4th Of July: Top 5 Americans To Play In The English Football League – Opinion

Since its inception, the EFL has been blessed with a myriad of foreign imports from a range of nations.

One of those is the USA. Although football (or soccer as they call it!) is not the main sport across the pond, there’s been many an American who has made an impact on these shores.

To celebrate Independence Day this 4th July, here are the five best Americans to grace the EFL.

5) Josh Sargent

Sargent gets into this list both based on quality and recency as one of only two players on the list still playing in the EFL. Despite injuries, the former Werder Bremen striker is a key man for Norwich City and has shone despite their longer than usual stay in the second tier.

The 24-year-old has an impressive record in his short time in the division, having scored 29 in 60 games, including 16 in an injury-curtailed 2023-24 campaign.

He has been linked with moves both abroad and in the Premier League but remains in Norfolk for the time being. It would be hard to argue against the striker being one of the best players in the league, and therefore one of the best Americans in the division’s history.

4) Antonee Robinson

Liverpool-born Robinson only spent four years in the EFL at the start of his career, making 100 appearances, but gets in this list based on what he has achieved in his career.

The full-back came through Everton’s academy before being sent out on loan to Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, joining the latter for a season permanently in 2019. He spent just a year with the Latics before getting a Premier League move to Fulham, but spent the 2021-22 season back in the second tier after the Cottagers were relegated.

It’s Robinson’s international success that stands out, though. He’s earnt 46 caps for the USMNT and was their first choice left-back at the Qatar World Cup, making him one of the highest achieving EFL graduates. Not bad for someone playing in a relegated Wigan side four years ago.

3) Tim Ream

Another player who has found himself in the top-flight with Fulham, for years Ream was considered one of the Championship’s best defenders. Playing nearly 300 games in the division for Bolton and Fulham, Ream has won promotion from the division no less than three times as Fulham established themselves as an elite yo-yo club.

While he has at times looked suspect in the top division, Ream was a class above in the Championship, and has been part of the reason why the league has become so attractive to players from the US.

54 of Ream’s 61 international caps have come while playing in England, again highlighting the Championship’s worth as a springboard for both British and foreign players.

2) Lynden Gooch

One of the longest-serving players in the Championship, Gooch gets the number two spot on a mix of longevity, consistency and quality.

The California-born midfielder has spent most of his career at Sunderland, staying with the team through their years in League One. All but 18 of his league appearances have been in the EFL for the Black Cats and current club Stoke City, as well as Doncaster Rovers on loan. Gooch may not have been a star player at any point but he’s consistently played at a high level in the EFL, and is one of the system’s most experienced players.

Still only 28, Gooch has nearly 250 EFL appearances, and he’s likely to gain even more in the coming years.

1)  Marcus Hahnemann

Who else could be given the title of the best ever American in the EFL apart from the goalkeeper of statistically the best ever Championship team?

Hahnemann was the man between the sticks as Reading stormed to the Championship title in 2005-06 with a whopping 106 points. The Seattle-born stopper played all but one game of the season as the Royals conceded just 32 goals across 46 games and accumulated the division’s highest ever points total.

In his eight year spell in Berkshire, Hahnemann played five seasons in the second tier and one in the third tier, making 198 appearances in blue and white. Before his time at the Madejski Stadium, he had short spells in the EFL at Fulham and Rochdale, but it was at Reading where Hahnemann really cemented himself as the Football League’s most successful American.

2 Comments

    • Premier League players. This is the EFL.

      This comment has zero credibility!

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