Tuesday, January 8, 2008


As followers of the national team likely know, the match against Sweden marks the 500th international for the U.S. Men's National Team. It's the kind of moment that just begs for stats. For example:

a) The U.S. holds a lifetime record of 193-194-112. That's right - we could go .500 in the 500th

2) The USA's first-ever international match? Aug. 20, 1916, a 3-2 road victory. The opponents? Sweden. Karma, don't you think?

It's also the kind of moment that begs for lists. In that light, we decided to solicit your input on a series of 'All-time' Best Of categories for U.S. Soccer history. Only no multiple choice, and no polls. We're going to give you a topic and let you hash it out. Without further adieu, here's the first question:

Who are the top three players in U.S. national team history? While we promised no rules, we should at least limit the criteria here to a player's performance with the national team, and not with their club. Other than that caveat, the only factors to consider are the ones you think are important, so we want to hear those too. We'll be having some of the current crop of players chime in as well, so you can compare your opinion with the pros.

Fans, experts, enthusiasts ... Have at it.


Matt said...

Number 1: Freddy Adu

End of discussion.

LI.Info said...

My 3 best ever:

1. Rick Davis
2. Paul Caligiuri
3. Landon Donovan

Lindno said...

Donovan and Wynalda are head and shoulders above all others.

Keller is also a strong candidate. Of his 53 winning games, an astounding 47 have been shut-outs.

However, McBride deserves consideration as a clutch player (the Kobe of US Soccer?) as the all-time World Cup Qualifying goal scorer (10 goals in 19 starts).

supersonicsid said...

Donovan, Parkhurst (wait 'n see), Pope.

'06 Natty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'06 Natty said...

Keller, McBride, Donovan

HM: Giuseppe Rossi, Andrew Shue, Sylvester Stallone

kpugs said...

1. Landon Donovan
2. Walter Bahr
3. Joe Gaetjens (most important and Earth-shattering American goal EVER?)

And did someone really say Adu and Parkhurst? Really?

B.A. said...

1) Patenaude
2) Stewart
3) Donovan

12th man said...

1. Donovan
2. Reyna
3. Keller

12th man said...

... Friedel, McBride, Ramos, Wynalda all very close ...

Vasco said...

walter Bahr
Eric Wynalda
Brian Mcbride

Andrew said...

1. Landon Donovan
2. Tab Ramos
3. Bert Patenaude (scorer of the first-ever WC hat trick!)

BrianK said...


How can Reyna and Harkes not be on this list? Reyna - 'Best Eleven' at 2002 World Cup. Harkes - Co-MVP Copa America 1995. Those two delivered world class performances at the two most prestigous tournaments in the world. Keller - World Class Goalkeeper

BrianK said...


How can Reyna and Harkes not be on the list? Reyna - 'Best Eleven' at 2002 World Cup! Harkes - Co-MVP Copa America 1995! These two delivered world class performances in the two most prestigious tournaments the USMNT can play in. Keller - World Class Goalkeeper.

RyanOso said...

As a "Generation Xer" images of the 1994 come to mind, Wynaldas free kick goal, Balboas bike kick, Stewarts goal against Colombia. But of overall, from what I have witnessed:
Forwards- Wynalda/McBride tie
Midfield- John Harkes
Defense- Eddie Pope

cnelson said...


Honorable Mention:

Phil said...

Billy Gonsalves
Kasey Keller
Landon Donovan

Goncalves is one of the greatest players of all-time from everything I've read. I never saw Babe Ruth play, but I believe he was pretty good, too. :)

sean said...

1- Harkes
2- Donovan
3- Cobi

also worthy:

*Tab Ramos

cvking8914 said...

1. Brian McBride- Represented the best of U.S. Soccer. All class, no one worked harder, or gave more to the team.
2. Claudio Reyna- Most Successful Captain in U.S. History, enough said
3. Eric Wynalda- All-Time Leading Goal Scorer has to be on the list

tp said...

1. Paul Caligiuri
Without his "shot heard 'round the world", nothing that cam after would be possible.

2. Rick Davis
Not the best WE ever produced, but for his day, he was the best WE had.

3 . Roy Wegerle
From the time he earned his citizenship in 1991, he was our primary goal scored. He was better than Wynalda, IMHO, but injuries curtailed his most productive years. 29 goals in 41 caps

Zungazan said...

- John Harkes

- Brad Friedel

- Tab Ramos

rc said...


