40 Greatest U.S. Men's Soccer Players of All Time

Peter WebsterContributor IIIApril 3, 2012

40 Greatest U.S. Men's Soccer Players of All Time

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    The US Men's National Team—or USMNT if you prefer—has improved dramatically over the past decade as America slowly begins to embrace a sport that isn't in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB.

    The American public's acceptance of the sport has finally allowed the nation to achieve better funding, coaching and airtime on major networks—all of which has improved the quality of their national team.

    Here are 40 of the best players that have kicked a football and called themselves American.

40. Freddy Adu

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    Freddy Adu is the youngest goalscorer in MLS history. Now that he's 22 years old, people are expecting him to finally fulfill his potential as a footballer.

    Adu has 17 caps and two international goals to his name thus far.

    Learning.

39. William Looby

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    William Looby only played for the USMNT eight times, but he notched six goals during that period back in the 1950s.

    Looby is a St Louis legend.

    Return.

38. Charlie Davies

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    Whilst he might not have a world-renowned name just yet, Charlie Davies is fast becoming an excellent striker for the USMNT.

    Davies has four goals in his 17 international appearances thus far, and currently plays for Sochaux.

    A serious car accident may have hindered him achieving his full potential.

    Fighter.

37. Maurice Edu

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    Maurice Edu plays for Glasgow Rangers in the SPL as a central midfielder.

    He also has 32 appearances for the USMNT.

    Terrapin.

36. Bart McGhee

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    Bart McGhee is another USMNT player who didn't win many caps, but certainly earned his place when he did feature.

    McGhee scored the first ever goal for USA in the first ever World Cup.

    Beginner.

35. Jozy Altidore

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    At 22 years of age, Jerzy Altidore is expected to improve significantly on his 46 caps and 13 international goals to date.

    He currently plies his trade for AZ in the Dutch Eredivisie.

    Improving.

34. Steve Cherundolo

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    Steve Cherundolo has played for only one club throughout his whole senior career—Hannover 96.

    The American international has won 79 international caps and scored two goals in his career.

    Faithful.

33. DaMarcus Beasley

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    DaMarcus Beasley has scored more Champions League goals than any other American player in history, and also has his own line of jewelry.

    Beasley has 96 international caps with 17 goals.

    Sparkling.

32. Jay DeMerit

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    Jay DeMerit's story is so intriguing that they made a movie about it called Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story.

    DeMerit left America for England with no footballing offers on the table. He forced his way into a team, and ultimately found himself in the English Premier League and the 2010 World Cup.

    Believer.

31. Oguchi Onyewu

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    Oguchi Onyewu—or The Gooch as he is more commonly known—is a huge centre back that currently plays for Sporting CP.

    The Gooch has 62 caps to his name with six goals to date.

    Giant.

30. Adelino Gonsalves

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    Adelino Gonsalves won the U.S. Open Cup eight times as a player, and played in two World Cups for the USMNT in 1930 and 1934.

    Champion.

29. Aldo Donelli

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    Aldo Donelli was the first American footballer to score four goals in one match for the senior national team, a feat he achieved in 1934.

    Trend-setter.

28. Thomas Florie

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    Thomas Florie was captain of the USMNT in the first ever World Cup of 1930.

    Original.

27. Michael Bradley

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    Michael Bradley is the son of former USMNT coach Bob Bradley, and currently plays for Chievo in Italy's Serie A division.

    Bradley has 64 caps and nine goals, not bad for a 24-year-old.

    The General.

26. Fernando Clavijo

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    Fernando Clavijo—despite being born in Uruguay—won 61 caps for the USMNT, and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

    Import.

25. Rick Davis

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    Rick Davis was considered to be the best American player amongst a sea of foreigners during his heydey at the New York Cosmos.

    Davis captained the USMNT on multiple occasions throughout the 1980s.

    Standout.

24. Roy Lassiter

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    Ry Lassiter is a retired former forward who holds the record for most goals scored in an MLS season—27.

    Lassiter won 30 caps for the USMNT and scored four goals.

    Short shorts.

23. Tab Ramos

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    81 appearances and eight goals for the USMNT isn't a bad return from Tab Ramos.

    Ramos played midfield for the likes of Real Betis and MetroStars.

    Not Sergio.

22. Carlos Bocanegra

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    Carlos Bocanegra is the vice-captain of SPL team Glasgow Rangers, and the current captain of the USMNT.

    Bocanegra has 101 caps to his name thus far with 12 goals.

    Go-to guy.

21. John Harkes

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    John Harkes was the first American footballer to ever feature in the Premier League and occasionally captained the USMNT in the 1990's.

    Harkes won 90 caps and scored six goals.

    Debutant.

20. Jeff Agoos

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    Jeff Agoos.

    134 international caps.

    Consistent.

19. Robert Millar

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    Robert Millar was more known for his domestic success than that of the international variety.

    Millar coached the USMNT in the 1930 World Cup, and featured for nine different clubs during his playing career.

