MNT All-Time Best XI

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by NoSix, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. NoSix

    NoSix Member+

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    US Soccer is set to announce their all-time best XI next week. Interesting (typical?) that fans don't get a vote.

    You can see the eligible players here: http://www.ussoccer.com/centennial/centennial-home/best-xi/mnt.aspx

    My choices:
    -------------------Friedel--------
    Cherundolo--Pope--Balboa--Caligiuri
    -------------------Reyna------------------
    Donovan------Dempsey--------C. Jones
    ----------McBride-----Wynalda


  2. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    -------------------Friedel--------
    Cherundolo---Pope---Llamosa---Bocanegra
    -------------Ramos--Reyna-----------
    Donovan---------------------------Dempsey
    ----------McBride-----Wynalda---------


    Tough Choice: John O'Brien
  3. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member

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    ------------------Friedel--------
    Cherundolo---Pope---Dooley---HarkesBocanegra
    -------------Ramos--Reyna-----------
    Donovan---------------------------Dempsey
    ----------McBride-----Wynalda---------

    Bench: Keller, Balboa, Stewart, O'Brien, Bradley, Altidore
  4. Monarch Bay Beachbum

    Monarch Bay Beachbum Member

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    -------------------Friedel--------
    Cherundolo---Pope---Dooley---Bocanegra
    -------------Ramos--Reyna-----------
    Donovan---------------------------Dempsey
    ----------McBride-----Wynalda---------


  5. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

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    --other--
    GK: Brad Friedel
    RB: Steve Cherundolo
    CB: Eddie Pope
    CB: Marcelo Balboa
    LB: Carlos Bocanegra
    LCM: Claudio Reyna
    RCM: Michael Bradley
    CAM: Tab Ramos
    RW: Landon Donovan
    LW: Eric Wynalda
    CF: Brian McBride
  6. Honore de Ballsac

    Honore de Ballsac Member

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    I didn't pick an All-Time Best XI - which would have to include McBride and Bocanegra - 'cause I'm not excited to pick them and Cobi Jones and Chris Armas.

    Here's the best team I could pick if everybody available played their peak form best game:

    -------------------Keller--------
    Cherundolo---Balboa---Dooley---Hejduk
    -------------O'Brien --Mastroeni-----------
    Donovan---------------------------Ramos
    ----------Mathis-----Dempsey---------

    subs: Friedel, Wynalda, Wolff, McBride

    Apologies to the pre 70's greats I never saw play.
  7. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    My All-Time Best XI Based on Impact (4-2-2-2):

    --------------------Friedel---------------------
    Cherundolo---Pope---Dooley---Bocanegra
    ---------------Reyna---Bradley--------------
    -----Dempsey-------------------Donovan----
    ------------Wynalda----McBride------------

    Really Hard to Exclude / Subs: Keller, Balboa, Ramos, Caligiuri, Stewart, C.Jones.



    My All-Time Favorite Dream Team With Each Player in "Peak Form" (3-5-2):

    ---------------------Friedel-------------------
    Sanneh-------Pope-----Dooley----O'Brien
    ------------------Mastroeni------------------
    -----------Mathis---------Bradley----------
    Stewart----------------------------Donovan
    -----------------Altidore---------------------

    Subs: Howard, Hejduk, Berhalter, Reyna, Ramos, Dempsey, McBride
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  8. Honore de Ballsac

    Honore de Ballsac Member

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    Good of you to include Berhalter. On the whole his contribution seems very much under-recognized.
  9. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    I sorta did the same thing. Mine was, supposing you had everyone fit and on form, and you had a big World Cup game coming up against a world class team, who would you play?

    Mine was:

    ------------------Friedel-----------------
    Cherundulo----Pope---Dooley----O'Brien
    ------------Bradley----Reyna------------
    Dempsey---------Ramos-------Donovan-
    ------------------McBride---------------

    Subs: Wynalda, Beasley, Stewart, Mathis, Onyewu, Alitdore.

    I'd forgotten about Mathis until you brought him up, but certainly he deserves to be in the rotation at his peak. I just don't know where he plays, and you've got a lot of guys I consider to be out of position. (Yes, I've got O'Brien out there at LB, but he did play that at club and NT level some. Putting Hejduk in there vs sliding O'Brien up to holding mid is one of the toughest calls). I don't think you've got a #9 out there, and I would want one. I include Onyewu, Altidore, and Beasley because I think they've got something, whether size or speed, that I might be very disposed to bring off my bench depending how the game was going.
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  10. Maitreya

    Maitreya Member

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    I want to make an attempt at an all-time Best XI that acknowledges that what we often call the modern era of US soccer, beginning more or less with the qualification campaign for the 1990 World Cup, is the most important era and ought to have the most players selected, but also recognizes the best players from earlier eras. I think the three pre-modern era players most worthy of selection are, in order: Billy Goncalves, who appears to have been the best player of the 1920s to mid-1930s era; Bert Patenaude, for his hat trick at the 1930 World Cup; and Walter Bahr, for being the best player of the 1950s era, including the 1950 World Cup team. I don't think there was a player in the 1960s-1980s NASL era who was as deserving as these three, and I also don't think that the earliest US national teams from the 1910s have a deserving representative.

