Why Leeds United is America’s English Premier League Team

American English Premier League fandom is generally split between the big six EPL clubs. Because these teams have the best players, win the most, and are on TV more often, most English soccer fans in the U.S. either support Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, or Tottenham Hotspur. However, with apologies to the Dallas Cowboys, the real America’s Team in (that kind of) football is Leeds United.

Leeds United has more American connections than any other Premier League team

(L-R) Leeds United members with U.S. connections: Brenden Aaronson, Jack Harrison, Jesse Marsch, and Tyler Adams.
(L-R) Brenden Aaronson and Jack Harrison, Jesse Marsch, Tyler Adams | David Rogers/Getty Images; Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images; Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Plenty of Americans have played in the English Premier League through the years. Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Everton), Tim Howard (Manchester United, Everton), Brad Friedel (Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, and Tottenham), Brian McBride (Fulham), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), and others had nice careers in England.

Currently, players like Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Matt Turner (Arsenal), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), and Tim Ream (Fulham) all call the EPL home.

However, no club has more U.S. ties than Leeds United.

Manager Jesse Marsch

In 2022, after taking over Leeds United from the fired Marcelo Bielsa, Wisconsin native Jesse Marsch got the job managing the club full time.

This made him the second American-born manager in Premier League history. He joined former USMNT coach Bob Bradley, who managed Swansea City in 2016. David Wagner was born and raised in Germany but played for the USMNT with his international eligibility based on his American stepfather.

Marsch dramatically saved Leeds United from relegation last season and started 2022-23 with a bang. The team has a dramatic 2-1 victory over Wolves and a 2-2 draw vs. Southampton.

Marsch is a former Princeton Tigers and MLS player who’s managed the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls in MLS, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, and RB Leipzig in Germany before moving to the Premier League.

FW Brenden Aaronson

Brenden Aaronson is a 21-year-old New Jersey native quickly making a name for himself on the international soccer scene.

Aaronson started his professional career in earnest as an 18-year-old for MLS’s Philadelphia Union. After a string debut season, he moved to Red Bull Salzburg, where he played for manager Jesse March for a short time. When Marsch got the Leeds United job, one of his first moves was bringing Aaronson with him, paying Salzburg a $36.13 million fee to do so.

The investment has paid off. The USMNT youngster already made a game-winning play for Leeds, causing an own-goal by Wolves in the club’s 2-1 victory. Aaronson has played so well for club and country of late, the calls of U.S. soccer fans for him to start in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are growing louder.

MF Tyler Adams

Speaking of USMNT starters, Tyler Adams is the third American involved in Leeds United’s 2022-23 Premier League campaign.

The 23-year-old New York native will be a key to the USMNT’s success at the 2022 World Cup. Coach Gregg Berhalter has penciled Adams in as a starting midfielder for the tournament on the “MMA” line of Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie, and Adams.

Adams also started his career in the MLS. He played under Jesse Marsch on the New York Red Bulls from 2016-19 before rejoining his manager at RB Leipzig in 2019. Marsch brought his safety blanket midfielder with him again to Leeds, paying their old employer an $18.7 million fee.  

Adams has started both EPL games for Leeds United this season.

FW Jack Harrison 

Jack Harrison was born an hour south of Manchester in Stoke-on-Trent and grew up a half-hour north of the city in Bolton. Even if you’re not the biggest geography buff in the world, you probably know those places aren’t in the U.S.

Despite being an Englishman, Harrison played high school soccer in Massachusetts and came to prominence in Major League Soccer, just like Jesse Marsch, Brenden Aaronson, and Tyler Adams.

The Chicago Fire drafted the now-25-year-old No. 1 overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and traded him to NYCFC. After two successful seasons in MLS, Harrison signed with NYCFC’s parent club, Manchester City.

The English youngster never played a game for City. The club loaned him out to Middlesbrough and Leeds United before Leeds made it permanent in 2021 with a $14.08 million fee. All in, Harrison has 168 appearances with 28 goals and 24 assists for his current club.

All stats and fees courtesy of Transfermrkt

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