American Exports: Who is the all-time winningest American in European top flights? Top goal streak?
AMSTERDAM – It's time again for a fresh chapter's worth of stat-nerd research to file in your American Exports almanac. This edition is confined to numbers accrued in top divisions across the pond, and it's all about results, shutouts and streaks.
Since we have recently covered such categories for the netminders, we will also stick to field players on these charts. All numbers marked with an asterisk are live sums held by players still on the books of a European first-division club.
Posting the W
Of all the statistical columns in all the sports in the world, none contains more consistent value than the victory. Three Americans have hit the century mark in European first-division play, with Oguchi Onyewu tops for participating in 115 wins during the course of his career.
The burly defender has spread them around the map, too. Along with Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley, Onyewu is one of four Americans to have taken part in league wins in four different European top flights.
Expect a fair amount of movement in this ranking this year; nine of the top 20 are currently employed by first-division sides in Europe. And just to clarify, Thomas Dooley did ring up a small portion of his career Ws before becoming a US citizen in 1992.
Appearances in top-flight wins
The longest European winning run ever enjoyed by an American belongs to Ajax handyman John O'Brien, who helped his team to victory in 14 straight appearances from April 2002 to March of the following year.
If you wanted any shot at making this list, one had to either work for a Low Countries powerhouse or Rangers. The top 11 win streaks belong to such players, with then-Helsingborg attacker Alejandro Bedoya being the player stationed elsewhere to celebrate full points through as many as seven consecutive outings.
Meanwhile, Beasley makes the list with both 'Gers and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, accounting for half of the top-six streaks. Claudio Reyna rang up an eight-game win streak three separate times, but all with Rangers.
Only six other Americans have achieved a six-game winning roll overseas: Altidore (with AZ Alkmaar), Danny Califf (Aalborg BK), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Josh Gatt (Molde FK), John Harkes (Sheffield Wednesday) and Eddy Hamel (Ajax).
Wins in consecutive appearances
|John O'Brien, Ajax||14|
|DaMarcus Beasley, PSV||12|
|Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht||10|
|DaMarcus Beasley, PSV||9|
|DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers||9|
|Maurice Edu, Rangers||9|
|John O'Brien, Ajax||8|
|Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liège||8|
|Claudio Reyna, Rangers||8|
|DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers||7|
|Alejandro Bedoya, Helsingborg||7|
|Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht||7|
|Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liège||7|
Playing for Rangers or a Belgian/Dutch name brand did not hurt anyone's case for making the all-time list for best unbeaten streaks, either. Onyewu is again the leader, and eight of the top 11 runs perpetrated with a single club were by players fitting one of those uniform descriptions. To boot, one of Carlos Bocanegra's appearances here was partially posted with Rangers.
Beasley is the only other player with two streaks in the top 10, one each with 'Gers and PSV. All tolled, the Dutch side lost just two of his 58 league matches. He also departed the famed Scottish club with 23 straight undefeated games. This sort of memorable goodbye run is not rare.
Of several countryman to leave a European team with a notable string of unbeaten appearances, Toronto FC capture Michael Bradley just sang Arrivederci, Roma after 13 straight outings without a loss. One to watch: current MLS transfer topic Jermaine Jones has gone six Schalke matches without defeat.
Longest unbeaten streaks
|Oguchi Onyewu, Standard Liège||36|
|DaMarcus Beasley, PSV||24|
|DaMarcus Beasley, Rangers||23|
|Maurice Edu, Rangers||22|
|Bryan Gerzicich, Hap. IKS||22|
|John O'Brien, Ajax||22|
|Claudio Reyna, Rangers||20|
|Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes||18|
|Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht||16|
|Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht||15|
|C. Bocanegra, St-Ettiene/Rangers||15|
The Hot Irons
The Eredivisie has also seen some good scoring streaks by Americans over the years, including Bradley's record-sharing six for Heeerenveen. And while co-leader Aron Jóhannsson found the net in both six and four straight at AGF Aarhus in Denmark, he has already piled up a pair of three-game goal runs in less than a season as starter with AZ.
|Player||Longest league goal streaks|
|Michael Bradley, Heerenveen||6|
|Aron Jóhannsson, AGF||6|
|Charlie Davies, Hammarby||5|
|Earnie Stewart, NAC||5|
|Jozy Altidore, AZ Alkmaar||4|
|Aron Jóhannsson, AGF||4|
|Roy Wegerle, QPR||4|
|Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna||3|
|Clint Dempsey, Fulham||3|
|Aron Jóhannsson, AZ Alkmaar||3|
|Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht||3|
|Joe-Max Moore, Everton||3|
Goalkeepers have their shutouts logged, but never the defenders they shout at in front of them. Let us not forget the guys who keep the ball out of the net, who could soon see a new king of the hill. Onyewu is No. 1 here, as well, but stands only one shutout participation ahead of current Hannover 96 skipper Cherundolo.
The players had to work their full shift in defense to get a notch, so none of the complete midfield shifts put in by guys like Bocanegra, Dooley, Timothy Chandler and Jonathan Spector apply here. Another Dooley clarification note: Some of his clean-sheet assistances came before he was an American citizen, and the same can be said of David Regis.
|Player||Career shutouts as defender|