As the saying goes, "you're only as good as your weakest link."
In soccer, you're only as good as your last line of defense—your goalkeeper.
Between those two pipes stands the one person a given team entrusts with its life. For a great team suffers at the hands of a weak goalkeeper just as a weak team can thrive at the hands of a strong goalkeeper.
Yes, believe it or not, they're that important.
A big save doesn't pump up just the goalkeeper, but also the entire team. It can propel the team towards a great counter attack, while the other team wonders, "how the heck did they make that save?"
On the other hand, an easy goal can have the opposite effect. It can destroy a team. It's a momentum-killing shot to the head that leaves the team down in the dumps.
Sure, the best defense may sometimes be a great offense, but sooner or later, you're going to get tested.
That's where it helps to have a superb last line of defense.
Throughout their history, the United States has been fortunate enough to possess some of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Here are the 10 best.