Americans Who Made It In UK Sports

Arsenal - Emirates Stadium
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The sports world boasts billions of fans globally and thousands of professional players. With over 3.5 billion worldwide fans, football is arguably the most popular sport. In the U.S., it’s referred to as “soccer”, but everywhere else, it’s football. With the UK ranking third in the countries with the most football fans, it’s no surprise hopeful players worldwide aim for UK clubs.

American players are no different. In this article, we examine US players who excelled in the UK sports scene. We’ll also learn about icons like Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride, and others who made a name for themselves in the UK.

Americans’ Move to UK Clubs

Many fans know detailed information about their favorite UK clubs. This knowledge includes the latest Premier League odds, transfers, game results, and players. However, you might not know how many Americans have moved to the UK scene from the American one.

Before we discuss seven well-known football names that are now part of UK clubs, we discuss why so many players are making the move. Various sources indicate that UK clubs are severely undervalued compared to US ones. It has more value and growth potential for rising star players.

The US has cultivated a sports atmosphere focusing on commercializing and monetizing its clubs. On the other hand, many believe the UK has yet to market its players and merchandise effectively.

As such, many believe it can still grow commercially. This commercial potential can be seen in the marketing of new sports products like the BetterGuard ankle brace. It’s also obvious in the number of Americans making the move to the UK.

Seven Americans To Remember in the UK Sports World

While many Americans have moved to the UK sports scene for various sports, we’d be here all day if we covered them all. As such, we discuss seven names in the football scene that have left their mark. We start with one of the most well-known names, an American icon in the Premier League, Clint Dempsey.

Clint Dempsey: An American Icon

Clint Dempsey signed with the UK Premier League club Fulham in 2007 to further his career in the sport. His first season saw 10 appearances, and he only scored one goal. However, Dempsey showed his worth after that season.

He scored 40 more League goals and made history during his 2011-12 season. During this League season, Dempsey scored a record number of goals, only the second American to do so. With 17 goals scored during his 2011-12 League campaign, he made sure Dempsey is a name to remember.

Brian McBride: The Start of the Legend

If we talk about Dempsey, with his astonishing 2011-12 campaign, then we must also talk about Brian McBride. McBride is seen as one of the most successful American players in the European league. He built a reputation during his five EPL seasons with Fulham. He scored 41 goals, starting his legend for years to come.

In his 2006/07 League season, McBride made history by becoming the first American to score double-digit goals in an EPL season. His 12 goals netted him the position of the club’s top scorer of the season. While this wasn’t his only notable achievement, it did set him apart from any other American who came before him.

Tim Ream: A Top Defender

Tim Ream is another American who made the transfer across the pond. Interviews tell a story of realizing your dream but at a cost. Ream received the call from Bolton less than 24 hours after he got married and had to cancel his honeymoon to fly to the UK.

Still, despite the initial difficulty settling in at Bolton, Ream made a name for himself. He’s still playing as a Premier League defender almost 13 years later. He moved to Fulham in 2015 and has played there since, extending his contract to 2025 to play an even 10 years as a Cottager.

Matt Turner: Goalie for Life

Matt Turner started playing football in his teens, thanks to his interest in most sports. As a youth athlete who didn’t have scholarships and positions handed to him, he’s had to work hard to grasp every opportunity. After joining Arsenal, his dream club, in 2022, he felt like it was the realization of all his hard work.

Tyler Adams: A Ball-Winning Midfielder

Tyler Adams might be young, but he’s shown fantastic potential during his career. Various clubs have recognized his performance. He’s played for the New York Red Bulls and joined the Bundesliga in 2019. He recently moved to become an EPL player for Leeds United, which coincided with him being the US national team captain at the 2022 World Cup. His most recent transfer is to the AFC Bournemouth in 2023.

Chris Richards: From Munich to Crystal Palace

Chris Richards is another player with a rich history. At the age of 18, he transferred from Houston and Dallas to start playing at Bayern Munich. Richards started his career young and played in the Bundesliga and Champions League before moving to the EPL’s Crystal Palace in 2022. He went on to win Player of the Month in January 2023 and has made 34 Premier League appearances so far.

Auston Trusty: Player of the Year

Aaron Trusty has had an impressive career, from joining Arsenal to being on loan to Colorado and Birmingham. The defender center-back has had 31 appearances in the 2023/24 league season. Recently, he transferred from Arsenal to Sheffield United to continue his EPL career. It’s no surprise the club wants him, as Trusty impressed fans and coaches alike with his performance for Birmingham City. It even netted him the title of the club’s Player of the Year.

The Future of the UK Sports Scene

The football landscape shows that European clubs are some of the top performers globally. We can understand why many US players believe the EPL to be the height of their achievements. Of course, while football is the most popular sport, you’ll also find other American sports players in UK teams.

While rugby isn’t as popular in the US and UK, several US players play in the English Premiership. These include Mike MacDonald, Joe Taufete’e, Luke Gross, and Titi Lamositele. The UK teams of various sports scenes present new and exciting opportunities for players looking to make their mark.

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