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USA's All-Time All-Star XI: Keller, Reyna, Donovan and more

Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna and Michael Bradley all feature as we select the cream of the crop from the USMNT.

Once Planet Sport had deliberated long and hard over the goalkeeping position, it left us little time to decide on the remainder of the starters in our USA Dream Team. No matter, the majority of the team demanded little or no thought at all.

Goalkeeper: Kasey Keller

This was a stacked category, with Keller getting the nod over players the calibre of Tony Meola, Tim Howard and Brad Friedel. Playing well into his 40s, the man from Olympia, Washington made 102 appearances for the USA national side and played for many leading teams around the world.

Spells with English clubs Tottenham, Fulham and Leicester plus experience with German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach and Spanish side Rayo Vallecano prove his versatility.

Not as physically imposing as his rivals, he had lightning quick reflexes and an ability to read situations, which accounted for his longevity within the game. Keller holds the record for shutouts with the USA team, blanking the opposition on 47 occasions.
His standout display for the Stars and Stripes came in the 1998 Gold Cup semifinal against Brazil, when he made 10 saves in a shock 1-0 victory over the South American giants.
Brazil's legendary striker Romario said at the time: "That is the best performance by a goalkeeper I have ever seen."

Defender: Jeff Agoos

Agoos sometimes flies under the radar when it comes to top US players as he played the majority of his domestic soccer in the US and avoided the big European leagues. Nevertheless, his place in US soccer history is unquestionable after he earned 134 caps between 1988 and 2003.
He was a star of MLS, making 158 appearances for DC United and 98 for San Jose Earthquakes and was voted to the league's Best XI on three occasions.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, he could operate in the center of defense and as a left back. He won the MLS Cup three times with DC United and twice while at San Jose.

Defender: Carlos Bocanegra

Bocanegra's 14-year playing career included spells in the US, England, Scotland, France and Spain and 110 caps for the USA national side. He managed to make the transition from playing in the US to the pressure of the Premier League and even captained Fulham.

With experience at Rennes and St Etienne in France, Bocanegra can be considered a player who got the most out of his talent and was a stalwart for the US men's national team. He played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and was handed the captain's armband for a number of games.
Nicknamed 'The Jackal' and 'Blacksnake' while at Fulham, he was popular among the fans for his ability and positive attitude, while ending up as joint top scorer in one campaign for the Cottagers.

Defender: Marcelo Balboa

Balboa played for a few minor US clubs before making his name with Colorado Rapids between 1996 and 2001. A tough defender, he made 151 appearances for the Rapids, scoring 24 goals.
During his peak years, he was an automatic choice for the USA national side and totalled 127 appearances between 1988 and 2000, scoring 13 goals.
In 2005, Balboa was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI and also elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He played at two World Cups.

Defender: Eddie Pope

Pope spent the majority of his domestic career with DC United, playing 143 times for the Washington franchise following his debut in 1996. He moved to MetroStars in 2003 and ended up with Real Salt Lake but it is for his time in the capital that the defender is best known. He won the MLS Cup three times during an illustrious career and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2011.
His international career spanned a decade and Pope won 82 caps for the Stars and Stripes, scoring eight goals. He played in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups and was part of the USA side that claimed the 2005 Gold Cup. He started every game he played for his country and retired from international soccer in 2006.

Midfielder: Cobi Jones

Jones cut his teeth in the Premier League, playing a season with Coventry City before a short stint with Brazilian outfit Vasco da Gama, but it was his lengthy career with LA Galaxy that marked him out. The Detroit-born ace played 306 times for the Californians, scoring 70 goals and was a stalwart of the side for 12 years while winning two MLS Cups.
That longevity is impressive but Jones' stats at international level are without comparison in the US game. He is the most capped American of all time, with 164 and scored 15 goals for the national side. He played in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and won the 2002 Gold Cup with the USA.

Midfielder: Claudio Reyna

Reyna played the majority of his club soccer outside of the United States and made 112 appearances for his national side. He began his career in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and then Wolfsburg before switching to Glasgow Rangers. Clubs south of the border took note and he spent time with Sunderland and Manchester City, ending up with 23 league goals from 282 appearances for his various clubs.

He was a member of the 1994 World Cup team but did not make an appearance. However, he went on to play at the next three World Cups and captained the side on many occasions. Scoring goals was a bonus as his role was to be a steady head in the middle of the pitch while carrying out his defensive duties.

Midfielder: DaMarcus Beasley

Beasley is another centurion for the US men's national team, with 126 caps between 2001 and 2017. Able to operate as a left winger or left wingback, he played for clubs in the Netherlands, Germany, England, Mexico and the US. After an initial spell with Chicago Fire, he enjoyed time at PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, Glasgow Rangers, Hannover and Puebla before ending his playing days with Houston.
More of a provider than a goalscorer, Beasley still managed to find the net 65 times during his 515 outings worldwide. He scored 17 times for the USA and was a member of four World Cup squads between 2002 and 2014.
He retired in 2019 after 20 years in the game and is seventh on the list of most capped Americans.

Midfielder: Michael Bradley

Only Cobi Jones and Landon Donovan are above Bradley on the roll call of all-time USA appearances. With 151 caps, he is a legend of the American game and has scored 17 goals for his country. Bradley's ability to adapt to any situation makes him a manager's dream and he often operates as the holding player in the center of the pitch.
When asked to feature higher up the pitch he responded with 15 goals for Dutch club Heerenveen in 2007/08. Bradley has played for Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany and Italian clubs Chievo and Roma, while he also had four outings for Aston Villa.
He has played the last seven years for MLS side Toronto and has captained the USA national side many times. He played at the 2010 and 2014 Word Cups and won the Gold Cup in 2007 and 2017.

Striker: Landon Donovan

No US all-star list is complete without Donovan who is widely recognized as the greatest USA soccer player of all time. Boasting a record of almost a goal every two games for LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, the forward also bagged 57 goals for the USA national side. Worldwide, he scored 161 goals from 412 appearances.

He enjoyed brief loan spells with Premier League club Everton and did not look out of place, prompting the manager at the time, David Moyes, to try and extend his loan deal. Donovan's name will always be synonymous with MLS but his time with the national team is equally as impressive.
He played in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups and was a controversial omission from the 2014 side.

Striker: Clint Dempsey

Dempsey's record in MLS and England's Premier League means he is a shoo-in for this list. Operating as a forward or attacking midfielder, the Texan scored 25 goals for New England Revolution before joining London outfit Fulham. A firm fans favourite at Craven Cottage, he scored 60 goals from 232 appearances in all competitions, while assisting many more for his teammates.
He also spent time on loan with Tottenham and found the net 12 times before a productive spell with Seattle. With 47 goals from 115 outings for the Sounders, Dempsey ended his playing career in style.
He is fourth on the list of most capped American players, with 141 appearances for the Stars and Stripes and 57 goals - a record he shares with Landon Donovan.
By Neil Foster

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