Christian Pulisic is the best player to hail from Philadelphia.

The best player in each American state with an MLS team: Pulisic, Dempsey, Friedel…

There’s nothing like a local hero. There’s a lad in our office who mentions Bobby Robson, Lewis Miley, Jackie Milburn, or George Camsell at least once a day. It’s insane, but we get it.

Hometown heroes are worth their weight in gold. It feels just that little bit better when they succeed, there’s real communal pride when they score, and that’s a feeling that applies worldwide.

We went on the deepest of deep dives to find the most important footballer from each state or province with an MLS team.

There was a LOT of competition in certain areas (notably California, and the fact that New Jersey technically doesn’t have a Major League Soccer team is a travesty). Read on for more on your baller from just down the road.

British Columbia: Alphonso Davies

The Roadrunner was born in a Ghanaian refugee camp and raised in Liberia. He and his family were forced to flee war in Liberia, and made their way to Canada, where they settled in Edmonton, Alberta.

At the age of just 14, Phonzie moved to Vancouver, alone, and gained Canadian citizenship as part of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program.

The rest… you know the rest.

California: Michelle Akers

We could’ve gone with Megan Rapinoe. We could’ve gone with Alex Morgan (still haven’t forgiven her for the tea-sipping celebration). We could’ve gone with Landon Donovan. But Akers beats the lot of them.

Akers was a prolific centre-forward before being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. That would end most players’ career, but Michelle dropped back into holding midfield and just became the best at that position instead.

FIFA Female Player of the Century, and one of two women to be named in Pele’s 125 Greatest Living Players. Akers takes it.

Colorado: April Heinrichs

Heinrichs was one of the first ever USWNT players and the first ever Women’s World Cup-winning captain.
She, Michelle Akers, and Carin Jennings were part of a three-pronged attack nicknamed The Triple-Edged Sword, which is obviously class.

Florida: Christie Pearce

Ex-USWNT captain, two-time World Cup winner, and three Olympic gold medals. Definition of a shoo-in. Next.

Georgia: Walker Zimmerman

Zimmerman seems destined to become a Major League Soccer great, having won back-to-back defender of the year awards. He’s also one of the few American designated players in the league. He might be a Walker but his career is flying.

Illinois: Brian McBride

Classic Barclays. The sports bar at Craven Cottage was named McBride’s after him. Illinois’ finest.

Washington DC: Oguchi Onyewu

The defender spent most of his career in Belgium with Standard Liege, but also Sporting, Newcastle(?!), Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton, Twente, Malaga, and Metz.

He also signed for Milan and QPR without playing a single competitive game for either.

Harkes with the USA flag behind him and Sheffield Wednesday paraphernalia.

READ: The 13 weirdest American signings in Premier League history

Minnesota: Briana Scurry

The Minneapolis-born keeper played for her country 175 times, winning the World Cup in the process.

In 2010, Scurry was forced to cut her career short when an opponent’s knee crashed into her right temple, leaving her with traumatic brain injuries.

The league soon dissolved, leaving Scurry with no suitable medical care, and she was forced to pawn her two Olympic gold medals to help fix the damaged nerve that was causing most of her pain.

Scurry and her wife have since managed to pressure insurance companies into helping her repurchase her medals, and cover the cost of surgery. A win for common sense.

Missouri: Becky Sauerbrunn

Sauerbrunn is a hugely important figure in football.

Aside from having a list of titles, trophies, individual and team awards longer than a Paul Pogba penalty run-up, the Missourian has been crucial in the campaign for equal compensation and and equal share of commercial revenue for women in American soccer.

F*cking hero.

New England: Billy Gonsalves

The records have Gonsalves down as an inside left/centre-half.

In modern terms, that’s sort of the Jude Bellingham / Bruno Guimaraes role. Billy played in the first two World Cups (1930 & 1934) for the States, and played for some clubs with superb names, such as: Fall River FC, St. Louis Central Breweries, Chicago Manhattan Beer, Beltmar Drug, and Southside Radio.

Sounds like a good time to us.

New York: Kristine Lilly

We quadruple checked this to make sure it was true: Kristine Lilly has 354 (three-hundred-and-fifty-four) caps for the USA national team. How? How the actual hell is that even possible?

To make that many Premier League appearances, you’d have to play every single game for nine-and-a-half seasons. F*cking hell.

North Carolina: Eddie Pope

Whilst playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels, Pope also played as a kicker for their American football team. He lived Harry Kane’s dream, essentially. Good for him.

Ohio: Brad Friedel

No introduction needed for the big man. Must be one of the very few goalkeepers to score a goal from open play and still lose the game. We haven’t checked that — there’s some homework for you.

Brad Friedel during the Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur at Ewood Park, Blackburn, August 2001.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 20 American players with the most Premier League appearances?

Ontario: Quinn

Quinn is only 28 but already an historic figure in football and sports. They became the first non-binary, transgender athlete to compete in an Olympics (and win a gold medal), and the first to play in a World Cup. They have 100 international caps, and counting. Massive.

Oregon: Tiffeny Milbrett

Prolific. Absolutely prolific. A goal every other game like clockwork. The Portland poacher.

Quebec: Evelyne Viens

The Canadian has scored goals everywhere she’s gone, and is doing just that right no in Serie A with Roma. She’ll want to improve her tally for the national team but Viens is still only 27 and has plenty of time to do just that.

Pennsylvania: Christian Pulisic

Did you know Pulisic is from Hershey, where they make that chocolate that tastes like bile? True story. You already know the rest. USMNT’s golden boy is lighting up San Siro, these days, in the city of pannetone, which doesn’t taste like vom.

Tennessee: Kendyl Michner

Michner was born in Tennessee but played for Mexico at the 1999 World Cup, whom she qualified for through her Mexican father. Who won the World Cup in 1999? The USA. Gutted.

Texas: Clint Dempsey

The Fulham legend was nicknamed ‘Deuce’ because he wore number 2 throughout his career. Deuce is also Dempsey’s rap name. Look up ‘Don’t Tread On This’. It’s sh*te but he does lots of keepie-uppies in the video.

Fulham's Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal during their Premier League draw against West Ham United at Upton Park, London, October 2010.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player from the USA to score in the Premier League?

Washington: Kasey Keller

Big love for a half-bald journeyman goalkeeper. The man lived in a 1,000-year-old castle in Germany, is fluent in Spanish and German, and has a street named after him in his hometown. Some life.

Utah: Olivia Moultrie

Moultrie turned professional at the age of 13. Sounds like the nonsense your grandad would come out with when he told you he was working down the mines before he was even conceived. Don’t know you’re born, you young’uns.

Olivia is 18 now, and is a regular midfielder for Portland Thorns. She’s already scored two goals in four appearances for the national team, and you’ve got to imagine this is just the start.

READ NEXT: The 16 stadiums that will host 2026 World Cup matches: New York, LA…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every winner of the US Open Cup since 1996?