|The hero of the 1950 World Cup Finals: Joe Gaetjen|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for French Black players. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.
African Americans consisted of about 12% of the population in the United States. Over 70% of NBA players is African American and slightly less than that for NFL. The number of African Americans in soccer is much less. However, the history of African Americans in the sport is actually very interesting. Giles Heron, an American-based Jamaican, was the first Black player to play for Celtic in Scotland. In 1950, Joe Gaetjen scored the goal that upset England at the WC Finals in Brazil. The game remained one of the biggest upsets in WC history. At the time of writing, Cobi Jones is the all-time cap leaders for the United States and Tim Howard is the all-time cap leaders for American goalkeepers.
Please see also:
USA All-Time Team
Black Players who played for England
French Black Players
Black Portuguese Players
Hispanic/Latino American Players
GK: Tim Howard
Howard led the USA to the 2nd round at the World Cup Finals in 2014 with stunning performances throughout the tournament. Howard started his career with the North Jersey Imperials before making a move to the MetroStars. His appearances soon attracted the attention of Manchester United, who signed him in 2003. He moved to Everton in 2007 where he was a star player with Everton.
GK: Zach Thornton
He spent 16 seasons in MLS with MetroStars , Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, NY Red Bulls and Chivas USA . He won MLS Cup in 1998 with the Fire. He, along with Chris Armas and C. J. Brown, are the only 3 Fire players to be a part of all six of the club's domestic championships from 1998 through 2006. Capped only 8 times due to be playing in the same generation as Brad Freidel, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, etc.
GK: Bill Hamid
From Virginia, Hamid spent his most of entire career with DC United in MLS, winning the US Open Cup in 2013. In 2018, he moves to FC Midtjylland in Denmark. He was MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014. He was capped only 6 times for the USA at this moment. He was on two Gold Cup winning team: 2013 and 2017.
RB: Desmond Armstrong
Desmond Armstrong played his career between the end of NASL and the beginning of MLS. He played mainly indoor soccer and had limited playing outdoor club soccer. Armstrong was capped 81 times. He played every game of the World Cup Finals in 1990, but he was dropped right before the 1994 World Cup Finals, played at home.
RB: DeAndre Yedlin
Deandre Yedlin played for Seattle Sounders in the MLS. After a great performance at the World Cup finals in 2014, he moved to play in England. He joined Tottenham Hotspurs in January, 2015, but spent his time with the club on loan to Sunderland. In 2016, he moved to Newcastle United.
During his professional career from 2002 to 2015 he played for clubs in France, Belgium, England, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal. His most prolific club years were with Standard Liege of the Belgian League with whom he made over 100 league appearances from 2004 to 2009, before moving to A.C. Milan in Italy. Capped over 60 times. He played in the WC Finals of 2006 and 2010.
After a standout career at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Banks spent six seasons playing indoor soccer with the Milwaukee Wave. He also earned 35 caps with the national team between 1986 and 1991, including two games at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
CB: John Brooks
Brooks is the son of American serviceman serving in Germany. He started his career with Hertha Berlin. At the time of writing, he has only played for them. Since 2013, he has represented for the USA. He scored the winning goal against Ghana at Brazil 2014.
CB: Eddie Pope
Eddie Pope is considered one of the greatest American defenders. He spent 11 seasons with DC United, where they dominated MLS in 1990's. He won the MLS defender of the Year award in 1997. He was capped 82 times. He went to France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
CB/LB: David Regis
Regis was born in Martinique, and began his career in 1988 with Valenciennes and transferred to Strasbourg in 1993. He played with Lens, Karlsruhe, Metz, Troyes and FC Bleid. He retired in the summer of 2008. He became an American citizen before the WC finals in 1998. He went on to gain 27 caps.
LWB/LW: Fabian Johnson
Johnson was born in Germany. He is the son of an African-American serviceman. He began his career with 1860 Munich. He also played for VfL Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim. At the time of writing, he is playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Capped by Germany at youth level, he played for USA at the senior level. He went too Brazil 2014.
CB/LB: Carlos Llamosa
Llamosa began his professional career in 1986 with Colombian club Colmena and then, first division side Huila. In 1991, Llamosa emigrated to the United States. In the US, he gave up the sport for a few years before playing in the A-League. In 1997, he joined Bruce Arena's DC United. He later played for New England Revolution and Chivas USA. Capped 29 times. He appeared at the WC Finals in 2002.
CM: Ricardo Clark
Ricardo Clark played for NY/NJ Metrostars, San Jose Earthquake, Houston Dynamos and at this moment, he is with Columbus Crew. He has also played briefly with Eintracht Frankfurt and Stabaek. Capped 34 times for the USA. He was a member of the 2010 WC team.
CM: Maurice Edu
Edu was the first overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and won the MLS Rookie of the Year Award with Toronto FC. In 2008, he joined Glasgow Rangers, where appeared over 100 matches and won three Scottish Premiership League titles. He also played for Stoke. Capped 46 times. He scored a goal at the WC Finals in 2010 against Slovenia.
