Picking an All-Worst USA World Cup XI

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

Picking an All-Worst USA World Cup XI

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    Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

    During the build-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, you have probably seen countless amounts of "Best World Cup XI's" for almost every nation. 

    You will find the complete opposite here, as we evaluate the 11 worst players to step on to a pitch at the World Cup for the United States. 

    If you think picking a best XI is a difficult task, try putting together this list that features players that played in seven different World Cups, including the disasters of 1998 and 2006. 

    Continue reading on for a look at which players were handed this dubious honor. 


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    Goalkeeper: Julius Hjulian 

    This was by far the most difficult position to pick a player at because the United States has produced so many terrific goalkeepers. 

    With any of the United States 'keepers from the last three decades of World Cup play out of this discussion, we decided to elect Julius Hjulian as the player between the pipes for this team. 

    Hjulian was the starting 'keeper at the 1934 World Cup in Italy, a tournament that saw the Yanks fall 7-1 to the hosts in their only game.

    Since only 16 teams entered the tournament, the format of the first of two World Cups to be held in Italy featured no group stage and went straight to the knockout round. 


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    LUCA BRUNO/Associated Press

    Defenders: David Regis, Ed Czerkiewicz, George Moorhouse, Mike Windischmann

    David Regis' surprise inclusion on the 1998 World Cup roster is one of the biggest reasons why American fans are nervous about Julian Green's inclusion in the 2014 squad. 

    Regis entered the 1998 competition as an unknown after committing to play for the Yanks a month before the tournament. 

    Just like Green, not many people had seen him play, and to make matters worse head coach Steve Sampson had the French-American line up at left back, which was the spot occupied by veteran Jeff Agoos. 

    Regis' inclusion in the squad, along with a few other controversial moves by Sampson, threw a wrench in the chemistry of the team that failed to record a single point. 

    Czerkiewicz and Moorhouse were involved in the 7-1 blowout loss to powerhouse Italy in 1934, a match that was highlighted by an Angelo Schiavio hat-trick.

    Windischmann was a part of the 1990 team that made the trip to Italy and conceded eight goals on the way to zero points in Group A. 

    The first game that the Yanks played in that tournament saw them lose to Czechoslovakia, 5-1. 


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    IVAN SEKRETAREV/Associated Press

    Midfielders: Brian Maisonneuve, Pablo Mastroeni, Bobby Convey 

    You may look at this grouping and think that it is mind-blowing to have Pablo Mastroeni on this list, and it is a bit crazy to put him on this list in the first place. However, without him in the midfield in 2006, the United States dropped out at the group stage.

    This takes nothing away from Mastroeni's career, but his red card against Italy in the second game of play in Group E hurt the chances of the Yanks. 

    In that physical game against the Azzurri, Mastroeni was the first of two Americans to be sent off, as he was shown red after a tackle on Andrea Pirlo. 

    If Mastroeni had remained in the game against Italy, and then versus Ghana five days later, the Yanks could have had a chance of advancing out of the group. 

    Brian Maisonneuve was a part of that dysfunctional 1998 squad that wasn't even good enough to beat Iran. 

    Maisonneuve played his entire career in Major League Soccer, and he played in all three games in 1998, but he was unable to make an impact on the final result.

    Most people forget that Bobby Convey was even on the 2006 team that made the trip over to Germany.

    He was dropped from the starting lineup after two games, as the Americans looked to salvage some pride against a Ghana side that eliminated them with a 2-1 result. 


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    Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

    Forwards: Robbie Findley, Eddie Johnson, Eric Wynalda

    For as big of an impact that Eric Wynalda had on the pitch for the Yanks during his career, he earned as many red cards as goals scored in three World Cups.

    Wynalda started his World Cup career in the worst way possible, as he was sent off in the 52nd minute against Czechoslovakia in 1990. 

    He did play a role in the 1994 opener against Switzerland with a 45th-minute strike from a free-kick, but that would end up being the only goal that the prolific striker scored on the world's biggest stage. 

    Yes, the United States were not as good as the other top teams during his time as a player, but if Wynalda was that good, he should have contributed a few more goals.

    Robbie Findley lasted two matches as a starter in group play back in 2010 before he was replaced in the starting 11 by Herculez Gomez for the historic win over Algeria. 

    Findley was handed a lifeline by manager Bob Bradley in the round of 16 against Ghana, but he only lasted a half. 

    Eddie Johnson was tasked on two occasions to provide a spark for the Americans in 2006, but on both occasions against the Czech Republic and Ghana, he failed to score. 


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