The finest soccer player the USA has ever produced, we all know Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic would walk into any team in world football today - 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 Schalke all-rounder Weston McKennie 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 one-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 Leicester City 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.

"I love this club!" Kasey Keller would have stayed at Gladbach longer, given the chance. © gettyimages / Thomas Starke/Bongarts/Getty Images

The Olympia, Washington native was named captain the following campaign, becoming only the second American after Claudio Reyna to skipper a Bundesliga club, but was unable to keep the Foals from the trapdoor. Despite indicating he would be prepared to play on in the second division, Gladbach sold him to London side Fulham in summer 2007.


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.

Steven Cherundolo also goes by the name of 'Mr. Hannover'. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Holder of the record for most Bundesliga appearances by an American national, Cherundolo also earned 87 international caps for the USA, helping his country win the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2005. Since hanging up his playing boots, he has worked as a youth coach and as first-team assistant to Tayfun Korkut at Hannover and VfB Stuttgart.

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.

Tom Dooley is the most decorated Bundesliga player from the USA. © imago / Eissner

Dooley later captured the German Cup (1990) and the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern (1991), as well as the UEFA Cup with Schalke (1997), either side of a one-season stint at Bayer Leverkusen. To date, he is the only American to get his hands on the Bundesliga Meisterschale.

John Brooks

Bundesliga clubs: Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg

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.

John Brooks has made over 100 Bundesliga appearances for Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg. © imago

After helping the Old Lady regain promotion to the Bundesliga in his first full season of first-team football, Brooks swiftly established himself as one of German football's finest central defenders. The seasoned USA international, aptly nicknamed 'the Wall of Brooks', joined Wolfsburg in summer 2017 for a record fee for an American.

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 upper Bavaria where he was repurposed as a full-back - the role he now occupies for club and has done for country.

Watch: Patrick Owomoyela meets Timmy Chandler

With 102 senior club appearances under his belt, Chandler re-signed with Frankfurt following Nuremberg’s relegation to Bundesliga 2 in 2014 and - despite various injury set-backs - is pushing 200 Bundesliga outings. The 29-time USA international won his first major honour as a professional in the 2018 DFB Cup.


Jermaine Jones

Bundesliga clubs: Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke

Like Brooks, Jones has American-German parentage. After graduating from Frankfurt's youth academy, he joined Bayer 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.

Jermaine Jones was a formidable opponent in his day. © gettyimages / DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

He shares the record for most UEFA Champions League appearances by an American with DaMarcus Beasley, and also turned out a further 11 times in the UEFA Europa League. Tim Howard and Brad Friedel are the only Americans to have racked up more matches in UEFA competition.

Michael Bradley

Bundesliga club: Borussia Mönchengladbach

"On the pitch, I must be a dirty pig. It's not fun to play against me." Those are the words of Bradley, who moved to Gladbach from Dutch outfit Heerenveen in the summer of 2008. The mud-loving midfielder, who is the son of former USA head coach Bob Bradley, made 28 Bundesliga appearances in his first season at Borussia-Park as the Foals narrowly avoided relegation to the second tier, and was a virtual ever-present in 2009/10.

Michael Bradley followed in the footsteps of Rob Friend, in swapping the Eredivisie for the Bundesliga. © gettyimages / Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

He fell out of favour under Lucien Favre the following season, however, and subsequently spent time in England on loan with Aston Villa, before shipping out to Chievo on a permanent deal in summer 2011. A scorer of 10 Bundesliga goals, he is one of only a handful of Americans to find the net against Bayern. What a swine!

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 over 75 outings in the German top flight to date - and has broken all manner of records at club and senior international level.

Watch: Pulisic's Top 3 Bundesliga goals so far!

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 already the Bundesliga's highest-scoring American with 10 goals.

Claudio Reyna

Bundesliga clubs: Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg

A star at college level, Reyna joined Bayer 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.

Claudio Reyna became the first American to captain a European club when he was given the armband at Wolfsburg in 1998. © gettyimages / Mark Sandten

“If you make the good run, Claudio will get you the ball,” then-Wolfsburg forward Andre Breitenreiter told Soccer America ahead of the 1998 World Cup.

The New Jersey native’s influence was such that for the 1998/99 season he was handed the captain’s armband. The role clearly suited Reyna, since Wolfsburg would finish in a lofty sixth position. The first American to captain a top European club, the former Rangers and Manchester City midfielder was a trailblazer at international level too. He earned a whopping 112 caps for the United States, and captained his country at both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Fabian Johnson

Bundesliga clubs: Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, Borussia Mönchengladbach

If you liked that little factoid, you'll love this one on Johnson. Sure the Munich-born wide man plays 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 U21s team that lifted the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

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

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).


Eric Wynalda

Bundesliga clubs: Saarbrücken, Bochum

The second American to score for a Bundesliga club - 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.

Eric Wynalda (r.) totalled 90 apperances in Germany's top two divisions. © imago / Stockhoff

Although Saarbrücken didn't stay the course, suffering relegation at the end of the campaign, Wynalda stuck around, before joining Bochum in time for the 1994/95 season. In total, he registered nine goals and five assists in 54 Bundesliga appearances, and was the Bundesliga's top-scoring American until a certain star by the name of Christian Pulisic was born. He also appeared in three World Cups for the USA.

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