Who is/was the most renowned American soccer player ever?

The title question is a little clunky, but the idea is this:

Has any American-born and American-raised soccer player ever distinguished themselves in a major professional league aside from the MLS? I’m especially thinking of players who played before the MLS’s inception, but discussion of any more recent players is welcome.

For example, has the Premiership, Italy’s Serie A, Bundesliga, LFP, La Liga, Mexico’s Primera División, Brazil’s Serie A, etc. ever had a remarkable American player? If not a star player, then an American with a solid career? And if there has been more than one such American player, who among them might be considered the best?

ISTM that a number of American footballers were, indeed, playing in Europe around the time of the '94 World Cup and afterwards. I just don’t know if any of those Americans distinguished themselves very much.

This guy is very well thought of over here.

Wow, Freidel even made the Premiership Starting XI one year … didn’t know that.

(I always wondered what “All Stars” would be called in England … the “Starting XI” … interesting).

Brian McBride is currently the captain of Fulham in the EPL and led them with 12 goals last year.

There’s a fair few Americans currently playing here in England, although none could be called a ‘star’. Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Frank Simer (doesn’t have to be the Premiership to be serious football :wink: (Maybe it’s also worth noting that there’s one team captained by a Canadian. No bias in bringing that one up, of course.)

Mia Hamm, no question, is the most renowned American soccer player ever.

Who was that redheaded guy with the long red goatee?

Alexei Lalas?

Yeah, him. He was pretty popular for a while, right?

I knew I messed up the OP when I used the word “renowned” … that really wasn’t quite what I was going for. This the explanation in the body of the OP.

Lalas was well-known among American soccer fans, but he wasn’t a particularly effective player in Europe, was he?

Haven’t we had a couple of good goalies in the UK?

Like Keller?

Brad Freidel, as mentioned by others earlier, is a goalie as well.

And Hahnemann.

Didn’t Kyle Rote, Jr. win the superstars competition a couple of times? :wink:

I agree with Mia Hamm being the correct answer.

Maybe to my botched title question … but not to the actual question in my mind :smiley:

Also … how well known is Mia Hamm in Europe? The OP’s title is really misleading … sorry about that.

Claudia Reyna was, before his knee injury, a decent midfielder particularly for Sunderland.

Lalas wasn’t as bad a player as one might think. He did ok at Chievo in the Italian league.

Howard isn’t that good but Friedel is a fine keeper.

Mia Hamm is the most well-known female soccer player ever, and by far the most well-known American player in the world as well.

Here, go read her wiki entry and possibly learn something.

No other American player comes close. Olympic gold twice (1996, 2004), silver once (2000), FIFA World Cup championship (1999) … all while being the star player on the U.S. Women’s team. Might get some attention, for people who are actually, you know, fans of the sport.

But I begin to wonder whether the OP just wants an answer that isn’t a woman? Of course, the way the OP is worded (aside from the title) seems designed to exclude women.

But the answer to the question posed by the thread title is Mia Hamm.

It really can’t be anyone who plays for an American team.

MLS:Premiere League :: ACB:National Basketball Association

I’m just glad to see no one has mentioned Landon “Bayern Reject” Donovan.