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Top 5 Yanks on foreign national teams
   October 9, 2013 (12:41 AM) by Howie Michaels     Email This Post Email This Post

I actually drafted this before we found out that Steven Beitashour will be playing for Iran, but here is the top five Americans in Europe who play for other national teams.

5) Roger Espinoza, Wigan (Honduras)


The former Ohio State Buckeye moved to Colorado at 12 and became a US citizen in 2008, although he opted to represent his home nation.  After several seasons as a left back and then defensive midfielder with the Sporting Kansas City Wizards, he joined Wigan mid-season in January and won himself an FA Cup (although he was unable to prevent their relegation).

4) Boaz Myhill, West Bromwich Albion (Wales)


The California native moved to England with his American father and Welsh mother at a young age. He played for Hull City at all four professional levels of English football before moving to West Brom and spending time on loan with Birmingham City. He was never really on the US radar, but in an alternate universe would probably have been worth a call.

3) Yura Movsisyan, Spartak Moscow (Armenia)


Okay, so I’m not 100% sure that Yura has ever obtained US citizenship. However, he lived in the US for a decade, went to high school and college here, and expressed an interest in playing for the US before moving abroad and losing his nationalization chances so he’s American enough for me (and has merits ahead of the somewhat similar background of Vedad Ibišević). After helping Real Salt Lake win the 2009 MLS Cup, Movsisyan has made moves to Randers in Denmark, Krasnodar in Russia, and now Spartak Moscow, a legitimately big club in a big country, where he has continued his tradition of scoring a ton of goals at every stop.

2) Neven Subotic, Borussia Dortmund (Serbia)


Unlike the others on this list, Subotic was part of the US setup for a long time, playing for the U-17s and U-20s before his infamous fallout with then-U-20 coach Thomas Rongen and subsequent switch to his native Serbia.  Of course, he plays a position that could always use improvement for the US.  He isn’t a European champion, but that isn’t his fault.

1) Giuseppe Rossi, Florentina (Italy)


The New Jersey native really needs no introduction here. Rossi famously (infamously?) opted to play for his parents’ Italy over his native United States. An understandable decision given the relative prestige of the two nations, but that has made Rossi’s success no less painful. He scored 54 goals in 4 ½ years at Villarrael (and helped keep Jozy Altidore on the bench). Despite missing nearly two years with two torn ACLs, Rossi has made an immediate impact in Serie A, with five goals already.

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Howie Michaels

Howie once received a death threat at a USA-Brazil friendly. He still believes in Fred Adu. He plays forward in coed rec, although not well.

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Categories: Top 5 Lists

5 Responses to “Top 5 Yanks on foreign national teams”

  1. Steffen says:

    No Brede Hangeland? I know he’s aging a bit now, but still a rock solid EPL CB born in the US–not to mention the captain of his national team. Seems a better fit for this list than anyone but Rossi/Subotic

  2. daniil says:

    Would put hengeland at 4. I’m glad to see movsisyan make this list highly, he’s one of my favorite players whilst not playing for spartak :p

    Thinking of all the dual-nationals though, we’ve been doing well at recruiting them lately. Klinsmanns been great at that. Hopefully julian green can avoid this company.

  3. 2tone says:

    Movsyssian isn’t American. Doesn’t have US citizenship, and wasn’t born in the US. Henceforth not American in technical terms.

  4. daniil says:

    There’s a difference between being an american citizen and being an american, but that is not a discussion for this setting. Having legally immigrated and grown up here, I would say yura is pretty american

  5. Trent Hill says:

    Hangeland definitely.

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