American Exports: With Champions, Europa League heating up again, which Yanks top the charts?

AMSTERDAM – With both the Champions League and the Europa League on crash courses for Matchday 6 of their respective group stages, we thought it a good time to break out the ol' American Exports abacus to crunch all the numbers put up by our boys "in Europe" (as they say on the continent).

Many of the leaders in our chosen categories will be the expected names, but there are a few stats below to surprise – or at least test your memory. And be sure to check the recaps later this week as several Americans try to pad their totals.

All the tallies here start from the playoff round and go from there. No early qualifiers count, but in years before the current set-up, the third round makes this ledger the equivalent to today's playoff round.

The Return Visitors

Very simply, who has played the most European matches counting the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Cup and Cup Winners Cup? That would be Jermaine Jones (pictured right), who tops all Americans with 37 career appearances on one of the big stages.

Those wishing to be technical may note that only 23 of those games came after the Schalke midfielder was granted his FIFA allegiance switch to the United States in 2009. To such folks, Oguchi Onyewu would rule the roost on 34 continental tilts. The lovable lug/defensive enforcer encounters no such controversy when counting up who's taken a UEFA tourney field for the most teams; Gooch has made "the show" with five clubs.

A special nod goes out to DaMarcus Beasley, who played all 24 of his European matches in the Champions League. Only the finest for Run DMB.

TOTAL EUROPEAN GAMES

Jermaine Jones 37
Oguchi Onyewu 34
Clint Dempsey 27
Sacha Kljestan 25
DaMarcus Beasley 24
Brad Friedel 24
Jozy Altidore 21
Tim Howard 21
Steve Cherundolo 19
Claudio Reyna 19

The Top-Shelf Boys

Speaking of the Champions League, Jones also edges out that category, with one more appearance than Beasley (pictured right). If you wish to choose the stickler option, subtract 12 from his 25 and drop him to second.

Nos. 3 and 4, Tim Howard and Sacha Kljestan, are each currently in position to fight for a fall 2014 return to the grand ball that is the Champions League. Of the others with at least four appearances, one will find some 2002 World Cup heroes and some MLS Cup winners.

You will also see three players on the list who have seen a Champions League field for two teams: Jones, Beasley and Onyewu. If Howard can steer Everton there this season, he becomes the fourth and they can all golf together or form a bridge club.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GAMES

Jermaine Jones 25
DaMarcus Beasley 24
Tim Howard 12
Sacha Kljestan 11
Claudio Reyna 8
John O'Brien 7
Tony Sanneh 7
Frankie Hejduk 6
Oguchi Onyewu 6
Michael Parkhurst 6
Jovan Kirovski 5
Maurice Edu 4
Robbie Russell 4

The Points Takers

None of the guys we're celebrating here just wanted to show up to the party. They wanted to win every time, be the opponent AC Milan or AEK Larnaca.

Again, Jones is the leader for total victory participation across all competitions – and again that's up for debate at the pub. If his six pre-USMNT wins don't suit your personal parameters, then his count drops from 16 to 10 and Clint Dempsey is top of the chart with 13 career grinning bows to the supporters after a European match.

Look out for sneaky Sacha Kljestan (pictured right), though. If no one ever plucks him away from Anderlecht, the midfielder would likely return to Europe every year. He could even feasibly get a number of games in both tournaments during the same campaign if the Mauves ever finish consolation third in a Champions League group stage, which comes with a parachute to the Europa League knockouts.

EUROPEAN WINS

Jermaine Jones 16
Clint Dempsey 13
Brad Friedel 12
Sacha Kljestan 11
DaMarcus Beasley 10
Oguchi Onyewu 10
Claudio Reyna 10
Jozy Altidore 9
Steve Cherundolo 9
Tim Howard 9

The Bell Ringers

Yada yada yada, who likes goals? In European play, Dempsey sure does. The Sounders man has hit seven times in Europe for Fulham and Tottenham. Two of those have been game-opening goals, tied for best among Americans with Jozy Altidore.

Dempsey is one of only two out of his countrymen (along with Jones) to have scored both a game-winning goal and a knockout-tie decider in Europe. You may not recall his leg-one winner against playoff-round guests Amkar Perm in 2009, but surely most everyone could close their eyes and still see the scoop of delight that saw off Round-of-16 foes Juventus later in that same march to the first Europa League final.

Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya and Carlos Bocanegra have also decided a single European contest with marksmanship, while Maurice Edu has a tie-winner to his credit. Mikkel Diskerud scored a goal that ticked both boxes at once against 2012 playoff round opponent Legia Warsaw. Mix and Edu are the only two Americans to have scored their most famous winning goal in stoppage time. Dempsey came close, with his Juventus killer coming in the 83rd minute of leg two.

Again, though, there is a bullet to watch on the chart and his name is Terrence Boyd (right). In just two seasons as a first-team player, the Rapid Vienna forward already has five European tallies – and that's not including the two he's bagged in the round prior to the playoff showdown.

GOALS

Clint Dempsey 7
Terrence Boyd 5
Jozy Altidore 4
DaMarcus Beasley 4
Jermaine Jones 3
Alejandro Bedoya 2
Carlos Bocanegra 2
Michael Bradley 2
Maurice Edu 2
Oguchi Onyewu 2

The Mutumbos

When it comes to American goalkeepers wagging their finger under the hottest lights in Europe, we have a two-horse race.

Brad Friedel came into the term deadlocked with Howard on seven shutouts. However, the oldest player ever to appear in a Europa League match has added two for runaway group winners Spurs, meaning he could gather more this year.  

The only other Americans to have brought the donuts to a European contest are Brad Guzan and Kasey Keller.