Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hispanic/Latino American Greatest All-Time Team (USA)

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

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

USAMexicoCosta RicaHonduras,
Central America without Costa Rica and Honduras.
Canada or Canadian born Players
Jamaica/Jamaican DiasporaCaribbean Countries.
African American PlayersGerman 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 Hispanic/Latino American players.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

The national origins classified as Hispanic or Latino by the U.S. Census Bureau are the following: Spain, Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Hispanic/Latino-Americans contributed enormously to soccer in the United States.  They are very enthusiastic toward the sport. Some of greatest American soccer players such as Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna, Marcelo Balboa, etc are Hispanic/Latino Americans.  At one point, the MLS even had a team Chivas USA for Hispanic fans.  However, the number of Hispanic/Latino American players are not proportional to the population of Hispanic/Latinos in the United States.  

Nick Rimando's father is of Filipino descent and his mother is of Mexican descent.  Before MLS, he played college soccer for UCLA. He played for Miami Fusion and DC United.  Since 2007, he played for Real Salt Lake, winning the 2009 MLS Cup.  He is one of the best keeper in MLS.  At the time of writing, he was capped 22 times for the United States.  He is mainly a backup to Tim Howard. He was a member of the 2014 World Cup team.
Nick Rimando
GK: Luis Robles  
After playing for University of Portland, Luis Robles went to play in Germany in 2007.  He first played for Kaiserslautern and then, Karlsruher in Germany.  In 2012, he returned to MLS playing for NY Red Bulls.  He was the MLS goalkeeper of th Year in 2015. At the time of writing, he is capped three times.  He is son of a Puerto Rican father and a Korean mother.

From 2013 to 2019, Jesse Gonzalez played over 100 games for FC Dallas.  He was eligible to play for Mexico or the United States, having been born and raised in the US to Mexican parents. He played for Mexico national youth teams, including as the Mexico under-20 and under-23.  In 2017, he switched to the USA, but never played for a game.  However, he was on the 2017 Gold Cup winning team as an unused sub.

CB/RB/LB: Michael Orozco
Michael Orozco made his professional debut for San Luis during the Apertura 2006 tournament. He played in 106 league matches for the club until its move to Chiapas.  In January 2010, he went to Philadelphia Union on loan and to Puebla on loan in 2013-2015.  He moved to Tijuana in 2015.  At the time of writing, he was capped 29 times.

CB: Marcelo Balboa
Marcelo Bilboa was known for his bicycle kicks.  He was the first player to break the 100 cap barrier for the United States.  He went on to earn 128 caps.  He played in 3 World Cup Finals: 1990, 1994 and 1998.  He is best remembered for his career with Colorado Rapids in MLS and a season with Leon in Mexico.  He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He was born in the United States, where his father was a footballer.
Marcelo Balboa
CB: Omar Gonzalez 
A college soccer player for the Maryland Terrapins, Omar Gonzalez joined the LA Galaxy in the 2009 and went on to play 180 regular season games for them, winning the MLS Cup in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He was named the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2009 and the MLS Defender of the Year in 2011.  He now plays for Pachuca.  Capped over 30 caps at this moment.  He went to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 

CB: 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.

CB/LB: Carlos Bocanegra
Carlos Bocanegra started his career playing NCAA soccer with UCLA. He joined Chicago Fire in 2000. He also played professionally in England, Scotland, France, and Spain. His longest European stint was with Fulham, where he played from 2004 to 2008. He earned over 100 caps with the United States between 2001 and 2012, serving as captain for six years. He played in the World Cup Finals of 2006 and 2010.  He also won two Gold Cups for the USA.
Carlos Bocanegra
LB: Fernando Clavijo  
Originally from Uruguay, Fernando Clavijo played briefly for Golden Bay Earthquakes in the NASL.  In 1984, he was an all-star player. Throughout the 1980's, he was a successful indoor player. In the 1990's, he was a regular member of the USMNT. He played in the World Cup Finals in 1994 as their starting left back. He also represented the United States in Futsal.  He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and is a 2014 inductee into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame.

LB: Jonathan Bornstein
Jonathan Bornstein was a son of a Mexican mother and a Jewish father.  He was drafted by Chivas USA and became the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2006. He also played for Tigres de la UANL and Queretaro in Mexico.  In 2018, he joined Maccabi Netanya in Israel. He was capped over 38 times.  He went to South Africa 2010.

