Monday, November 21, 2016

African American Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

The hero of the 1950 World Cup Finals: Joe Gaetjen

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

USA All-Time Team
Black Players who played for England
French Black Players
Black Portuguese Players
MexicoCosta RicaHonduras,
Central America without Costa Rica and Honduras.
Canada or Canadian born Players
Jamaica/Jamaican DiasporaCaribbean Countries
German Americans/American Germans
Hispanic/Latino American Players
USA World Cup 2010
NY CosmosLA GalaxyDC United,
University of VirginiaUCLA.

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.

GK: Tim Howard
Tim Howard is one of the greatest ever goalkeeper from the United States. He led the USA to the 2nd round at the World Cup Finals in 2014 with stunning performances throughout the tournament.  He also went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010. 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.
Tim Howard

GK: Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton 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.

Zack Steffen played NCAA soccer with Maryland before joining SC Freiburg II in 2014.  From 2016 to 2019, he played for Columbus Crew, where he was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.  In 2019, he joined Manchester City, but seldom played. He was mainly on loan.  He was a starter with MiddlesbroughSince 2018, he played 29 times for the United States.

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.  He signed with Santos in Brazil, but never played. 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 college soccer for Akron.  In 2013, he joined Seattle Sounders in the MLS as the club's first homegrown player.  After a great performance at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, 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.  Since 2014, he has played over 77 times for the United States.

CB: Oguchi Onyewu
During his professional career from 2002 to 2015 Oguchi Onyewu 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. He was capped over 69 times between 2004 and 2014.  He played in the World Cup Finals of 2006 and 2010.
Oguchi Onyewu
CB: Jimmy Banks
After a standout career at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Jimmy Banks spent six seasons playing indoor soccer with the Milwaukee Wave. At the club level, his career was limited by playing in the eras between the NASL and MLS. He also earned 35 caps with the national team between 1986 and 1991, including two games at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. 

CB: John Brooks
John Brooks is the son of American serviceman serving in Germany.  He started his career with Hertha Berlin in 2012.  At the time of writing, he played Wolfsburg.  Since 2013, he has represented for the USA.  He was eligible to play for Germany, but chose to represent the United States.  He scored the winning goal against Ghana at the 2014 World Cup Finals. 

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 also played for Metrostars and Real Salt Lake City. For the national team, he was capped 82 times between 1996 and 2006.  He went to France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He helped the USA to win the Gold Cup in 2005.
Eddie Pope
LWB/LW: Fabian Johnson
Fabian 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.  He was capped by Germany at youth level, winning the European Championship Under-21 in 2009.  He played for USA at the senior level.  He went too Brazil 2014.

LB: Antonee Robinson.
Born in England, Robinson came through Everton's academy.  Between 2019 and 2020, he played for Wigan.  Since 2020, he played for Fulham where he was named the Team of the Season.  At the time of writing, he had played 34 times for the United States.  He was also eligible for England.  He played in the 2022 World Cup Finals.

CM: Weston McKennie
McKennie was born in Texas.  He played for the youth system of Major League Soccer side FC Dallas for seven years from 2009 to 2016, before moving to Schalke.  From 2017 to 2020, he played for their first team.  In 2020, he was sent on loan to Juventus with an option to buy.  Since 2017, he has been capped by the United States. He went to the 2022 World Cup.

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.  He was capped 46 times.  He scored a goal at the World Cup Finals in 2010 against Slovenia.

CM: Jermaine Jones
Born in Germany to an American father and German mother, Jermaine Jones 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, scoring a goal against Portugal.  He earned a total of 69 caps.
Jermaine Jones
CM/DM: Adam Tyler
A homegrown player of the New York Red Bulls academy, Adams turned professional with the New York Red Bulls II as a sixteen-year-old before joining the New York Red Bulls first team a season later. Adams joined RB Leipzig in January 2019. Adams joined Leeds United three and a half years later in 2022.  He won the U.S. Soccer Player of the Year award in 2022.

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. He was capped 43 times.  He was a key player at the World Cup Finals in 2002.

