USA has been blessed with terrific talent over the years in goal, with the likes of Brad Friedel, Tony Meola and Kasey Keller all worthy candidates. However, we can only pick one and Tim Howard just pips the chasing pack. He is the most capped keeper in USA history and has the most international wins of any player. The stoppers performances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were a particular highlight and fans even petitioned to have Reagan Airport renamed after him.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Carlos Bocanegra, Defender
“The Jackal”, as he was nicknamed by Fulham fans during his stint at the former Premier League side, is one of the USA’s greatest leaders and defenders. The two-time MLS Defender of the Year captained the national team to one of its most impressive results when they defeated Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinals. Bocanegra retired from soccer in 2014 after amassing 110 caps and 14 goals for The Stars and Stripes.
AFP/Getty ImagesPEDRO UGARTE
Eddie Pope, Defender
Four-time MLS all-star, Pope, played in three World Cups for Team USA, with his standout performances coming at the 2002 competition. He was a solid, reliable center-half with an eye for important goals. The former DC United man is regarded as one of the best defenders in USMNT history and started every game he played for the national side (82).
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
Marcelo Balboa, Defender
Remembered for his sparkling bicycle kicks, Marcelo Balboa, offered much more during his time at the heart of the US defense. As well as the flair, he was good on the ball, solid and brought leadership to his central role. Balboa is credited as one of a generation of players that ushered in a new era of defending for The Yanks.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesAlexander Hassenstein
Steve Cherundolo, Defender
Cherundolo spent his entire club career at German side Hannover, where he became a club legend and one of USA’s best performers in Europe. Now a coach, Cherundolo, collected 87 caps as a competent fullback, who could defend and bomb forward in equal measure. He waited until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to produce his finest performances for The Stars and Stripes, playing every minute.
Getty ImagesJamie Sabau
Claudio Reyna, Midfielder
The one-time captain of the U.S. national team, Reyna is considered one of the best creative midfielders the Americans have produced. His career was blighted by injury but spells at Rangers, Manchester City and Wolfsburg established him as a top-quality talent. He also holds the distinction of being the first American to captain a foreign club: he wore the armband at Wolfsburg.
Getty ImagesBen Radford
Tab Ramos, Midfielder
The Uruguyan-born Ramos was the first American star of the “modern era,” when U.S. Soccer came out of the international wilderness. A gifted midfielder, Ramos was the fulcrum of the 1990 and 1994 World Cup squads and the star of the USA’s 1995 Copa America run. One of the rare Americans to play in Spain, he helped Real Betis gain promotion to La Liga but saw his career there cut short by the skull fracture he suffered in the USA-Brazil game in the 1994 World Cup.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Clint Dempsey, Midfielder/Striker
The hottest striker of the modern era and the man who smashed McBride’s record at Fulham, Dempsey is making a name for himself as the best attacking player the USA has developed. Fiercely competitive on the field — and unassuming off it — “Deuce” is now playing his trade back in the MLS with Seattle Sounders.
Getty ImagesVictor Decolongon
Landon Donovan, Forward
The forward retired from soccer as a champion -- following LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup victory in 2014 -- and that is how he should be remembered by the US public. Donovan is the leading scorer in his country’s history with 57 goals and the second most capped player behind Cobi Jones. He is the most decorated player in MLS history and while his career was tarnished by abortive stints in Germany, his spells with the LA Galaxy and Everton have shown his true quality and maturity.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Eric Wynalda, Striker
The greatest striker of his era, “Waldo” was the all-time national scoring leader for the nats until Donovan came along and broke it. A pioneer, Wynalda became the first American to play in the Bundesliga with a top club when he joined Saarbrucken in 1992. He’d later move to VfL Bochum before returning to the MLS to start up at San Jose. Cocky and driven. Wynalda was a fine pure finisher.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
Brian McBride, Striker
The St. Louis striker was the first player drafted by MLS, the first striker to make a name for himself in England, and the only American to be honored by a club by having their stadium bar named after him. Fulham’s pride, McBride was deadly in the air but possessed a grace that belied his height and size.