearances in the league: an astonising 310. His consistency, shot-stopping ability and likeable personality during his time in England has made him a true Premier League legend.
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