Christian Pulisic is one of four current Bundesliga players in our all-time American dream team. - © DFL
Christian Pulisic is one of four current Bundesliga players in our all-time American dream team. - © DFL

The Bundesliga's all-time American best XI, starring Weston McKennie


The finest soccer player the USA has ever produced, Christian Pulisic himself has said he would not be where he is today without his time in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund - but how do the other 40 or so Americans to have represented a Bundesliga club rank?

After whittling down the candidates, and somewhat controversially leaving out RB Leipzig mega talent Tyler Adams and Werder Bremen up-and-comer Josh Sargent (their time will come!), has drawn up its very own all-American best XI...


Kasey Keller
Bundesliga club: Borussia Mönchengladbach

Although Keller only spent two-and-a-half seasons in the Bundesliga, the second most-capped goalkeeper in the history of the US Men's National Team left a lasting impression. Gladbach were battling desperately to keep their heads above water when he joined the club from English Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur in January 2005. It was a fight they would win, thanks in no small part to Mr. Magoo's seven clean sheets in 17 Rückrunde appearances.

The first of those shutouts in fact came on his debut for the club and was one of 22 he managed in his 80 games for Gladbach. Keller famously lived in the 1,000-year-old castle Haus Donk during his time in Germany and quickly became a popular member of the Borussia team. So much so that he was named club captain for the 2006/07 season under coach Jupp Heynckes.

Former USMNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller was an influential figure on the pitch for a struggling Borussia Mönchengladbach side, even captaining the team. - imago/Sven Simon


Steve Cherundolo
Bundesliga club: Hannover

No one better epitomises 'one-man club' than Cherundolo. Moving to Hannover from the US as a 19-year-old in 1999, he went on to make over 400 competitive appearances for the 96ers. He eventually became Hannover captain, before playing the last of his 302 Bundesliga games in a 2-1 defeat at Freiburg on 21 December 2013. No American has played more matches in Germany's top flight, while Cherundolo is 15th for all-time appearances by non-Germans.

Affectionately nicknamed the "Mayor of Hannover", the 87-time USMNT international retained his link with the club following retirement by taking up several coaching roles, including assistant of the first and reserve teams. In January 2018, his 19-year association with the club came to an end when he left to become assistant coach at VfB Stuttgart. He's also been on the coaching staff of the USMNT under interim coach Dave Sarachan.

Steve Cherundolo left Hannover a fan favourite and club legend. - imago/Rust

Tom Dooley
Bundesliga clubs: Homburg, Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke

After Andy Mate, who passed away on 13 May 2012 at the age of 71, not a single American played in the Bundesliga until Dooley helped Homburg work their way up from the third tier to Germany's top table by the end of 1985/86.

The 81-time USMNT international would go on to enjoy great success at Kaiserslautern, where he won the DFB Cup in 1990 and the club's first Bundesliga title the following year. After playing every minute at the USA's home FIFA World Cup in 1994, he moved to Leverkusen for a year before joining Schalke and lifting the 1997 UEFA Cup. The 1993 US Soccer Athlete of the Year would then go on to spend the twilight years of his career in Major League Soccer.

Tom Dooley lifted the DFB Cup (pictured) and the Bundesliga in a Kaiserslautern team that surprised German football. - imago sportfotodienst

John Brooks
Bundesliga clubs: Hertha BerlinWolfsburg

Born in the German capital in 1993, four years after the Berlin Wall came down, Brooks is the son of an American serviceman from Chicago. He was linked with record champions Bayern Munich in his younger days, but ultimately plumped for hometown outfit Hertha Berlin. The decision changed the fortunes of player and club.

Brooks broke into the first team after the Old Lady suffered relegation, and the 19-year-old immediately became a regular as Hertha secured promotion back to the Bundesliga at the first attempt as Bundesliga 2 champions. In five years with his hometown club, the left-footer established himself as one of the league's most reliable centre-backs and earned a call-up to the USMNT. His maiden international goal proved to be the winner for the USA in their opening 2014 FIFA World Cup match against Ghana. In 2017 the "Wall of Brooks" shifted to Wolfsburg, where he has continued to impress with consistent performances.

John Brooks has proven himself a beast of a central defender during his time with Hertha Berlin and now Wolfsburg. - DFL/Boris Streubel

Timmy Chandler
Bundesliga clubs: Nuremberg, Eintracht Frankfurt

Another dual national, Frankfurt-reared Chandler came up through Eintracht's youth team before leaving to join Nuremberg in 2010. It was in Bavaria where he was repurposed as a full-back - the role he now occupies for club and has done for country since making his debut in 2011 under Bob Bradley.