DM: Palbo Mastroeni 
Palbo Mastroeni moved to the United States from Argentina with his family at the age of four.  He played for North Carolina State University before turning professional. In MLS, he played for Miami Fusion, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy.  He played for the Rapids from 2002 to 2013. He earned 65 caps for the United States between 2001 and 2009. He played in the World Cup Finals in both 2002 and 2006. He also won three Gold Cups.
Palbo Mastroeni 
DM: Chris Armas
Chris Armas is a Puerto Rican-American.  He played in USISL before joining LA Galaxy in 1996.  He joined Chicago Fire in 1998, where he became a star player there.  He won the MLS Cup in 1998.  He was capped by Puerto Rico in non-FIFA recognised games.  He switched his eligibility to the USA in 1998.  He earned 66 caps for the United States.  He won two Gold Cups in 2002 and 2005.  An injury kept him out of World Cup 2002. He was the US Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2000.

Alejandro Bedoya went to play in Europe. He played for Örebro SK, Rangers, Helsingborgs IF and Nantes before returning to MLS in 2016.  At the time of writing, he plays for Philadelphia Union.  He was capped over 66 times for the US national team.  He played in the World Cup finals in 2014 as well as winning two Gold Cups.

CM: Claudio Reyna
Born in New Jersey, his father was from Argentina.  Claudio Reyna was a star in the late 1990's.  He played college soccer with Virginia, winning three NCAA titles.  He started his career with Bayer Leverkusen.  While playing with Wolfsburg, he became the first American-born player to captain an European club team. He also played for Rangers and Manchester City.  He earned 112 caps.  He was on 4 World Cup teams.  In 2002,  he was named in the World Cup all-tournament team. 
Claudio Reyna
FW/CM/DF: Angelo DiBernardo 
DiBernardo, a native of Argentina, moved to the US with his family when he was sixteen. He first played with  Los Angeles Aztecs, of the NASL. Later, he played with NY Cosmos from 1980 until 1984 when the NASL collapsed. In addition to playing outdoors with the Cosmos, After NASL, he played indoor soccer. He was capped 20 times between 1979 and 1985.

AM: Tab Ramos
Tab Ramos was probably the best American player in the early 1990's.  He spent his career playing in Spain before moving to the MLS.  In 1994, he was seriously injured after Brazil's Leonardo hit him with his elbow during the round of 16 at the WC Finals.  Because of his injury, he never played for Real Betis again, his club team at the time and ended his career in Europe.  He returned to the USA where he became a star with NY Metrostars. The same year, Ramos was chosen as the CONCACAF Player of the Year.
Tab Ramos
RW/AM/FW/RWB: Paul Arriola 
Born in the USA, Arriola started his career with Tijuana in Mexico.  From 2017 to 2021, he played for DC United.  And he joined FC Dallas in 2022.  He also had a brief loan move to Swansea FC.  He made it the MLS All-Stars in 2022.  With the US national team, he played over 50 times.  He was on the Gold Cup winning team in 2017 and 2012.

Gio Reyna began his youth career with his hometown club, New York City FC, and had his breakthrough with Borussia Dortmund.  He broke multi records and milestone in Germany.  Born to U.S. national team players Claudio Reyna and Danielle Reyna, he made his senior national debut in 2020, a day before his 18th birthday.  He went to the 2022 World Cup, but did not play much.

AM: Hugo Perez
Born in El Salvador, Hugo Perez moved to the United States at a young age.  He played professionally in the United States, France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and his native El Salvador. He was one of the few American professional players before the 1990's and considered the best American player at one point.  He had 73 caps between 1984 and 1994. He missed the 1990 World Cup Finals due an injury, but was selected to the 1994 World Cup team.  He was the 1991 Soccer Athlete of the Year and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2008.
Hugo Perez
Chacurian was born in Argentina to Armenian immigrant parents. In 1939, he signed with Racing Club of the Argentine First Division. He was fifteen years old at the time. In 1947 at the age of twenty-three, he moved to the United States.  He earned four caps, scoring one goal, as a member of the U.S. national team in 1953 and 1954. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.

Salcedo spent thirteen seasons in the American Soccer League, leading the league in scoring three of those seasons, one season in the St. Louis Soccer League and part of one season in the National Soccer League of Chicago. He was the league leading goal scorer in 1937–1938, 1940–1941, 1945–1946.  He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.  In 1935, he played once for the United States against Scotland.

