Who’s on your US Soccer Mount Rushmore? We spent the majority of our Tuesday night USfanTV show debating this, and in the end we narrowed the list to four players. Despite the video thumbnail, Christian Pulisic didn’t make it! Give the kid a year…
The rules: First, we decided this should be a men’s soccer Mount Rushmore. Obviously, the USWNT has produced some ridiculously good players, but it’s too hard to compare, say, Tim Howard to Hope Solo or Abby Wambach to Clint Dempsey. So the women will be separate show at some point. We also decided honorees had to play for the US national team. Guys like Pele and David Beckham did more to change the sport in this country than almost anyone, but we excluded them.
With those rules set, we threw out a bunch of names, from Chris’ favorite goalkeeper from the 1930 World Cup, James “not Buster” Douglas, to Joe Gaetjens, to Alexi Lalas, to Claudio Reyna to Christian Pulisic.
So who made it?
Landon Donovan – Landon is, at the moment, still tied as the USMNT’s all-time leading scorer. He’s also top of the assist list by a mile. He’s MLS’s greatest player ever. And he scored one of the greatest goals in US Soccer history, the buzzer beater against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup. Landon is a no-brainer for the George Washington spot on our Mount Rushmore.
Clint Dempsey – Our other all-time leading scorer, Deuce had the best European club career of any American outfield player ever, scoring 72 times across all competitions for Fulham and, somehow, Tottenham. He’s scored dozens more since joining the Sounders, and he’s done it while overcoming a heart condition. Don’t fucking tread.
Tim Howard – The US has produced a lot of killer goalkeepers. Brad Friedel nearly edged him out, but Timmy’s time at Manchester United and Everton in addition to holding down the US net for the last two World Cups gives him a spot on Mount Rushmore. He scored 100 yard goal for Everton while wearing camo. Oh, and Belgium. Never forget Belgium.
Paul Caligiuri – He had a solid pro career, but he makes the list for “The Shot Heard Round the World,” the goal against Trinidad and Tobago that put the USA in the 1990 World Cup, our first in 40 years. We haven’t missed one since. If we’re going biggest name, I think Alexi Lalas gets this spot. If we’re going best player, I’d give it to Michael Bradley or Claudio Reyna. But, with that goal Caligiuri kicked off the modern era for the USMNT, so he gets the nod.
We’re back Thursday night, when we’ll probably start talking about the September qualifiers. See you then!