The three best US national team soccer players ever
So who are the best three US Nats ever? I spent some time thinking about it and here are my picks:
1) Brian McBride - This is the exact type of player we need up top. Someone who will work himself into position and take any beating in order to get the goal.
2) Claudio Reyna - No American has ever been able to control the tempo and pace of a game like Reyna. His skill at placing balls and taking smart shots give the team their drive. So much of what team USA has accomplished over the last 10-years can be tied directly to him.
3) Brad Friedel - A US list would not be complete without a goalkeeper and for pure Nat duty, I have to go with the 'The Human Wall' himself. Simply put, 2002 would not have been so great without the work of Friedel and his two pk stops.
It really is difficult to pick a top three, but there are my selections. Here are some other folks I was considering:
Landon Donovan - His work in 2002 and every Mexico match is great, but his wash out in 2006 and his inconsistency make him a runner-up.
Kasey Keller - Anytime he is between the pipes, the US is in a good spot, but I think Friedel's '02 Cup shines just a bit brighter then his '06 Kaiserslautern outing. Still, his 1-0 win against Brazil makes this a very difficult pick.
Tony Meola - Another keeper that made his name at a time when the US goal was getting routinely pounded by any and all competition. Had he not tried to go into the NFL, history could have been very different.
Joe Gaetjens - Joe scored the biggest US World Cup goal (and second biggest goal*) ever in the shock 1950 1-0 victory over England. Even though he only played 3 matches for the Nats, this one goal alone is enough to put him in the running.
Walter Bahr - He is the man who crossed the ball that Gaetiens redirected home in 1950. Perhaps the greatest US player pre-1990. It was very hard not to select him.
And there is my list. Who is on yours?
* The biggest goal in US National history is Paul Caligiuri's 1989's "Shot Heard Round the World".