Big Fish Across the Pond

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  • Former Everton star Landon Donovan has the best win percentage (47%) of any US player in the Premier League
  • Goalkeeper Brad Friedel featured at four Premier League clubs, racking up a record high of 450 games, with a win ratio of 40%
  • Prolific forward Clint Dempsey has the best goals-to-game ratio of any player, scoring once every four games

Exclusive research has revealed US national team forward Landan Donovan as the most effective player in Premier League history.

A total of 44 US players have featured in the Premier League era, with Donovan topping the table for the best win percentage (47 percent), the highest of any US players that have featured in ten or more Premier League games.

Of the current US stars currently playing in the Premier League, only Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United) and Tim Ream (Fulham) have featured in more than ten Premier League games – with the three struggling to match the winning rate of Donovan or former goalkeeping legends Tim Howard (43 percent win ratio) and Brad Friedel (40 percent).

As it stands, Danny Williams sits in 13th place (30 percent), Yedlin sits in 19th position (28 percent), with Tim Ream down in 26th (21%). The research from also reveals the most prolific scoring US player in the Premier League and the player with the most appearances.

Top 10 highest win percentage in the Premier League (with over 10 appearances):

PlayerTeamsPL AppsGames WonGames LostGames DrawnWin Rate
Donovan, LandonEverton1784547%
Howard, TimEverton / Manchester United39917310212443%
Holden, StuartBolton28128843%
Harkes, JohnSheffield Wednesday / West Ham / Nottingham4318151042%
Friedel, BradBlackburn / Aston Villa / Tottenham / Liverpool45018014612440%
Keller, KaseyLeicester City / Tottenham / Fulham / Southampton20169765633%
Dempsey, ClintFulham / Tottenham21873836233%
Jones, CobiCoventry2179533%
McBride, BrianFulham / Everton14847643732%
Cameron, GeoffStoke City16853674832%

When it comes to goals scored, Clint Dempsey reigns supreme, having scored 57 Premier League goals at a rate of 0.26 goals per game during his time in London with Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. The Texas native is widely considered to be the most successful US import due to the volume of times he found the back of the net, also chipping in with 19 assists, and sparking the interest in legal sports betting.

Interestingly, Friedel and Howard both managed to find the back of the net during their time in the Premier League, with their one goal apiece just a goal less than Jozy Altidore mustered during his 70 appearances on Tyneside with Sunderland.

Top 10 goals per game in the Premier League:

PlayerTeamsGames PlayedGames WonGames DrawnGames LostGoalsGoals per game
Dempsey, ClintFulham / Tottenham218736283570.26
McBride, BrianFulham / Everton148473764360.24
Wegerle, RoyCoventry / Blackburn Rovers75192630130.17
Beasley, DaMarcusManchester City18531030.17
Moore, Joe-MaxEverton5211152680.15
Donovan, LandonEverton1785420.12
Jones, CobiCoventry2175920.10
Kirovski, JovanBirmingham23461320.09
Radosavljević, Predrag (Preki)Everton4613102340.09
Holden, StuartBolton28128820.07

American goalkeepers have a strong association with the Premier League, with goalkeepers making up five of the top ten players with the most Premier League appearances. Goalkeeper Brad Friedel sits top, racking up 450 appearances during his 13 years in England. The former Everton and Man United shot-stopper Tim Howard featured in a staggering 399 games, with a win ratio of 43%.

Friedel, speaking exclusively to, revealed what it will take for him to be overtaken on record appearances, “Of course, I believe that every record has to be broken at some stage. The United States has a lot of very talented young players, where they get the opportunity to play in Spain, Germany or stay in the MLS or head over to England is yet to be seen, but there are plenty of players out there who if given the chance could beat the record, and I think that’s a great thing to have because it means the squad for the national team is getting bigger and better and that’s what we want.

“I would love to see the day that another American makes 310 consecutive appearances, and I think that would be outstanding and put a big smile on my face as it will mean that our sport is getting bigger and better, and continuing to grow.”

Top 10 most appearances in the Premier League:

PlayerTeamsGames PlayedGames WonGames DrawnGames LostTotal PointsPoints per game
Friedel, BradBlackburn / Aston Villa / Tottenham / Liverpool4501801241466641.48
Howard, TimEverton / Manchester United3991731241026431.61
Dempsey, ClintFulham / Tottenham2187362832811.29
Keller, KaseyLeicester City / Tottenham / Fulham / Southampton2016956762631.31
Cameron, GeoffStoke City1685348672071.23
Guzan, BradAston Villa / Middlesbrough1543336851350.88
McBride, BrianFulham / Everton1484737641781.20
Spector, JonathanWest Ham / Charlton / Manchester United1243532571371.10
Bocanegra, CarlosFulham1162936511231.06
Hahnemann, MarcusReading / Wolves1153523571281.11

With the arrival of Christian Pulisic in the summer, and the growing reputation of the MLS, a spokesperson for revealed what the future could hold for US imports:

“With a relatively small number of US players featuring in the Premier League’s 26-year history, Christian Pulisic’s arrival could pave the way for future stars to make the transition and look to develop a career in England.”

“The likes of Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and Clint Dempsey are remembered very fondly by their respective clubs and we expect that to continue with the talent coming over from the USA and MLS.”

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