A List Of The Best US Soccer Players
As the 2014 World Cup looms just around the corner, many are making their predictions and announcing who they feel the best players for 2014 World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann named his roster for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, but it certainly wasn’t without controversy!
The first thing to get the attention of fans was that Landon Donovan was quite literally snubbed along with some other players like Maurice Edu, Brad Evans and Terrence Boyd, that many fans believe should have made the roster. But then again, ask a hundred fans and get a hundred opinions. What we do know now is that the majority will agree that these are the Top 25 American players that played for US clubs and World Cup teams in no particular order.
#1 Brad Friedel – There are few other goalkeepers who were did penalty kicks better, and from his generation there were actually many goalkeepers as good or better than him. Friedel is extremely intelligent and highly competitive, He may be 43years of age, but he remains an excellent player.
#2 Landon Donovan – At the age of 16, Landon Donovan was already considered the future of U.S. Soccer, and there is no question that he has certainly lived up to these expectations. Donovan is a brilliant finisher and superior passer. When at his best he could have played for most any club anywhere in the world. While Donovan isn’t off to Brazil, he does deserve tremendous credit and praise for his contributions to the U.S. in 2002, 2006 and 2010, along with his contributions to MLS and the Premier League.
#3 John Harkes – For years Harkes has been a stalwart mid-fielder. In fact, he was instrumental in the development of U.S. soccer. In England, Harkes was always an intelligent, reliable, steady presence throughout his club career.
#4 Tim Howard –Howard replaced Manchester’s Peter Schmeichel. For Everton and the US, Howard has met the expectations of even the most demanding supporter. Howard does many of the little things correctly, like directing traffic or throwing to the right man.
#5 Preki – While Preki who was a clever winger and play maker came onto the US scene late, his veteran presence was a bonus for a squad that was in transition. Preki always showed amazing poise and his impressive passing skills were often the topic of conversation.
#6 Clint Dempsey – Dempsey has played as a striker, wing, and attacking midfielder – he’s excelled at every one of them. He has even managed to make a believer out of the merciless London critics, and if that’s not enough, there have bee instances when Dempsey has single-handedly carried the USMNT on his back thanks to his tenacity and ability to be at the right place at the right time.
#7 Claudio Reyna –Reyna showed superior dribbling skills and had a talent for threading the needle to the right man. He has always been praised for his quiet, yet highly effective role with both the Glasgow Rangers and the US. Reyna had a knack for making players around him look better than they actually were.
#8 Eric Wynalda – Wynalda was the first true striker for an American team anxious to build a reputation, In 1994, in Switzerland, Wynalda scored a memorable goal and he was certainly a solid contributor for the German clubs.
#9 Joe-Max Moore – Moore was a highly effective striker, and when playing for the New England Revolution and Everton he was a solid performer. In fact, Moore is one of the more under-rated players to make the list,.
#10 Kasey Keller – Keller brings about a lot of controversy and debate. During the 1998 Gold Cup in Brazil there were times when one could legitimately suggest that the US had the best keeper on the planet. Then there were other times.
#11 Brian McBride – McBride earned a reputation for being a scoring machine for Columbus and Fulham. He was a pure striker who was irreplaceable for the USMNT. He seldom missed the easy opportunities, and he was a whiz at creating space for the more difficult opportunities. Also, no US player was as brilliant in the air as McBride.
#12 Cobi Jones – Jones was certainly mainstay for the USMNT. This LA Galaxy legend is the all-time leader in caps (164). Jones is competent at delivering some pinpoint crosses along the right side. This speedster was one of the few American players of his era that often felt indispensable.
#13 Michael Bradley – Bradley’s future definitely remains bright. He had an awesome spell in Series A before moving back to MLS. Bradely is an efficient play maker and he is likely to remain on this list for a long time because of his sharp instincts and his sheer dedication, not to mention those moments of brilliance he brings to the game.
#14 Steve Cherundolo – Cherundolo gave Hannover 96 and the U.S. a wonderful career that spanned roughly 15 years. Cherundolo was efficient and hard-nosed, so don’t be surprised if there is never be a right back who will have a US position as locked down as his.
#15 Marcus Hahnemann – Unfortunately Hahnemann never got his shot at the #1 goalkeeper spot because of the heavy talent that was in front of him, but make no mistake this was a talented player and certainly a star at Reading.
#16 Carlos Bocanegra – Bocanegra has got to be the most versatile defensive player in all of American history. He excelled in the Premier League and Ligue 1 and consistently provided the US with a strong defensive mid-fielder. He will always be remembered for his strong leadership skills.
#17 DaMarcus Beasley – After a smooth transition to left back, the uniquely talented 32 year old Beasley, who was a former winger, if going to get a shot to prove himself at the World Cup. Beasley has been absent from his squad for periods because of his injuries, but has from time to time he has been a star contributor for the USMNT, particularly in 2002.
#18 Earnie Stewart – For years, Stewart starred in the Eredivisie and he exceeded expectations by far, as a Yanks attacking mid-fielder and forward.
#19 Brad Guzan – In the Premier League, there is no question that Guzan has displayed top-notch form and at age 29, he is still young for a goalkeeper who may have not yet even reached his peak. In the upcoming 2014 World Cup, you can expect Guzan to take charge of the US team and be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
#20 Jermaine Jones – Despite their important role, it is common for defensive mid-fielders to be overlooked, and there is no question that Jones has been the best American to hold that position. At Schalke and with the US Jones has been a tenacious defender and he is known to spark the offense thanks to some top-notch passing.
#21 John O’Brien – Loaded with skills and poise, O’Brien was a consistent presence in the midfield for Ajax and the USMNT. At his best, he was perhaps the most valuable player for a U.S. team that had finally earned respect from European powers. If not for injuries, he would be higher on this list.
#22 Geoff Cameron – This 28 year old is comfortable either a right back or a central defender. Cameron is very reliable and has more than proven his worth in the Premier League and it’s anticipated he’ll prominently feature summer in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
#23 Oguchi Onyewu – On the ground and in the air Onyewu is an imposing presence . In fact, his abilities were so impressive that he signed with AC Milan, a club with the rich tradition of defensive stars in Europe. Unfortunately, knee problems have stopped him from being able to reach his full potential, but he was always provided top-level quality.
#24 Tab Ramos – In the 1990s, Ramos was an irreplaceable playmaker for the US. He was the first central mid-fielder to contribute in La Liga. Unfortuantely, injuries have slowed his progress. There is no question that he left an indelible mark on American soccer.
#25 Jozy Altidore – Altidore might be coming off a forgettable season at Sunderland, but when it came to Eredivisie in 2012-13, Altidore dazzled and he has certainly been the best goal scorer for the US for many years. At only 24 years of age, his best years are ahead of him.
Do you agree these are the best players for 2014 World Cup in Brazil? Let’s talk!