The Best American Soccer Players On The Planet At This Exact Moment In Time
When compiling a list of the best American soccer players right now, it’s paramount to consider the sporting impact of COVID-19. For example, Megan Rapinoe received the 2019 Ballon d’Or as the best female footballer on the planet, but she’s played a total of 366 minutes in 2020 and probably won't add to that.
With this list, we’ll celebrate the players that obviously stayed physically and mentally strong throughout quarantine before channeling that professionalism into a strong return to the pitch — whether that’s in the Bundesliga, Premier League or NWSL Challenge Cup.
The Best American Soccer Players Right Now
Christian Pulisic | Chelsea
Following his $73 million move to Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund, expectations were high for Eden Hazard’s replacement, but Pulisic outlined his immense potential when becoming the club’s youngest hat-trick scorer last October. (I know I said we're not doing 2019 stuff, but it's not everyday that the spirit of Clint Dempsey is transmuted into another.)
He missed a significant amount of time before the break because of an abductor muscle tear, but the 21-year-old has been in incredible form since the restart, scoring three goals and providing two assists in six games.
In total, his debut Chelsea campaign has included 30 appearances across all competitions, nine goals and eight assists. His goal involvement average is one for every 124 minutes on the pitch, which shows just how electric he’s been when healthy.
Tim Ream | Fulham
Ream missed Fulham’s Championship opener back in August and a February match against Huddersfield due to red card suspension. He’s started the Cottagers 42 other matches and helped secure qualification to the playoffs with the division’s fifth-best defensive record.
He’s one of the finest ball-playing center backs in England’s second division, and his importance in that regard is highlighted by the fact that he averages a team-best 72.5 passes per game with a success clip of 89.2 percent, ... but apparently he’s shit in the eyes of most American Outlaws because his name is Tim.
Lynn Williams | North Carolina Courage
With three goals and one assist, Williams was the standout performer for the NWSL’s best team in the Challenge Cup preliminary round. She’s also leading the competition in both shots (19) and shots on goal (seven).
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 2, 2020
It’s also worth remembering that in only 396 minutes of USWNT action in 2020, the striker scored three goals and provided five assists.
Josh Sargent | Werder Bremen
Sargent became more of a regular for Werder Bremen this season, appearing in 34 matches while scoring four goals and providing six assists. Most importantly for the 20-year-old and his future, Werder survived the relegation playoff to remain in the Bundesliga.
Here is Josh Sargent’s goal which finished the scoring for Werder Bremen in a 6-1 thumping of Koln. Sargent & company are into the promotion/relegation playoff vs either Heidenheim or Hamburg SV #USMNT pic.twitter.com/81IdUIbNNl— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) June 27, 2020
In his final six appearances, Sargent was handed four starts and responded with one goal and three assists. Young Werder manager Florian Kohfeldt obviously rates the Ginger Prince.
Lindsey Horan | Portland Thorns
Horan was the USWNT’s standout performer in 2020 with seven goals and three assists in eight caps, and she’s continued to demonstrate why she’s one of the world’s best players at the Challenge Cup, where she scored one of the best goals of the preliminary round.
That's it, that's the tweet.Congrats on being the @budweiserusa Woman of the Match, @LindseyHoran! #NWSLChallengeCup pic.twitter.com/mz56AEvLf7
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 6, 2020
Tyler Boyd | Come to Beşiktaş
After failing to provide a goal or assist in his first 17 Süper Lig appearances, the 25-year-old finally got off the mark on July 9 against Kasimpasa.
Tyler Boyd and Caner Erkin exchange crosses before the US international opens his account for the season. 1-0!
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) July 9, 2020
He went the full 90 again on Monday during Beşiktaş’ victory over Yeni Malatyaspor, keeping the club in the hunt for Champions League football.
Sam Mewis | North Carolina Courage
Another vital piece of North Carolina’s perfect start to the Challenge Cup, Mewis has recorded one goal and one assist for the Courage.
0-1 | #NJvNC
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 14, 2020
For the USWNT this year, Mewis has scored four goals and provided one assist in seven appearances.
Giovanni Reyna | Borussia Dortmund
Labelled “The American Dream” by teammate Erling Håland, the 17-year-old phenom was handed a start against RB Leipzig on June 20 and provided the first assist of his Bundesliga career.
Excellent build up by Dortmund and a slick final pass from Reyna to set up Haaland pic.twitter.com/4eN7bbohfc— Future USMNT (@FutureUsmnt) June 20, 2020
Here’s his February goal against Werder in the DFB-Pokal because it never gets old.
Giovanni Reyna's first goal for @BlackYellowHe'll do well to ever score a better one pic.twitter.com/iNDZDIP1Mb
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) February 11, 2020
Rose Lavelle | Washington Spirit
She’s been limited to 180 minutes in Utah because of a bothersome ankle, but Lavelle has given a timely reminder — including one goal — of her remarkable ability in the No. 10 role.
Who else?A midfield masterclass earns @roselavelle the @budweiserusa Woman of the Match!#NWSLChallengeCup pic.twitter.com/HAMeUNuxzC
— NWSL (@NWSL) June 28, 2020
Chris Richards | Bayern Munich
The 20-year-old Alabama native was handed his first Bundesliga appearance by Germany’s biggest club on June 20, a six-minute cameo that was the center back’s reward for helping Bayern II win the German 3. Liga title.
— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) June 15, 2020
Richards totaled 30 appearances in Germany’s third division and scored four goals.
Ashley Hatch | Washington Spirit
With seven points, the Spirit finished second during the Challenge Cup preliminary round. The team’s best player has arguably been Hatch, who’s got a goal and an assist in four appearances.
a CIN-sational goal from @Baysfeist11
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) July 12, 2020
She was the NWSL Rookie of the Year in 2017 and the former BYU Cougars standout enjoyed a fine 2019 campaign with seven goals and two assists, but the 25-year-old now looks ready to add to her two USWNT caps.