    In the 1914-15 season, Millar scored 59 goals in 34 games for his team Bethlehem Steel.

    Prolific.

18. Alexi Lalas

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    Alexi Lalas was the first modern-era American soccer player to play in Serie A, where he featured for Padova.

    Lalas was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006, and won 96 caps for the USMNT.

    Sideburns.

17. Joe-Max Moore

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    Joe-Max Moore featured in three World Cups for the USMNT, winning 100 caps and scoring 24 goals.

    MLS side New England Revolution and EPL side Everton probably saw the players best years.

    Longevity.

16. Kasey Keller

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    Leicester City in the Premier League is where Kasey Keller made his name before eventually playing for Seattle Sounders in the MLS.

    Keller earned 101 caps during his career.

    Balding.

15. Earnie Stewart

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    Earnie Stewart was capped 101 times for the USMNT and scored 17 goals in the process.

    Stewart spent time in the Dutch leagues with Willem II and NAC before moving to MLS side D.C. United, where he won the MLS Cup in his second season.

    Ascension.

14. Roy Wegerle

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    Roy Wegerle was somewhat of a journeyman during his club playing days, and featured for a number of different teams, most notably Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Colorado Rapids.

    Wegerle had 41 international caps with seven goals.

    Traveller.

13. Marcelo Balboa

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    There seems to be a consistent theme of players who have appeared for the Colorado Rapids, also featuring for the USMNT.

    Marcelo Balboa won 128 international caps, and scored 13 goals during his tenure as a stalwart pony-tailed defender.

    Rocky.

12. Eddie Pope

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    Eddie Pope played for the American national side for almost 11 years, and became a mainstay of their defensive line-up during that time.

    Pope won 82 caps and scored eight goals during that time, and ended his club career with Real Salt Lake in the MLS.

    Legend.

11. Tim Howard

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    Tim Howard is well on his way to being one of the best American players ever, but he has someway to go in being as consistent as players such as Brad Friedel.

    Howard has 73 caps to date.

    Safe.

10. Cobi Jones

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    Famed for his dreadlock hairstyle, Cobi Jones has more caps than any other player for the USMNT.

    Jones' 164 caps with 15 goals saw him play the main chunk of his career with Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.

    Record-holder.

9. Tony Meola

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    Tony Meola played in two World Cups for the USMNT, and has been inducted into the hall of fame.

    Wall.

8. Brian McBride

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    Brian McBride is another American player who found his feet in the Premier League, this time for London based team Fulham.

    McBride has an excellent international record of 96 caps and 30 goals to his name.

    Cottager.

7. Brad Friedel

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    Brad Friedel is one of those goalkeepers who has gotten better and better with age.

    Havinf failed to make the grade with Liverpool in the Premier League, Friedel found his feet with Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa, and now finds himself the first choice for Tottenham Hotspur at the ripe old age of 40.

    He has 82 caps for the USA.

    Hellboy.

6. Paul Caligiuri

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    Paul Caligiuri is another Hall of Famer who has 110 caps and five goals for the USMNT.

    Now retired, Caligiuli finished his career at Los Angeles Galaxy, and was famous for scoring the goal that put USA into the 1990 World Cup.

    Big-time player.

5. Thomas Dooley

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    You don't play for Schalke, Kaisterslautern and Bayern Munich unless you're a pretty good player, and Dooley is up there with the best that have ever played for the USA.

    Dooley won 81 caps and scored seven goals during his international career.

    Quality.

4. Eric Wynalda

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    Eric Wynalda scored the first goal in Major League Soccer history in 1996, and was the all time leading goalscorer for USMNT until Landon Donovan came along.

    Wynalda has 34 goals in 107 international appearances.

    Historian.

3. Clint Dempsey

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    Clint Dempsey is probably the best midfielder that has ever come out of America.

    He is the current Premier League goalscoring record holder for Fulham, despite playing in midfield for most of his career.

    Dempsey has scored 25 goals in just 83 international appearances for his country.

    Texan.

2. Claudio Reyna

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    Claudio Reyna is considered by some people to be the U.S.' best player ever.

    Having played for Rangers, Sunderland, Manchester City and New York Red Bulls, Reyna can boast a wealth of experience.

    He has 111 international caps and eight goals.

    Old school.

1. Landon Donovan

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    Landon Donovan is the USMNT all-time leader in goals and assists.

    He has won 138 caps and scored 46 goals along a career which has seen him play for Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Everton and Los Angeles Galaxy.

    Dononvan is probably the best that the USMNT has ever had.

    Net buster.

Afterthoughts

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    You could argue that the USWNT has more notable players than the USMNT at present, but both teams are certainly improving their status.

    This article wasn't aimed at those who excelled at international level, but that measuring stick isn't always a bad measure for a players real ability.

    Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Ranking The World's Top 20 Leagues After The EPL, La Liga and Serie A.

    On Twitter? Follow me @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.