After 102 appearances for Der Club, Chandler returned home to Frankfurt following Nuremberg's relegation in 2013/14. The 29-year-old went on to become a key figure in the Eintracht team, showcasing his versatility on both flanks as well as in the centre of the pitch. In 2017/18 he won the first major silverware of his career when Niko Kovac's side lifted the DFB Cup.

Watch: Patrick Owomoyela meets Timmy Chandler


Jermaine Jones
Bundesliga clubs: Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke

Like Brooks and Chandler, Jones has American-German parentage. After graduating from Frankfurt's youth academy, he joined Leverkusen and later moved to Schalke. A bona fide midfield hard man, Jones is the most-carded American in Bundesliga history (56 yellows, five reds) - although nine goals and 13 assists point to a more refined side, while he also lifted the 2010/11 DFB Cup with the Royal Blues.

Despite rumours, the 69-time USA international is not in fact related to former Germany Women's coach Steffi Jones. The pair are, however, friends having both played for the same youth club, SV Bonames, and both being German-American nationals.

Jermaine Jones endeared himself to the Gelsenkirchen faithful with his passionate, full-blooded performances. - DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Weston McKennie
Bundesliga club: Schalke

One of the most important members of the new US generation born and bred in the Bundesliga, McKennie has stamped his place in the starting line-ups of both club and country since his debut in Germany in May 2017.

The 20-year-old clearly prefers operating from defensive midfield, but has played in as many as seven positions for the Royal Blues - showing his heart and passion to give everything for his team, no matter how. The Texan-born best friend of Christian Pulisic has also helped power the USMNT to the brink of Gold Cup glory in 2019, scoring twice in the knockout rounds of the tournament.

Weston McKennie scored his first goal for Schalke in the UEFA Champions League, and has since added another in the Bundesliga. - AFP/Getty Images

Christian Pulisic
Bundesliga club: Borussia Dortmund

If Bradley's the hog of the bunch, Pulisic has to be the Swallow-tailed Hummingbird. Swapping his Pennsylvanian homeland for Dortmund at the age of 16, 'Captain America' has been flying high in the career fast lane ever since. He made his Bundesliga debut in January 2016 - the first of 90 outings in the German top flight - and has broken all manner of records at club and senior international level before signing for English Premier League side Chelsea in the winter of 2018.

Pulisic is the second youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga and the youngest ever to register two goals in one Bundesliga game; he also became the third-youngest player in history to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances in 2017/18, the youngest to be named US Men's Soccer Player of the Year and celebrated 100 Dortmund appearances with a Champions League goal away to Club Brugge on his 20th Birthday. What is more, the Hershey-born ace is the Bundesliga's highest-scoring American with 13 goals.

Watch: Pulisic's Top 3 Bundesliga goals so far

A former youth player alongside current USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter, Claudio Reyna became the first American to captain a European team, with Wolfsburg. - imago/Oliver Behrendt

Claudio Reyna
Bundesliga clubs: Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg

A star at college level, Reyna joined Leverkusen as a 21-year-old after forcing his way into the host country’s squad for the 1994 World Cup. Having got limited game time in Leverkusen, he moved on to newly promoted Wolfsburg, where he enjoyed two brilliant years. Reyna was the Wolves' most expensive signing in 1997, but it proved money well spent. In his first season, the classy playmaker scored four goals in 28 Bundesliga games to help his team stay in the top flight.

During his years with the Wolves, Reyna became the first American to captain a European club before departing for Scotland. He hasn't abandoned his Bundesliga links, however, with his son Giovanni recently signing for Dortmund's U19s from New York City FC, where Claudio is currently sporting director.

Fabian Johnson
Bundesliga clubs: Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, Borussia Mönchengladbach

The Munich-born wide man may play for the USA now, but there was a time when he was kicking about with the likes of Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer in the Germany U21 team that lifted the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

It took a call from Jürgen Klinsmann to switch his allegiance, an opportunity born of some eye-catching displays in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim. The Bundesliga's Mr.Versatile, formerly of 1860 Munich and Wolfsburg, later joined Gladbach, whom he helped achieve a maiden Champions League qualification in his first season with the club (2014/15) and for whom he is now approaching 100 Bundesliga games.

Watch: Fabian Johnson tackles your pressing questions, against the clock

Eric Wynalda was the first player born in the USA to play in the Bundesliga, when he appeared for Saarbrücken. - imago sportfotodienst


Eric Wynalda
Bundesliga clubs: Saarbrücken, Bochum

The first American-born player to play for a Bundesliga club and the second American to score for one - Hungary-born Mate was the first, in the 1960s with Hamburg - Wynalda hit nine goals, including a couple of doubles against Karlsruher and Gladbach, in his debut season at Germany's top table with promoted Saarbrücken.

The 49-year-old is now in charge of Las Vegas Lights FC but has not broken his link with the Bundesliga and works as an analyst for the league's broadcaster in the USA, Fox Sports.