CM: Jermaine Jones
Born in Germany to an American father and German mother, he played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke 04, Besiktas,mBlackburn Rovers, New England Revolution. At this moment, he is with Colorado Rapids. Jones represented Germany at the senior level, but not in an official game. He later filed for a switch to the United States. He made his debut for them in 2010 and played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
FW/RM/RB: Tony Sanneh
After finishing his college career, Sanneh played in various leagues around the United States before joining DC United in 1996. At DC United, he played for many positions. He won two MLS Cups with them. In 1999, he moved to Germany and played for Hertha Berlin. He also played for Nurnberg and then, returned to MLS again in 2004. Capped 43 times. He was a key player at the WC Finals in 2002.
RW: Cobi Jones
After playing college soccer with UCLA, Jones played with Coventry City and Brazilian side Vasco da Gama before joining the MLS in 1996, where he won two MSL Cups with LA Galaxy. He was capped 164 times. He is the all-time cap recorder for the USA. He played in three World Cup Finals. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.LW: DaMarcus Beasley
After starring at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, Beasley emerged as a star with the Chicago Fire before making a move to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in 2004. He spent a decade abroad, playing for clubs in Scotland, Germany, England, and Mexico before returning stateside in 2014. Capped over 120 times. He is the only American to have played in 4 WC Finals.
Gaetjens played in Haiti with top-level Etoile Haïtienne. He then moved to the American Soccer League (ASL) and led all players with 18 goals in 15 games for New York’s Brookhattan during the 1949–50 season. Drafted into the USA team for the 1950 WC Finals, he scored the only and the winning goal against England in a match, known as the biggest upset in WC history. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1976.
FW: Bobby Wood
Born in Hawaii of an African-American father and a Japanese mother, Wood joined 1860 Munich in 2007. He moved to Union Berlin in 2015. At the time of writing, he is with SV Hamburger. He has 39 caps as of June, 2018.
ST/FW: Jozy Altidore
Started with NY Red Bulls, Altidore moved to Europe in 2008, joining Villarreal in Spain. he had loan spells with Hull city and Bursapor. In 2011, he moved to AZ in Holland and to Sunderland in 2015. At the time of writing, he played for Toronto FC. Since 2007, he is a key player for the USA. He has over 100 caps. He played in both WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.
After starring for North Carolina State University, Lassiter moved to play in Costa Rica. In 1996, Lassiter won the top goalscorer award in MLS, scoring 27 goals for Tampa Bay Mutiny. With DC United, Lassiter won the MLS Cup in 1999. Lassiter also played with Italian side Genoa, Miami Fusion and Kansas City Wizards. Capped 34 times. He was unlucky to miss out all the WC Finals during his career.
ST: Eddie Johnson
Johnson played the majority of his fourteen-year club career in the U.S. with various Major League Soccer teams, notching 71 goals in MLS league play. Johnson also spent three-and-one-half years with several European clubs, includes Fulham and Cardiff City FC. Capped 69 times. He went to Germany 2006, but missed out the WC Finals in 2014.
ST: Earnie Stewart
Stewart, the son of an African American Air Force airman and his Dutch wife, he started with VVV in Holland before moving to Eredivisie side Willem II in 1990. He moved to NAC in 2003. After 6 seasons there, he joined DC United. Capped 101 times. He scored against Colombia at the WC finals in 1994, which was the first WC game won by the US since 1950. He is played for in 3 WC Finals.
Sean Johnson, Gyasi Zardes, Robin Fraser, Danny Williams, Dante Washington, Cory Gribbs, C.J.Brown, Darlington Nagbe, Charlie Davies, Julian Green, Juan Agudelo, Timothy Chandler, Robbie Findley.
-- Eddie Pope is probably the greatest African-American player in history. DaMarcus Beasley and Jermaine Jones are probably among the best ever.
-- It appeared that Bill Hamid is ahead of Sean Johnson on the depth chart on the player pool for the current USA. Both are still active players. It would remain unknown what would became of them in the future. David Yelldell is another option. As of June, 2018, Zack Steffen is an upcoming goalkeeper. He probably will be the future starting goalkeeper for the USA. I have not put him as an honorable mention yet, but he probably will make the team one day.
-- Desmond Armstrong and Jimmy Banks were selected because they were pioneers for African American players. Armstrong was also actively promoted the game to African Americans.
-- Except for a few games at the World Cup Finals in 1950, nothing much is known for Joe Gaetjen, but he deserved a spot here based on that goal. His goal is among the most important goals ever scored by the USMNT.
-- Julian Green and Juan Agudelo are too young to be considered. The other alternative attackers have done much more for the USA. Bobby Wood firmly established himself as a starter for USA. So he got the nob over the two youngsters and Dante Washington. The same applied to Timothy Chandler. I selected John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin because I rated them better than the alternatives. They were the last two players selected. In the future, they may challenge Banks' spot.
-- David Regis' career with the national team was limited, but he had a good reputation in Europe. I took him for his club career. Robin Fraser just lost out. He was just behind Brooks and Regis. Banks, as mentioned, helped to promote the game among the African-American community.
-- Ricardo Clark is not as well-known than some of the players not selected for the team. I selected him because the team does not have enough midfielders.
-- DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks would one day become starters here. As of now, they need more merits. So I started Armstrong and Onyewu.
-- Fabian Johnson has more experience playing in the Bundesliga than Llamosa. I saw David Regis as a centerback.
-- I can easily move Sanneh to the rightback and start Edu in the midfield.