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US National Team’s Best XI: Preview Edition

Over the next two weeks, I will be detailing the Best XI in US Men’s National Team history. Surely, it will be no easy task for me, a faithful member of Sam’s Army. But, when you look at the team’s results over the past century or so, some players stand out from the others as truly the best to ever take the pitch for the MNT. Though, it does seem like the US has many players today who may some day bump these guys off this list.

The Nats are currently ranked 24th in the world by FIFA, and they have emerged as one of two CONCACAF powers, the other being Mexico. They have appeared in the last five World Cups, but have thus far failed to compete against the world’s best teams with much success. Despite their lack of significant hardware, they are a team on the rise and all signs point toward future success. Hopefully, in 2010 in South Africa.

But, soccer is still gaining popularity in the US, so many of America’s greatest athletes have chosen to play one of the “big” US sports: football, basketball or baseball. But some amazing athletes have still selected the world’s most beautiful game as the one they want to display their skill in. As a result, the US has fielded many talented players over the years and narrowing them down to just eleven is a pretty tough task.

But, without further Adu (no, Freddy didn’t make the list, at least not yet), here are my picks for the Best XI in the history of the MNT. We’ll play a 4-4-2, because that is what every coach in US history has pretty much gone with since I was born…

Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller

Defenders: Jeff Agoos, Marcelo Balboa, Alexi Lalas, Eddie Pope

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones, Bruce Murray 

Forwards: Brian McBride, Eric Wynalda

Coach: Bruce Arena

Assistant Coach: Bob Bradley

OK, and I will need to put seven subs on the bench too (I tried to pick eleven, I really did, I just couldn’t leave these guys out):

Bench: Bert Patenaude (F), Joe Max Moore (F), Tony Meola (GK), Claudio Reyna (MF), Earnie Stewart (MF), Tab Ramos (MF), Paul Caligiuri (MF)

Now, I am sure many of my selections will be disputed, and that’s what the comments section is designed for, but this is the team I would want to field, and for the next two weeks, I will tell you why. So come back to STO to hear about why these Americans deserve this impressive honor.