What the rest of the world calls football, the Americans call soccer. It is supposed to be the beautiful game, but the most popular sport in the world lags behind the four major sports in the United States, namely basketball, baseball, American football and ice hockey.
Still, it is not as if the Americans are far behind. Its women’s team has been on top of the heap for several years now, with stars like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo leading the pack. Major League Soccer, or MLS, has also been attracting marquee names over the past few years, albeit most of them are already on the downside of their careers. Guys like David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane have strutted their talents on American fields.
The top American guys are also being recruited in decent money deals in the big European leagues. As a matter of fact, the highest-earning soccer players are mostly based in Europe, with the exception of two.
Here now is a list of the top 10 richest American soccer players based on annual salary earned.
10. Brad Guzan, Aston Villa – $1.7 million
Brad Guzan is a goalkeeper for Aston Villa in the English Premier League. He started out in the USL Premier Development League as a member of the Chicago Fire Reserves. In 2005, the Chivas U.S.A. team in the MLS took him in. Aston Villa bought him for $1.2 million in the summer of 2008. He was loaned out to Hull City in the lower division in 2011. He has since returned to Aston Villa, where he has given out impressive performances. He was the team’s Player of the Year last season.
9. Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers – $2.15 million
Stuart Holden is a midfielder for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League. Though he was born in Scotland, he has played for the United States since 2004 when he became part of the under 20 team. He started out his senior career for Sunderland in England in 2005 before he came back to play for the Houston Dynamo for three years until 2009. In 2010, he returned to England to play for Bolton, though he was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday in 2013.
8. Jozy Altidore, Sunderland – $2.2 million
Jozy Altidore is a striker for Sunderland in the English Premier League. He started out his senior career for the New York Red Bulls in 2006. Two years later, he transferred to Villareal in Spain, though he was subsequently loaned out to Xerez, Hull City and Bursaspor. In 2011, he transferred to the Dutch Eredivisie, where he played for AZ. In 2013, he made a move to England to play for Sunderland.
7. Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy – $2.4 million
Landon Donovan is a winger and forward for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He is the all time leader in goals and assists for the national team. He also has the most caps for any active player. He started out for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, though he spent most of the time on loan to the San Jose Earthquakes. He transferred to the Galaxy in 2005, though he had loan spells for Bayern Munich and Everton.
6. Tim Howard, Everton – $2.6 million
Tim Howard is a goalkeeper for Everton in the English Premier League. He started his senior career in 1997 for the North Jersey Imperials before transferring to the MetroStars the following year. In 2003, he moved to Europe to play for Manchester United. He was loaned out to Everton in 2006, before making the move permanent the following year.
5. Giuseppe Rossi, Fiorentina – $2.63 million
Giuseppe Rossi is a forward for Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A. Though he has chosen to play for the Italian national team, he was actually born in New Jersey. He started out his senior career for Manchester United in 2005, before going out on loans spells to Newcastle and Parma. In 2007, he transferred to Villareal in the Spanish La Liga. During the January 2013 transfer window, he was sold to Fiorentina.
4. Neven Subotic, Borussia Dortmund – $2.63 million
Neven Subotic is a center back for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. He holds German, Serbian, Bosnian and American passports. He played for the under 17 and under 20 teams of the United States, but he has since chosen to play for Serbia at the senior level. He started out his senior club career with Mainz 05 in 2007, before he transferred to Borussia Dortmund in 2008
3. Brad Friedel, Tottenham Hotspurs – $6.59 million
Brad Friedel is a goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. He first tried to play for Nottingham Forest and Newcastle but was denied a work permit in England. He then moved to Brondby in Denmark. In 1995, he moved to Galatasaray, before transferring to the Columbus Crew. In 1997, he finally made a move to England when he transferred to Liverpool. He has also played for Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa before transferring to the Spurs in 2011.
2. Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders – $8 million
Clint Dempsey is an attacking midfielder and forward for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS. He started out his senior career with the New England Revolution in 2004. Fulham brought his talents to England in 2007, where he stayed for five years. In 2012, he moved to Tottenham where he played for a year before making the move back to the United States.
1. Jermaine Jones, Schalke 04 – $8.02 million
Jermaine Jones is a defensive midfielder for Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga. He actually played for the German national team until 2008 before transferring to the American team in 2010. He has played in the senior level for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. In 2007, he made the move to his current club, though he was loaned out during the 2011 season to Blackburn Rovers in the EPL.
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