Wednesday, May 3, 2017

And out comes the abacus!

Today, we shift gears from MLS to the boys playing overseas. It's been a while since I ran some numbers on American exploits in Europe, but I got myself caught in a research loop the other night. I'll have more categories and tabulations on the way soon, but let's start up this round of stats with the simple stuff. 

First things first, I've counted how many Americans have appeared in a league match in each of the the major top flights. I ranked them accordingly, and added on a mention of the player who worked the most league games among our countrymen. I doubt you'll be too surprised about any of this...

48 German Bundesliga (Cherundolo, 302)
English Premier League (Friedel, 450)

Norwegian Tippeligaen (Diskerud, 140)

Danish Superliga (Parkhurst, 106)

Dutch Eredivisie (Stewart, 334)

SIDE NOTE UPDATE: AC Horsens midfielder Conor O'Brien will play his 106th Superliga match this weekend, tying him with Michael Parkhurst for the all-time lead among Americans.

I should also mention that Sweden's Allsvenskan stands just one behind the Eredivisie and has lured far more Americans in recent years, so they could well leapfrog the Dutch before long.

Next up, we have the top 15 Americans in total games played in top flights, all domestic cup competitions that featured a UEFA Cup/Europa League berth as prize for the winner and continental cups. Domestic or European Super Cups were not included.

Fabian Johnson became the 14th American to surpass 200 such games played earlier in the term, while Brad Guzan can make it 15 if he manages two more starts for Boro before returning to MLS.

530 Brad Friedel
487 Tim Howard
360 Earnie Stewart
347 Steve Cherundolo
342 Kasey Keller
312 Thomas Dooley 279 Carlos Bocanegra
275 Clint Dempsey
275 Oguchi Onyewu
267 Jermaine Jones
248 Michael Bradley
220* Fabian Johnson
217 Claudio Reyna
209 Jozy Altidore
198* Brad Guzan

* = active

Today's last category concerns the number of times Americans have won specific titles in European. This charts shows that our boys making their way to Scotland, the Netherlands and Norway have had the best shot at ending up as one sort of champion or another.

6 Scottish Premier League
5 Belgian Jupiler League 5 KNVB Cup
4 English League Cup
4 Eredivisie
4 NM Cup
4 Norwegian Tippeligaen
4 Scottish League Cup

I'll be back with some attack categories tomorrow.

- Greg Seltzer


JJO said...

Dempsey having more appearances than Jermaine Jones jumps out at me as the shocker on the list.

Thanks for compiling this Greg. I'll be interested in seeing what else ya got!

Matt said...

Yea, we love this stuff. Go into the research black hole!

Patrick said...

The various tables seem set. Johnansen doesn't play and wants to move, so I didn't include him. Here are the Americans that will be playing in various levels of club:

Perennial Champions League knock-out: 1 (Pulisic)
Champions League Qualifying/Europa League: 3 (Chandler, Horvath, Brooks)
Top 4 League: 7-10

Nagbe or Hyndman moving to Celtic could bump up the CLQ number. Assume even if Hamburg gets relegated, Wood will move to a Top 4 League team.

Realizing that Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina have their entire starting line ups in the first category (or close enough); if we are going to compete by 2026, how do we get 9+ players on those teams? Brooks could move to a UCL contender. But would he be there in 2026? There are American teenagers at Chelsea, ManU, Barcelona, Dortmund, Tottenham, but only Pulisic plays first team.

Nagbe, Dempsey, Cameron are important players for the USMNT now and all three went to college, played MLS, moved (or might move) and became very good players at mid-table teams when they were in their primes. If the USA is really going to compete, the players need to get over there earlier so they can turn that mid-table success to a move to the UCL teams (Dempsey's move to Tottenham maybe goes different if he was 4 years younger, maybe Cameron would be at a better club if he was younger; Nagbe might already have moved from Celtic to Southampton/Everton).

But we all know this; which is why I think Miazga & Acosta are the players to watch. European clubs seem to be ok with buying and developing American 14-16 yr olds (who have a UEFA passport). Sport clubs are copy cats, and if it works once they will assume it can work again. Pulisic is a big success for all mid-teens Americans with passports developed in the US. But Miazga was an MLS player and Acosta is an MLS player. Miazga moved before really breaking out, but at 19. Acosta has broken out. An MLS developed player who could move at 21-22 after multiple pro seasons in MLS. Has that happened? Yedlin would be the trailblazer there; but Acosta is playing better than Yedlin was (though Yedlin played at the 2014 WC). They could both be at mid-table Top 4 league teams at 22-24 and then maybe could make that move in their prime. Once that happens, you will see it happen much more and maybe by 2026 we have a good number of players at top clubs.

Unknown said...

miazga also has a euro passport though. he couldnt have got a work permit cuz he didnt have the senior caps. no idea how brexit will affect these things.

but we're not going to compete in 2026. we might be a dark-horse by then, but certainly not a contender.

so many ifs and maybes. only one or two out of every litter of prospects will reach their potential. acosta, nagbe, and miazga, are still all "maybe"s, not to mention all of our prospects at euro academies.