With the World Cup taking place this month in Brazil, we came up with a list of the top 5 U.S.-born soccer players. We asked our own Mr. Soccer, Bill McDermott, to offer his thoughts on each selection.
5. Brian McBride: The most gifted forward ever to play for the United States, either with the ball at his feet, playing with his back to goal, or in the air. Especially in the air, where he had no equal. The first American to score at two World Cups – 1998 and 2002. A star in the English Premier League for Fulham as well. In short, world class.
4. Eric Wynalda: Scored the very first goal in MLS history in 1996 – and many more for club and country. Most dangerous when he was running at defenders, coming from a wide position, and then finishing with clinical efficiency. His goal-scoring ability — and influencing the outcomes of games — are legendary.
3. Claudio Reyna: The consummate midfielder for the United States and one of the absolute main reasons the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. He influenced every game he played in and is the best overall #10 shirt to ever play for our country.
2. Tab Ramos: Smooth and calm on the ball and best-known for his attacking creativity. He brought a real cosmopolitan flair to the United States National Team and continues to influence young players in our country. Stays involved at crucial young ages of National Team players.
1. Landon Donovan: The face of the sport in our country for years and for good reason. 156 games for the United States and 57 goals, many of them crucial World Cup goals. The most complete American player to ever wear a United States National Team uniform.