Even a minority sport in a country as big as the United States is capable of producing some soccer superstars. Clint Dempsey led the way by being the first US outfield player to make a mark on the Premier League. Who out of the current crop of Americans in the Premier League in 2023 could replicate his success?
Americans in the Premier League in 2023
Weston McKennie – Leeds United
Arguably the highest-profile American in the Premier League right now, Weston McKennie joined Leeds United on loan from Juventus in the January transfer window. While much was made of his arrival, the former Schalke man has been lackluster having seldom elevated the club’s midfield level.
Furthermore, he’s shown some disciplinary issues since linking up with the West Yorkshire club having notched six yellow cards from 14 appearances.
Tim Ream – Fulham
Fulham have a wise man in their backline. At the age of 35, Tim Ream has seen almost every type of play on every field. With nearly 300 appearances for the Cottagers, he’s on track for some kind of testimonial or long-standing tribute when he leaves the club.
Yet, he’s not thinking about retirement as he’s continually putting in 90-minute performances and even deputizing as the club captain. While they don’t keep a clean sheet every game, the London club still wins a lot of games and Ream is integral to them mounting a top-half finish.
Tyler Adams – Leeds United
What could have been… Tyler Adams was the answer to the Kalvin Phillips void. While not an exact replacement, the USMNT captain broke up opposition play to win the ball back for Leeds, often launching counterattacks.
Yet, in late March, Adams picked up a season-ending injury in training. It was not only a blow for him but the whole club as he was considered to be Leeds’ best midfielder.
Christian Pulisic – Chelsea
Despite the hullabaloo that Christian Pulisic wouldn’t feature for Chelsea in the 2022/23 season, he’s still made over 20 appearances for the club. Granted, the instability at the club has seen players come and go more often than the winds change.
In the infancy of the Graham Potter era, Pulisic had contention for game time as he contributed to victories against Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers. A troublesome knee injury, new ownership, and Frank Lampard returning to the club have since led him back on the fringes. The speculation is that he will be leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Chris Richards – Crystal Palace
Chris Richards used to be on the periphery of USA players in European football, having spent multiple years within the Bayern Munich academy. After making just 10 appearances for the club and two loans at Hoffenheim, Richards linked up with Crystal Palace.
The defender from Birmingham, Alabama started the season as a substitute player under Patrick Vieira. Sadly, a serious leg injury kept him out of the team for an extended period before the World Cup. Come January, Richards was granted three consecutive 90-minute outings, however Palace won none of these games.
After Vieira was dismissed, Roy Hodgson didn’t fancy Richards as much and excluded him from the squad for his first two games, which the team won handsomely. With fixture congestion lurking, Hodgson shuffled the pack to allow Richards a rare full game against Wolves which Palace lost. Ultimately, when Richards plays, Palace lose.
Brenden Aaronson – Leeds United
Another one of the American influx players at Elland Road, Brenden Aaronson started the season in great form. He netted a goals against Wolves (later changed to an own goal), and against Chelsea and generally looked lively.
While fan reaction is not always the best barometer of player performance, the Leeds United faithful have made it clear as to what they think about this American in the Premier League in 2023. In totality, his form has dropped off dramatically since arriving.
Antonee Robinson – Fulham
Which US state were you born in again, Antonee? Milton Keynes. Oh right.
Despite, having never played league football in America, Antonee Robinson represents the USMNT through his father being born in New York. However, it’s in south west London that Robinson is making a name for himself. A traditional left-back, he likes to hold the ball, pass and intercept – unlike the neo-fullback system which sees players all over the pitch. Robinson has played the majority of games for Fulham over the last three years, having recently passed the 100-appearance mark.
Matt Turner – Arsenal
Following in the footsteps of Tim Howard, Brad Friedel, and Marcus Hahnemann, Matt Turner is the latest American goalkeeper to come to the Premier League. Before leaving the New England Revolution he was considered to be one of the best players in MLS, having helped the Revs to the Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
Mikel Arteta deploys Turner solely as a cup keeper, as he’s yet to make an appearance in the league. In the Europa League, he kept three consecutive clean sheets as Arsenal defeated Bodo/Glint twice and PSV Eindhoven.
In theory, he might not even qualify as one of the Americans in the Premier League in 2023. He has been seen on the bench, however, so with the title race almost over, Turner might be afforded a game between the sticks over Aaron Ramsdale.