FW: Herculez Gomez
Gomez played in both the US and Mexico.  He won the MLS Cup in 2005 with LA Galaxy. In 2010, he signed with Mexican club Puebla F.C. where he emerged as a
 top-scorer at the Mexican league.  He won the 2012 Primera División championship with Santos Laguna, and became the first player to have won both the MLS Cup and the Primera División championship. Capped 24 times. He played for the USA in World Cup 2010.

FW: Juan Agudelo 
Juan Agudelo moved to the US as an early age from Colombia.  He started with New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and New England Revolution before heading to Stoke City in England. However, he was sent on loan to FC Utrecht in Holland for 2013-2014 season.  He returned to New England Revolution in 2015.  He played for Inter Miami and other teams. He has over 28 caps for the US national team between 2010 and 2018.
Juan Agudelo

Honorable Mention
Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Ramiro Corrales, Tim Melia,  Austin Guerrero, Santino Quaranta, Ventura Alvarado,  Ruben Mendoza, Alfredo Morales, Ringo Cantillo, Renato Corsi, Kellyn Acosta, Giovanni Reyna, Nick Lima, Jorge Villafaña, Lawrence Lozzano, Manuel "Mani" Hernandez, Cristian Roldan, Ricardo Pepi, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Francisco Torres, Ringo Cantillo, Martin Vasquez, Renato Corsi, Luca de la Torre, Ricardo Pepi, Jesús Ferreira, Brandon Vazquez, Ivan Borodiak, Santiago Formoso, Greg Garza. 