    So with all that said,

    -----------------Friedel-------------
    Cherundolo---Balboa---Pope---Caligiuri
    Donovan---Reyna---Goncalves---Dempsey
    -----------Wynalda---McBride-----

    Subs: Howard, Bocanegra, Bradley, Bahr, Ramos, Stewart, Patenaude
  11. Honore de Ballsac

    Honore de Ballsac Member

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    To be fair, even leaving out pre Italia 90's guys like Rick Davis etc., guys like John Harkes are getting a tough shake because their peak was right when we were emerging from disgrace. John Harkes '91 has as good a claim to this honor as Michael Bradley 2013. I'd try to include Harksie in your more historically considerate team, even if it meant finding a place for him in the backline.
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  12. Honore de Ballsac

    Honore de Ballsac Member

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    Man, I went the quite the frigging distance for that joke.
  13. Maitreya

    Maitreya Member

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    You make a good point about Harkes. He was probably a better player and accomplished more in his career as a whole than Caligiuri did, but Caligiuri of course has the huge qualifying goal to power him into discussions like this. Tough choice. If we went to a full modern World Cup squad size of 23, I'd definitely include both.
  14. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member

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    --------------------Friedel---------------------
    Sanneh---Pope---Balboa---Caligiuri
    ---------------Reyna---Dooley--------------
    -----Dempsey-------------------Donovan----
    ------------Wynalda----McBride------------

    This leaves out a lot of good players like Bradley (his story is still being written), Clint Mathis, Tab Ramos, Cherundolo, JMM, Lalas, Earnie Stewart, Clavijo, Hugo Perez, Keller, Meola, Bruce Murray, Peter Vermes, Tim Howard, John Harkes, Roy Wegerle, Cobi Jones, Preki, Beasley, et al.
  15. appoo

    appoo Member+

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    you can't include Sanneh IMO. He basically had one great 5 game stretch in his career. It just happened to be at a world cup.

    --------------------------------------Howard----------------------------------
    -----Cheundolo--------Pope-------------Balboa----------Caliguri----------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------Reyna---------Ramos-------------------------------
    --------------Stewart--------------------------------Donovan-----------------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------------------------Wynalda---------McBride-----------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Missed the Cut: Llamosa, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Brad Friedel, Eddie Lewis, Joe Max-Moore, Carlos Bocanegra, Tomas Dooley, Alexi Lalas, Chris Armas, Pablo Mastroeni, and especially John Harkes
  16. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member

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    He was one of the 2 best US players at the 2002 World Cup. He should have gone to France 1998, but the genius Sampson cut him. Also, not including Dempsey and Dooley is criminal, but your avatar more than makes up for this crime. :)
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  17. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

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    ----------------- Friedel
    Cherundolo- Pope - Balboa - Hejduk
    ------------ Bradley - O'brien
    Stewart ----------------------- Donovan
    ---------------- Dempsey
    ----------------- McBride
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  18. dwsmith1972

    dwsmith1972 BigSoccer Supporter

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    Best XI

    ----------------Friedel

    Cherundolo- Pope - Dooley – Caligiuri

    ---Bradley - Reyna
    Dempsey ----------------------- Tab
    ------------------------- Donovan
    ----------------- McBride



    Second XI


    ----------------- Howard


    Agoos- Balboa - Llamosa - Boca

    --- O’brien - Harkes

    --Earnie -------------------- Cobi
    ----------------- Wynalda

    Jozy



    Third XI

    ---------------Keller


    --Sanneh----Gooch---- Lalas - -Hejduk


    ------Armas----- Mastro----


    Perez ----------------------Beasley

    ----------- ---------------

    Joe Max ------- --Mathis



    Just missing: Preki, Eddie Lewis, Wegerle, Bruce Murray
  19. ttrevett

    ttrevett Member+

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    In a 3-5-2 due to my biases, not necessarily b/c I believe that is our best formation:

    Friedel
    Cherundolo Pope Balboa
    Reyna
    Stewart Ramos JOB Donovan
    McHead Wynalda

    Honorable Mentions: Dempsey, Bradley, Keller, Beasley (hard to keep a guy who will have played in 4 world cups off the list, but who to remove????)
    Golden Ball as overall best???? Again, with the caveat that I have no personal knowledge of players playing exclusively prior to the '94 World Cup, I would say Ramos, although if LD plays to his potential in Brasil, he will supplant Ramos here.

    Not included as I have no personal knowledge of them: anyone who played exclusively before the 94 World Cup.

    Editted: I have to comment on why i don't have Cobi Jones anywhere on this list. I think he was a great player, fit a role, and did his job well, for many years, but I don't feel that he was a best XI candidate in terms of overall talent. Not like those that I have listed above.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  20. ttrevett

    ttrevett Member+

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    Weirdly, your 3-5-2 looks an awful lot like a 4-5-1.
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  21. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member

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    That was my biggest revelation with this exercise - there are at least two distinct eras in US Soccer. Everything that happened before the 1990 World Cup (and probably even '94) is really difficult to assess, and makes comparing players across eras near impossible.

    As time passes, the period just after the '94 World Cup and just before the '02 World Cup feels more like its own chapter. Highs and lows on the field, establishment of MLS (and its impact on the national team), roughly same level of media attention, and expectations felt the same.
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  22. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    I goofed in my heading. I was orginally putting O'Brien in a 3-5-2 five-man midfield, but then I moved him back (to LB where he sometimes played for Ajax) and forgot to correct the heading. Was wondering if anyone would notice.
  23. ttrevett

    ttrevett Member+

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    So funny as I was going to do the same thing with JOB, and include the caveat about where he played for Ajax, but then i knew there were going to be complaints about how he was used as a midfielder for US. I origianally had him at LB, but then changed to a 3-5-2 and put him in midfield.
  24. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively Let us soccer

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    I think this is a really good point. Certain players help USMNT and USSF more and some were great but didn't. Pretty much all pre-1990 players couldn't make the first roster. Also with the advancement in play, it's tough to compare players that span decades. The term "best" needs to be described a bit more.
  25. manq360

    manq360 Member

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    My memory fails me at the moment (I'm old, give me a break), but Dooley's role was often as a ? (terminology not used anymore). Whatever it was called...and I know some of you will let me know...we need that role now, or maybe we just need a Dooley clone.

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