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Robinson the latest US star to represent 'Fulhamerica'

23 Oct 2020
Fulhamerica EditorialLead V2

Revisit the rich history of Americans who have played for the Cottagers

There is a corner of west London that has nearly always had an American influence for the last 20 years.

Since the turn of the millennium, Fulham have had more players from the United States on their books than any other Premier League club.

Summer signing Antonee Robinson took that number into double figures, and the 23-year-old has started the last two matches.

The long-held connection between the club and the US has led to a nickname for the team stateside: "Fulhamerica".

CC
Leading the way

In 1999, goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann became the first American to join the club, followed by Eddie Lewis the following year.

Then, from 2003 to 2007, some of the greatest players to represent the US moved to Craven Cottage, including Carlos Bocanegra, Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey and Kasey Keller.

Bocanegra, McBride and Dempsey combined for 445 Premier League appearances for Fulham, while becoming mainstays on the international stage for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).

National heroes

All three captained their country, with Bocanegra wearing the armband more than any other player and Dempsey becoming the joint-highest goalscorer in USMNT history.

Bocanegra became a fan favourite during his five seasons at Craven Cottage from 2004 to 2008.

The California-born centre-back amassed 116 Premier League appearances for the club, and his five goals from defence in 2006/07 made him Fulham's second-highest scorer in the campaign.

While Bocanegra held steady at the back, McBride and Dempsey thrived up front.

In five seasons, McBride tallied 32 Premier League goals and won the club's Player of the Season award twice.

He became so loved at the club that he now has a hospitality room named in his honour at Craven Cottage.

PL stats for Americans at Fulham
Player Apps Goals Clean sheets
Clint Dempsey 189 50 37
Brian McBride 140 32 16
Carlos Bocanegra 116 8 24
Tim Ream* 30 0 5
Eddie Johnson 19 0 1
Kasey Keller 13 0 5
Antonee Robinson* 2 0 0
Eddie Lewis 1 0 0
Marcus Hahnemann 0 0 0
Luca de la Torre 0 0 0

*current players

After McBride left, Dempsey assumed the goalscoring duties and never looked back.

The Texan bagged 50 goals in six seasons for Fulham, including a 17-goal campaign in 2011/12, the highest tally in a Premier League season for an American.

With Dempsey becoming a mainstay, the Whites finished as high as seventh in 2008/09 and qualified for the UEFA Europa League, going all the way to the final in May 2010.

Dempsey, who emulated McBride by winning two Player of the Season awards, left for Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. But a new wave of Americans arrived.

Next generation

The most impactful came in 2015, when St Louis native Tim Ream joined from Bolton Wanderers.

Ream cut his teeth in MLS in the earlier part of the decade and has since established himself in both his national and club sides.

He was named the Player of the Season in 2017/18 as Fulham achieved promotion, and earned 14 caps for the USMNT in 2019.

In the past six years, the club have also been home to Eddie Johnson, Emerson Hyndman and Luca de la Torre.

And with Fulham now back in the Premier League this season, it's only right that they have added another US national to the squad.

New signing Robinson could look to Ream as a role model, being a fellow left-footed American defender. But, if not, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration to be found in the history of Fulhamerica.

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