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in November, 2016.  I redid it again in May, 2023.
-- The national origins classified as Hispanic or Latino by the U.S. Census Bureau are the following: Spain, Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 
-- I am using the one drop rule for the criteria. It just made it easier to conduct this research.
-- Haitians are not classified as Hispanic or Latino. So Jozy Altidore and Joe Gaetjens are not included.  Billy Gonsalves, John Souza and Ed Souza are Portuguese-Americans.  Benny Feilhaber and Curt Onalfo were Brazilians.  They are ineligible for this team.  
-- In the 1990's when I started to know about soccer in the United States, some soccer experts believed that that there were not enough Hispanic American participation of the sport at the time.  However, I used to disagree with this viewpoint because some of the top players on the US national team, such Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna, Hugo Perez, Marcelo Bilboa, Fernando Clavijo, were of Hispanic descentHowever, after conducting research on this team, I have come to realise that they were right.  They were just a few notable players.  I had difficulty filling up several positions, but I had many playmakers to choose from.
-- Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Marcelo Bilboa, Carlos Bocanegra are on my All-Time USA team. Claudio Reyna is probably one of the greatest American players of all-time.  He probably had the greatest club career in Europe for an American outfielder.  His son Giovanni Reyna has done more at club football level in Europe more than some of the players selected.  
-- Chivas USA entered the MLS in 2004.  It was intended to be seen as a sister club to its parent club C.D. Guadalajara.  The Mexican club never fielded a single non-Mexican players in history. So they wanted to use primarily Mexican players in the United States.  Chivas USA's policy did not work in the MLS.  It ended up featuring non-Hispanic players. The club went under in 2014.
-- Richard Sanchez and Cirilo Saucedo were born in the US, but were capped by Mexico.  This team is for players who are eligible for the US national team.  
-- Nick Rimando and Luis Robles were the only great selections.  Robles won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, but not Rimando.
Luis Robles
-- I had a hard time to choose the third keeper position.  Jesse Gonzalez represented Mexico at the youth level.  He later switched his international playing status. He was a part of the United States' 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning team, but he never played a game for the senior side.  As of 2021, he only played with the Mexican Under 23 team.  So does he count as an American player? Since FIFA approved his switch of association and he actually sat on the bench of the USMNT, he must be considered an American international player.  Since 2020, his career disappeared probably due to the allegations of domestic abuse.  But I still selected him based upon the few seasons where he played regularly in Dallas.
-- William Yarbrough was born in Mexico, but he is not a Hispanic or a Latino. I could not decide about his eligibility for this team.  So I just left him off the squad for now.  Austin Guerrero was my only other choice for the third keeper.  He played for Tigres UANL, Altamira, Puebla FC, but mainly as a reserve goalkeeper. He was capped once by the US Under-20 team.  In 2021, I discovered David Ochoa, but he switched his allegiance to Mexico in 2020.  He received a senior call-up from them in 2020, which made him ineligible for this team.
-- Chivas USA had at least two Mexican goalkeepers in their short history, but they never had a Hispanic American goalkeeper.  Tim Melia has a Spanish surname, and Spain was listed as a Hispanic country by the U.S. Census Bureau.  So I put him on honorable mention.
-- Both Marcelo Bilboa and Carlos Bocanegra were selected by USSF on their All-Time Best XI.  Bocanegra was listed as their leftback, but he was usually a central defender.  Omar Gonzalez was named the MLS Defender of the Year in 2011.  The three of them were undisputed.  Carlos Llamosa was more of a central defender than a leftback.
Omar Gonzalez
-- The rightback position was difficult.  Michael Orozco was the only player of note who played as a rightback.  I was not sure if Alfredo Morales played there.  Centre-back Ventura Alvarado had played as a rigttback. I also looked into Nick Lima.  Ivan Borodiak who was born in Argentina was listed as a fullback, but I did not know which side.  He earned a single cap in 1964.  A. J. DeLaGarza played twice for the USA before switching to his national team to Guam.  He was named LA Galaxy Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2014.  He was the son a Mexican-Chamorro father and a Native American mother.  I ruled him ineligible due to his commitment to Guam.  So I took Orozco only.
-- For leftbacks, I had to leave out Santiago Formoso, Jorge Villafaña, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Ramiro Corrales.  Santiago Formoso played leftback for NY Cosmo with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.  But I took Fernando Clavijo and Jonathan Bornstein.  Clavijo was considered for my USA All-Time team.  Bornstein was a son of a Mexican mother and a Jewish father.  He was selected into MLS Best XI in 2007.  Carlos Llamosa spent many years playing for Bruce Arena as a leftback in DC United.  Carlos Bocanegra was the starting leftback for the USSF's selection of their All-Time Best XI, but I gave him a spot as a central defender. So this team has many leftbacks or players who have played there.  
-- Joe Maca was probably a leftback or left side central defender, but he was from Belgium.  He played on the 1950 World Cup team.  I don't know the origin of the surname.  
-- The 2016 team was full of central/defensive midfielders, but only.  only three forwards.  So I dropped Jose Francisco Torres, Ringo Cantillo and Martin Vasquez in 2023.  I replaced them with Giovanni Reyna, Paul Arriola, Fabri Salcedo and Efrain Chacurian.
-- Chris Armas was the US Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2000.  However, an injury prevented him from going to the 2002 World Cup Finals.  In the 2002, Palbo Mastroeni stepped up and played in a fine World Cup Finals.  Claudio Reyna could also play in a withdraw position.  
Chris Armas
-- It was hard to evaluate the standard of Ringo Cantillo.  He played seven seasons in the American Soccer League where he won the MVP honors a total of three times in the ASL, but the standard was very low at the time.  Martin Vasquez had a great club career, but he only played 7 times for the United States.  The fact that he played for Mexico did not affect my decision.   Jose Francisco Torres also had a great club career in Mexico.  He was well-decorated with Pachuca.  However, he only played 26 times for the USA. 