Nellie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nellie said...


Adam said...

1. Keller
2. Friedel
3. Reyna

David said...

1. Landon Donovan
2. Eric Wynalda
3. Kasey Keller

Point A to B said...

1. Donovan
2. Friedel
3. Ramos

(sorry, but I just don't anything about the guys earlier than the Ramos era)

JRG said...

1. Friedel
2. McBride
3. Pope

Honorable Mention:

Corner Kick said...

1. Willie Roy- a scoring machine on a bad team in the 60s & 70s



Laurence said...

Van der Beck

White Chocolate said...

1. Brian McBride
2. Claudio Reyna
3. Kasey Keller

Andrew said...

1) Cobi Jones
2) Earnie Stewart
3) Eddie Pope

Very Honorable Mention in no order

Raleigh said...

Thomas Dooley, Tab Ramos, Paul Caligiuri. Without these players, there wouldn't a U.S. National Team today.

Derek Ford said...


Honorable Mention:
Keller, Pope, Ramos, Reyna, & McBride

Gabe said...

1) Landon Donovan
2) Brad Friedel
3) Kasey Keller

Nick said...

Donelli (highest scoring percentage in history?)

Matt said...

Top three that I've seen: (I'm only 21 yrs old) (sorry to the old-timers)

1. Tab Ramos
2. Claudio Reyna
3. Brian McBride

Noah said...

Landon Donovan
Eric Wynalda
Cobi Jones

George H said...

Donovan, Friedel & Keller.

It pains me not to have any members of the earlier generation which helped us start qualifying for World Cups again as there were some great players in that group (Harkes, Meola, Ramos, Wynalda, etc.) However, I think that these three are the best.

Kartik said...

1- Paul Caliguri

2- Tab Ramos

3- Perry Van Der Beck

jerraine said...


Jordan said...

Jimmy Conrad

case closed.

Asaf said...

since one of the selection should be a goalie, i choose of tony meola. since i cant think of any other greats, i will be looking forward to better soccer games to come.

Gordon said...

1 Keller
2 Donovan
3 Wynalda

fireloco98 said...


LASoccerGuy said...

1) Tab Ramos - pure soccer player, the best technical player ever produced.

2) John Harkes - a grinner, and a trailblazer. If it wasn't for his trials and tribulations in England I don't thing we would have Americans in the EPL.

3) Claudio Reyna - need I say more?

I would have included Donovan, but what has he done for the USMNT, besides racking up his stats? Has he done anything to say, whoa! he is the greatest American player of all time.

matthew said...

(In no particular order):
-Landon Donovan: most goals, most assists; still in his early 20's; instrumental in the greatest World Cup run the USA's had since the first World Cup; by far the most talented and quickest player we've ever produced
-Brad Friedel: people underestimate his contributions. He had two PK stops. Without him, we wouldn't have gotten out of the first round.
-Tab Ramos: best USA player of his era. Set up the crucial goal against Colombia in 94. If he hadn't been cynically knocked unconscious, I truly believe we would have gotten past Brazil.

Honorable mention:
-Walter Bahr: Captained the USA squad in the win over England in the 1950 World Cup; assisted in the Joe Gaetjens goal in that game.
-John Harkes: Major contributor and great captain. USA would have gotten out of the group in 98 if he'd not been ousted by Sampson.
-Claudio Reyna: world class player; all World Cup squad selection in 2002; faltered against Ghana and ineffective in 2006 -- thus not in the top 3.
-Eric Wynalda: incredible goal against Switzerland. Tied with Lando for most USMNT goals.
-Earnie Stewart: scored the goal which put us over Colombia and into the second round; contributed 8 years later in the great 2002 run
-Paul Caligiuri: the shot heard round the world. 'Nuff said
-McBride: the only USA player to score in 2 world cups.
-Keller: greatest performance ever by a USA keeper to beat Brazil. Great game against Italy to give us a shot at the next round in 2006
-John O'Brien: gave an even better performance than Reyna in 2002 in my mind. If he never played another tournament or another game, he deserves consideration for this list

Terrence said...


Keller because of his before mentioned wins and shutouts.

Friedel because of his 2002 WC performance with his PK stops and other saves.

Howard because of the fact that he is now are staring keeper and with only give us the same as Keller and Friedel.

..but all three are on here because the rest of the world recognizes us on our goalkeeping. It is by far the best thing the US has in the soccer world right now and hopefully it will grow into our outfield players.