All-Time National Team Best XI

[USA MEN] Landon Donovan led all players with 52 of 57 votes for U.S. Soccer's All-Time Men's National Team Best XI. Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride were next in votes with 45 apiece. For the Men's Best XI.

Brad Friedel 25
Kasey Keller 14
Tim Howard 13
Tony Meola 4
Arnold Mausser 1
Frank Borghi 0
David Vanole 0

Marcelo Balboa 35
Eddie Pope 33
Carlos Bocanegra 25
Steve Cherundolo 25
Thomas Dooley 20
Paul Caligiuri 18
Jeff Agoos 16
Alexi Lalas 14
Frankie Hejduk 9
Harry Keough 6
Pablo Mastroeni 3
Fernando Clavijo 2
Tony Sanneh 2
Mike Windischmann 2
Gregg Berhalter 2
Desmond Armstrong 0
Jimmy Banks
Brian Bliss 0
Mike Burns 0
John Doyle 0
Mike Lapper 0
Oguchi Onyewu 0
Werner Roth 0

Landon Donovan 52
Claudio Reyna 45
Tab Ramos 42
Clint Dempsey 25
Michael Bradley 20
Cobi Jones 12
Walter Bahr 6
John Harkes 6
Hugo Perez 3
Adolf Bachmeier 2
Rick Davis 2
John O'Brien 2
Al Trost 2
DaMarcus Beasley 1
Ed McIlvenny 1*
Joe-Max Moore 1
Brian Quinn 1
Mike Sorber 1
Chris Armas 0
Chris Henderson 0
Eddie Lewis 0
Preki 0
Ed Souza 0
John Souza 0

Brian McBride 45
Eric Wynalda 43
Earnie Stewart 16
Billy Gonsalves 7
Jozy Altidore 6
Peter Vermes 3
Joe Gaetjens 2
Archie Stark 2
Roy Wegerle 2
Roy Lassiter 1
Clint Mathis 1
Benny McLaughlin 1*
Ed Murphy 1*
Bruce Murray 1
Kyle Rote Jr. 1
Willy Roy 1
David Brown 0
Brian Ching 0
Buff Donelli 0
Frank Klopas 0
Bill Looby 0
Bert Patenaude 0
Josh Wolff 0
*These three players were not on the eligible list, but were write-in votes.

Voting was done by 57 current or former players, coaches and administrators, as well as media members, for the team that was selected as part of the wrapup of U.S. Soccer's centennial anniversary in 2013.

Clint Dempsey and Donovan are the only Best XI picks who made appearances on the U.S. national team in 2013. Three other choices -- Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo -- were also active in 2013.

Seven players were members of the 1998 and 2006 World Cup teams. Six were on the 2002 World Cup team that reached the quarterfinals.

Voting Committee:
Jeff Agoos (former player), Roger Allaway (historian), Bruce Arena (coach), Esse Baharmast (referee), Marcelo Balboa (former player), Roger Bennett (media), Paul Caligiuri (former player), Andres Cantor (media), Jeff Carlisle (media), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (administrator), Rick Davis (former player), Steve Davis (media), Frank Dell'Apa (media), JP Dellacamera (media), Anson Dorrance (coach), Julie Foudy (former player), Werner Fricker Jr. (administrator), Carin Gabarra (former player), Bob Gansler (former coach), Steve Goff (media).
Brian Hall (referee), Mia Hamm (former player), John Harkes (former player), April Heinrichs (former player), Chris Henderson (former player), Ted Howard (administrator), Clark Hunt (administrator), Cobi Jones (former player), Grahame Jones (media), Colin Jose (historian), Michelle Kaufman (media), Paul Kennedy (media), Alfred Kleinaitis (referee), Eddie Lewis (former player), Michael Lewis (media), Bob Ley (media), Ridge Mahoney (media), Kyle Martino (former player), Brian McBride (former player), Bora Milutinovic (former coach).
Len Oliver (former player), Kevin Payne (administrator), Hugo Perez (former player), Eddie Pope (former player), Tab Ramos (former player), Alan Rothenberg (administrator), Hank Steinbrecher (administrator), Rob Stone (media), Jamie Trecker (media), Jerry Trecker (media), Jim Trecker (administrator), Al Trost (former player), Peter Vermes (former player), Kelly Whiteside (media), Mike Woitalla (media), Alex Yannis (media) and Mark Ziegler (media).
16 comments about "All-Time National Team Best XI".
  1. Thomas Brannan, December 22, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.

