May 25, 2013, 2:45 PM EST
There has been one American in UEFA’s Champions League final. Probably. Depending a bit on how you look at it, that is.
There has yet to be a full U.S. international in the Champions League final, but Borussia Dortmund’s Nevin Subotić now becomes the first American to play in the championship match of the globe’s grandest club tournament.
Subotic, whose family is Serbian, moved to the United States in 1999, settling into Salt Lake City.
They soon relocated to Bradenton, Fla., where Subotic’s sister attended the Bollettieri Tennis Academy. He was spotted there by U.S. Soccer staffers, eventually played for the U.S. under-17 team and the U.S. under-20s and then … well, there’s a lot of fouled water under that bridge. Let’s just say it didn’t work out, he chose to play for Serbia and not everyone on our side of the soccer world is all that happy about it.
Point is, the big and nimble center back was eligible to play for the United States national team; today, he’s in the worldwide UEFA spotlight.
So … no U.S. internationals have appeared in a UCL final. One did appear in a Champions League semifinal, however:
That was DaMarcus Beasley, who was with PSV in 2005 when the Dutch club could not quite squeeze by Italian power AC Milan in the UEFA semis.
PSV lost the first leg at the San Siro, 2–0. The Dutch club won 3-1 at the Philips Stadion but failed to advance due to the away goals rule.
He remains the highest scoring American player in UEFA Champions League history – and will probably hold that title for a while, seeing as Clint Dempsey’s Spurs missed out on their attempts to get into Europe’s top competition for the 2013-14 season.
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