-- Ringo Cantillo began his professional soccer career with the Cincinnati Comets of the American Soccer League in 1972.  He played seven seasons in the American Soccer League where he was the league MVP as a rookie, despite still being a high school student. He won MVP honors a total of three times in the ASL. He also played in the NASL.  He earned 11 caps for the USA.
-- Martin Vasquez moved to the US at the age of 12.  He played both NCAA soccer and indoor soccer before heading to play in Mexico. He played for Cachorros de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Puebla FC, CD Veracruz and F.C. Atlas. He played in MLS for Tampa Bay Mutiny and San Jose Clash. He was capped three times for Mexico in matches not sanctioned by FIFA.  In 1996, he switched to play for the USA and earned 7 caps.
-- Jose Francisco Torres was recruited by Pachuca while he was still attending high school in Texas. He broke into the starting lineup during the 2008 Apertura season in central midfield. He appeared in all three matches at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup for Pachuca. In 2012, he was transferred to Tigres UANL. He was capped 26 times.  He was a member of 2013 Gold Cup winning team.  He went to the 2010 World Cup Finals.
-- Kellyn Acosta got his surname because his step-grandfather is Mexican, but he has a Puerto Rican grandmother which made him eligible.  Cristian Roldan who is only 27 years old at the time of writing also needed to wait for his career to build up.
-- Claudio Reyna was an automatic selection.  In 2002, he was named in the All-Star selection at the World Cup Finals.  Hugo Perez would have been the best American player on the 1990 World Cup team, but an injury kept him out of the World Cup Finals.  Between the end of the NASL and the emerge of the 1990's generation, he was one of the few American players playing professionally in Europe.  
 -- Tab Ramos was MLS's first ever player signee.  He was featured in three World Cups and was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.  From 1990 to 1996, he was probably the best American player.
-- This team did not really need Alejandro Bedoya because I already had tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Hugo Perez.  But he had 50 caps.  So I kept him.
-- As an attack midfielder, Giovanni Reyna's father alongside Tab Ramos and Hugo Perez would have kept him off the team.  I saw Giovanni Reyna as a left side midfielder rather than an attack midfielder.  his team lacked great wide players.  In 2023, he is only 20 years old, but he already set some records that the other candidates could not achieve.He is the youngest American, aged 17 years and 66 days, ever to appear in the Bundesliga,  In 2020, he became the third-youngest player ever to appear in a knockout game of the UEFA Champions League.  
Gio Reyna
-- Manuel "Mani" Hernandez might be a left winger, He played twice for the national team in 1974 when when American soccer was not well-known.  While he won the Hermann Trophy, his professional career was limited to three seasons playing with San Jose Earthquakes in the NASL.  In 1974, he scored the first ever point for a San Jose professional sports franchise when he scored against the Vancouver Whitecaps, but his career liked most Americans in the NASL was uneventful.  So I went with the young Gio Reyna.
-- At the time of writing, Paul Arriola already earned 50 caps for the US national team.  He contributed to the US National team qualifying for the World Cup Finals, but he missed out on the 2022 World Cup team.  But he can play on either wing, central attacking midfield, right wing back or even right back at times.  
-- Paul Danilo was an outside right who was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Flame, but I don't know his ethnic background.  
-- The team I created in 2016 only carried four forwards.  In 2023, I discovered Fabri Salcedo and Efrain Chacurian. Both were elected into the National Soccer Hall of Flame. I selected them based upon that.  I dropped one of the midfielders and Chico Borja.  
-- Herculez Gomez was a surprise pick for the 2010 World Cup Finals after a productive year in Mexico.  He played many games in South Africa.  But apart from a few seasons, he was not very productive.  Nevertheless, I decided to keep him over Chico Borja.  Borja's club career was mainlty spent playing indoor soccer.
-- Born in Ecuador, Chico Borja family moved to the US.  He spent time in the several U.S.-based leagues including the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League and the American Soccer League. He played for NY Cosmos and Team America in the early 1980's.  He was capped 11 times.  He represented the USA at the 1983 Olympics.
-- Billy Gonsalves was Portuguese from Fall Rivers, MA, an area that is still nearly 50% Portuguese.
 -- Ruben Mendoza earned 4 caps in the 1950's.  He was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic, 1956 U.S. Olympic and 1960 U.S. Olympic teams, but I put him on honorable mention only.
-- At 17, Juan Agudelo became the youngest ever player to score for the US senior national team.  He was highly rated, but his progress seemed to have stalled.  He was out of the national team picture by 2018 when he was around 25 years old.  The lack of other suitable forwards gave him a spot.
-- Angelo DiBernardo was one of the few American players playing for NY Cosmos.  He was also considered one of NCAA's greatest footballers.  He was selected to the Soccer America College Team of the Century. He was a versatile player who played defense, midfield and forward.  I also needed an extra forward.  
Angelo DiBernardo 
-- Bora Milutinovic called up Renato Corsi, but he never played for the US national team.  He was the first American-born player to play in Argentina.  Since he was not cap-tied to any country, he should be "free" to be on this American team.  However, I rewarded players who had contributed to the US national team for this team rather than a player whose status was unclear.
-- As of May, 2023, Ricardo Pepi is having a breakout season in the Eredivisie, but it is his first great season.  At the age of 20 years old, he has plenty of football ahead of him.  Gio Reyna who is only two months older has been playing well in a higher level for Borussia Dortmund for a few years.  
-- Jesús Ferreira and Brandon Vazquez also started to emerge.  It would take time before I considered them.  

The formation is 4-3-3.  I tried to field the most famous players on the same field.  Hugo Perez played as a forward against Brazil at the World Cup Finals in 1994.  Gio Reyna had played at a higher level than most players on the team.

No comments:

Post a Comment