RW: Cobi Jones
After playing college soccer with UCLA,  Cobi Jones played with Coventry City and Brazilian side Vasco da Gama before joining the MLS in 1996, where he won two MLS 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(1994, 1998 and 2002). He also won the 2002 Gold Cup with the national team. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Cobi Jones
FW: Bobby Wood
Born in Hawaii of an African-American father and a Japanese mother, Wood joined 1860 Munich in 2007 as a youth player and made his senior debut in 2010.  He moved to Union Berlin in 2015.  From 2016 to 2018, he played with SV Hamburger.  At the time of writing, he is on loan with Hanover 96.  For the national team, he has 39 caps as of June, 2018.

LW/LWB: DaMarcus Beasley

After staring 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 became the first American to play in the semifinal of Champions' League.  He spent a decade abroad, playing for clubs in Scotland, Germany, England, and Mexico before returning stateside in 2014.  At the time of writing, he plays for Houston Dynamos. He was capped over 120 times since 2001.  He is the only American to have played in 4 World Cup Finals.
DaMarcus Beasley
FW: Joe Gaetjen
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. 

ST: Roy Lassiter
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: Earnie Stewart
Earnie 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. He was capped 101 times. He scored against Colombia at the World Cup finals in 1994, which was the first World Cup game won by the US since 1950.  He played for in 3 World Cup Finals.  He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2001.

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.  He played for Toronto FC between 2015 and 2020.  Since 2007, he is a key player for the USA.  He has over 110 caps.  In 2009, he scored one of the goals that beat Spain in the semifinal of the Confederation Cup. He played in both World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014.
Jozy Altidore

Honorable Mention
Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid, Gyasi Zardes, Robin Fraser, Miles Robinson, David Regis, Sergiño Dest, Reggie Cannon, Danny Williams, Dante Washington, Ricardo Clark, Carlos Llamosa, Cory Gribbs, C.J.Brown, Darlington Nagbe, Charlie DaviesJulian GreenJuan Agudelo, Timothy Chandler, Robbie Findley, Darlington Nagbe, Kellyn Acosta, Yunus Musah, Mark McKenzie, Shaq Moore, Eddie Johnson.

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in 2016.  I redid the team in April, 2023.  
-- Race is a sensitive issue for a lot of people.  Several of the players selected are of Mixed Heritiage. I am using the "one-drop rule".   It is my understanding that this rule is becoming a racist notion.  However, the idea of my blog is actually created to honor African Americans in the history of the Game.  I apologised if I offended anyone.  
-- The idea of the blog started after I watched a documentary of Laurie Cunningham of England.  He was credited as an inspiration to a generation of Black English players.  After I created an English Black All-Time Team, I decided to create blog teams for other Black players from around the world.
-- My USA All-Time team included only three African American players. They were Tim Howard, Eddie Pope and DaMarcus Beasley.  
-- Eddie Pope, Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley were probably the greatest African-American players in history.  Cobi Jones was close behind.  Desmond Armstrong and Jimmy Banks were selected because they were pioneers for African American players.  Armstrong also actively promoted the game to African Americans in the 1990's.
-- Five players were born outside the United States.   Earnie Stewart, Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson were sons of American servicemen based in Europe.  Stewart came from the Netherlands while Johnson and Jones came from Germany.  Jones earned 3 official caps for Germany.  Johnson was a part of that famous Germany Under 21 team that won the UEFA U-21 Championship in 2009.  Antonee Robinson was born in England.
-- In 2023, I added three players to this team.  They were Tyler Adams, Zack Steffen and Antonee Robinson.  Weston McKennie joined the team in 2020.  I am seeing a trend of having more African American players playing for the sport.  McKennie and Adams alongside Yunus Musah were key players for the USA at the 2022 World Cup Finals.  Joe Gaetjens came from Haiti.  He might not be an American citizen when he played in the 1950 World Cup Finals.
-- Tim Howard had a great tournament at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup as well as the 2014 World Cup Finals. He also held the record of international appearances for an American goalkeeper.  His club career in England also spoke for itself.   He was one of the three goalkeepers on my USA All-Time team.
-- Zack Thornton only played 8 times for the USMNT because he played in same generation as Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, Marcus Hahnemann, etc.  In 1997, he beat out Mexico's Jorge Campos for Chicago Fire's starting job.  He went on to win the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award that season.
-- In 2016, it appeared that Bill Hamid was ahead of Sean Johnson on the depth chart on the player pool for the current USA. He was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014.  So I took him over Johnson and David Yelldell.  In June, 2018, I added Zack Steffen to honorable mention.  In 2023, I decided to add him. He made very far since 2018,  He was named USA Male Player of the Year in that year.  He also played more for the national team games than both Hamid and Johnson combined.  
Zack Steffen
-- From Virginia, Bill 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.
-- Eddie Pope and Oguchi Onyewu were the must-in players for the centerback position.  John Brooks played over 45 times for the United States.  He was selected as IFFHS Team CONCACAF Team of the Decade for 2011-2020.  Jimmy Banks helped to promote the games for African Americans.  I honored him with a spot.
-- David Regis used a loopholes in the citizenship rule for a spot on the 1998 World Cup team.  For me, that should not be an issue to disqualify him for any of my team.  However, his contribution to the national team was limited.  He was mainly a centerback, but could play as a rightback.  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.  Miles Robinson made honorable mention in 2023.
-- David 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 World Cup Finals in 1998.  He played all three matches in France.  He went on to gain 27 caps.
-- Desmond Armstrong was the first U.S.-born African American player to represent the nation at the World Cup.  He was an important player in African American's participation of the sport.  DeAndre Yedlin had many experiences playing in European football. Sergiño Dest still needed more time to unseat them.  He is mainly a rightback, but could play as a leftback.  Timothy Chandler was considered in 2016.  And I looked into Reggie Cannon in 2023.
DeAndre Yedlin
-- On the left, I took Fabian Johnson.  He had a long career in Europe. In 2016, I took Carlos Llamosa, but I replaced him with Antonee Robinson.  Robinson had an impressive World Cup performance in 2022.  
-- Carlos 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.
-- Jermaine Jones had 69 caps.  He should have gotten more if he decided to play for the United States earlier.  I considered one of the best ever American defensive midfielders.  Both Maurice Edu and Tony Sanneh had notable careers in Europe.  
-- Ricardo Clark was not as well-known than some of the players not selected for the team.  I selected him in 2016 because the team does not have enough midfielders.  In December 2020, I replaced him with Weston McKennie.  At the time of writing, Weston McKennie has played with  Juventus.  He is one of the few Americans ever to be a big contributor for a major soccer club.  He already suppressed Clark.
-- In 2023, I decided to add Tyler Adams to the team.  He already captained the 2022 World Cup team. He also won the U.S. Soccer Player of the Year award in 2022. So I would drop one of the forwards (see below).
Adam Tyler
-- Outside the United States, Kellyn Acosta was less known than Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, but he was a big contributor throughout the 2022 World Cup cycle.  I also do believe that Yunus Musah would one day make the team. Both Accosta and Musah were added to Honorable Mention in 2023.
-- Cobi Jones is the all-time appearance record for the USMNT. DaMarcus Beasley was the first American to play in 5 World Cup cycle. He was probably the greatest ever African American soccer player in history.  In 2014, he switched to the left wingback position, where he became a star again. So both wingers were automatic selection.
-- Freddy Adu was the youngest athlete ever to sign a professional contract in the United States at 14 years old. He was also the youngest player to appear in a Major League Soccer (MLS).  Those record would have gotten him into Honorable Mention for breaking a milestone.  But much of his career had been written about it.  So I left him off the list.
-- Except for a few games at the World Cup Finals in 1950, nothing much is known about 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.  
-- Jozy Altidore was U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in both 2013 and 2016.  He is the third all-time leading scorer for the United States (first among African Americans). Earnie Stewart was a big name at the early 1990's when it was an important era in American soccer history.  He scored one of the goals that beat Colombia in the 1994 World Cup Finals.  
Earnie Stewart
-- In 2016, I looked into both Julian Green and Juan Agudelo.  They were too young to be considered. By 2023, they would not make this team.
-- In 2023, I decided to drop one of the forwards for Adam Tyler. I rated Bobby Wood ahead Roy Lassiter and Eddie Johnson.  It came down between Roy Lassiter and Eddie Johnson.  Lassiter played only 34 times for the national team, largely playing around the same time as Eric Wynalda, Earnie Stewart, Joe Max Moore, etc.  In MLS, he was a better goal scorer than Johnson.  In the end, I kept Lassiter over 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.

I awarded Joe Gaetjen as the starter for scoring the most important goal history.  Earnie Stewart could easily start over Jozy Altidore.  Tyler Adams was named the USA Male Player of the Year in 2022.

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