US Soccer Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher's Picks

Soccer America Silver XI celebrity nominations

GK: Tony Meola
Comments: As the premier goalkeeper in America, Tony was the most visible player. His stellar performance in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups endeared him to a whole generation of goalkeepers. He now stars for the MLS in his home of New Jersey.

Field Players:

Ricky Davis
Comments: Ricky has had an incredible career. He received 49 caps for the USA with 12 goals. He was the premier American player in the NASL and has gone on to leadership roles in US Soccer.

Michelle Akers
Comments: Michelle has transformed women's soccer. She has elevated the women's game from a pert-time recreational sport to a full-fledged professional sport. Known as the ''Female Pele,'' Michelle has a worldwide reputation for excellence.

Mike Burns
Comments: Mike is the only player to truly come through the ranks, playing for every US boys' and men's team; a star for MLS and a 1994 World Cup player.

John Harkes
Comments: John lived his dream! He is a true American hero. He left the US after a stellar college career to play in England, the first American to do so. He scored a goal in Wembley and returned to the USA to lead us in World Cup 1994. He is a star in the MLS and captain of his current team.

Mia Hamm
Comments: Mia is one of the most gifted women's players in the world. Having appeared over 100 times for the USA, she starred at the University of North Carolina. She is one of the best athletes I have ever known.

Eric Wynalda
Comments: Eric leads the USA in career goals scored. He has been a visible figure in the German League and now stars for the MLS and the USA.

Alexi Lalas
Comments: Perhaps the best known American soccer player, Alexi has had a brilliant career. He starred at Rutgers both athletically and academically. He played for the USA in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics. He played as the first American in the Italian Series ''A'' and has led the US team in the World Cup.

Paul Caliguiri
Comments: Paul scored the ''million dollar goal'' vs. Trinidad & Tobago to qualify the US for World Cup 1990. In doing so, he changed the course of history for US soccer. He also has played in the German League and in the World Cup 1994.

Tab Ramos
Comments: Tab has been the workhorse of the US midfield for the past eight years. His exquisite skill has placed him as one of the best of the world players. He has played in Spain and America. he was instrumental to the team in 1994 and leads the US in qualifying for 1996.

Marcelo Balboa
Comments: 'Cello is truly one of the best American players ever to take the field. He is a highly skilled defender who plays with great flair. Who can forget his memorable bicycle kick in World Cup 1994! Pele calls it the ''goal that was not a goal.''

Coach: Steve Sampson
Comments: Steve has brought an attacking style to US soccer. He has achieved results unheard of for our country. We are currently ranked #14 in the world. This is due to Steve's aggressive assertive play.

In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, Soccer America honors the 11 players and one coach from the past 25 years who've had the most positive impact on U.S. soccer. They are the Soccer America Silver XI -- announced Dec. 14 at the Soccer America FanZone in Richmond, Va.

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