    As the years go by, realistically, you can't expect people to know those from the past. But since this is an ALL TIME 11, a few HONORABLE MENTIONS might be in order. Walter Bahr and Len Oliver would know these people and being from St. Louis I do as well. From the National Team in Belo Horizonte et. al.: Charley Columbo. In his prime and past his prime he could be a Central Defender on this U.S. National Team. FOR REAL. He was Cannavaro like. Up until a few months ago Bill Looby was one of only three people, I beleive, to have 3 goals in 5 games. We called a bicycle kick a "Looby". Frank Borghi, also Belo Horizonte: On Fairgrounds #2 I can still here Columbo on a corner saying, "Come on Frank, Come on Frank". Frank was quiet, not like in the movie, "Game of Their Lives". So not to take anything away from anyone else, just HONORABLE MENTION, so to speak. A long time ago an article in Soccer America said that the kids coming up then were the first generation to have heroes they could look up to,referring to Rick Davis. The writer then didn't know of Borghi,Columbo, Looby et. al.

  2. Futbol Genio, December 22, 2013 at 9:43 a.m.

    Very sound decisions; Caliguiri was a fine player, played lots, but had no dynamic effect on games.

  3. cony konstin, December 22, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.

    If Cal didn't hit the winner against T n T. Soccer in the US would have gone back another 20 years.

  4. cony konstin, December 22, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

    Hugo Perez had more skill in his pinkie than 99% of the players on this list. If he was born in Argentina or Brazil he would have been considered a world class player. That's why Rubio Rubin is better off playing in Holland where he will develop into a dangerous player. Soccer in the US is still a hobby and not a way of life. We have come along way but we are still light years away.

  5. Amos Annan, December 23, 2013 at 7:23 a.m.

    US soccer has arrived. Being number one is unrealistic.

  6. Ginger Peeler, December 23, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.

    When Preki played for the Kansas City Wizards, his coach, Ron Newman, said something to the effect that the only way to keep Preki from scoring was to lock him in the bathroom. He received the MVP award several times. He should have gotten at least one vote. Glad to see that Brian Quinn got a vote.

  7. Gus Keri, December 23, 2013 at 10:01 a.m.

    Archie Stark arguably is the greatest goal scorer this country has ever known. He deserves an honorable mention too.

  8. Kent James, December 23, 2013 at 10:02 a.m.

    Caliguiri was as good as the players in the starting four, and as Cony mentioned, that goal against T&T was one of the most important (possibly the most important) goals in US history. But since there has to be a cut-off somewhere, the top four are pretty good picks. The next 5 (Dooley through Hejduk) were all great players who did a lot for the game in the US. Ginger, I agree that Preki deserved some recognition; such a wonderful player (I think he won the MLS player of the year award when he was 40). I think he didn't get much love on this list because he joined the national team pretty late in his career, but who can forget his goal to beat Brazil!

  9. Walt Pericciuoli, December 23, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

    Silly, you just can't compare players from different era's.
    Of course modern players(1980's till now) would get the edge. However, if you compared USA players to the level of play in their era,then I think the pre- WWII and immediately after the war players were on par with any players in the world. WWII almost killed off the game in the USA.Before that, I think we had players that compared very favorably to any in the world and should have gotten more votes in this poll.

  10. Mike Murray, December 23, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.

    These lists are always interesting and always controversial. Some players, notably Preki and Hugo Perez, were the equal and more of the top eleven but had fewer national team opportunities. It's wonderful that the list has Marcelo Balboa as its top defender; he's been underappreciated for too long. Harry Keough is a personal favorite of mine. I don't know how to place him on the all-time list, but I suspect that he and Balboa might be our top central defender duo. Dempsey and Bradley have enough playing time left to move up the list.

  11. Gary Bernstein, December 23, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

    Memories seem too short here. So many great players came before the team was as strong as it is today. Check out Albert Zerhusen one of the best goalscorers of his generation for america and in the US Hall of Fame.

  12. Alex G. Sicre, December 23, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.

    Sorry Conin but Soccer is a way of life for Donovan, Dempsey, McBride, Caliquiri, etc.etc. They sure as hell were'nt playing basketball, or Baseball professionaly, and we have come a long way for such a short time at the game as the rest of the world.

  13. Peter Skouras, December 23, 2013 at 8:56 p.m.


  14. Daniel Clifton, December 26, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

    A few observations: I don't see how you pick Friedal over Keller. He was as good as Keller over a short period of time, but over the long run Keller was the better keeper for the US. I don't remember Thomas Dooley and Paulo Mastroeni as Defenders. I remember those two as defensive midfielders. The Defenders should have been split into Central Defenders and Left and Right Backs. Carlos Bocanegra should not make it as a left back. That is where I believe Caliguiri should make the starting XI as the left back. Clint Dempsey has played both midfielder and forward, so although I think he obviously makes the starting XI, I would place him at the forward position on this team, and put Michael Bradley in the starting XI.

  15. Daniel Clifton, December 26, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.

    As far as becoming a top tier Soccer nation is concerned, until we stop depending on Pay to Play in order to develop our youth, we will never reach top tier. Too many of the best players are left out of the loop because their parents can't afford Pay to Play. This is where the MLS teams need to pick up the slack and really invest in scouting and youth development.

  16. Ron Newman, December 29, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.

    This does and will not work. Start again

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications