Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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

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 2010
NY CosmosLA GalaxyDC United,

University of VirginiaUCLA.
USA 2010

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.  

Please see also:
USA All-Time Team
African-American Players
German-Americans/American Germans

GK: Nick Rimando
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.

GK: Austin Guerrero
Austin Guerrero played for portland in NCAA soccer.  He later played for Tigres UANL, Altamira, Puebla FC, but mainly as a reserve goalkeeper. He was capped once by the US Under-20 team.

CB/RB/LB: Michael Orozco
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/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
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 Brazil 2014. 

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.

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.
Fernando Clavijo
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: 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
Chris Armas
DM: Martin Vasquez
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.

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 

CM: Ringo Cantillo
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. 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.

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
CM: Jose Francisco Torres
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. Capped 26 times at this moment.  He was a member of 2013 Gold Cup winning team.

CM: 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. Capped 20 times between 1979 and 1985.

CM: Alejandro Bedoya
Both his father and grandfather played professionally in Colombia. After college, he 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.  Capped over 50 times.  He played in the WC finals in 2014.

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

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

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: Chico Borja

Born in Ecuador, his 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.

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.  He returned to New England Revolution in 2015.  At the time of writing, he has over 28 caps since 2010.
Juan Agudelo 

Honorable Mention
Edgar Castillo, Ramiro Corrales, Efrain “Chico” Chacurian, Santino Quaranta, Ventura Alvarado, Alfredo Morales, Ruben Mendoza, Alfredo Morales, Paul Arriola.

Squad Explanation
-- 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. 
-- Haitians are not classified as Hispanic or Latino. So Jozy Altidore and Joe Gaetjens are not included.
-- 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.
-- Some of the players were born outside the United States, but most of them grew up in the United States. Fernando Clavijo and  Carlos Llamosa are the only players who came to the US as an adult.
-- Richard Sanchez, Cirilo Saucedo and Jesse Gonzalez were born in the US, but were capped by Mexico.  This team is for players who are eligible for the US national team.  Gonzalez, however, is switching to play in the United States.  At the time of writing, he has not played for the US senior team.  I won't put him here before he decides his final commitment,
-- 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 perhaps is my only other choice for the third keeper.
-- 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. Sio they wanted to use primarily Mexican players in the United States.  The club went under in 2014.
-- The team has many leftbacks or players who have played there.  I have to leave out Edgar Castillo and Ramiro Corrales.  Bornstein has a Mexican mother.   
-- The rightback position is difficult.  Michael Orozco is the only player of note who played as a rightback.  I am not sure if Alfredo Morales played there.   Kellyn Acosta has a Spanish surname, but I do not know if he is Hispanic. Ventura Alvarado has played as a rigttback.
-- Jonathan Bornstein was a son of a Mexican mother and a Jewish father.
-- Billy Gonsalves, John Souza and Ed Souza are Portuguese-Americans.  They are ineligible for this team.
-- Hugo Perez would have been the best American player on the 1990 team, but an injury kept him out of the World Cup Finals.  Instead, Tab Ramos played well in Italy.  
-- Angelo DiBernardo and Ringo Cantillo are the only members of the team that played in the 1980's.  Hugo Perez and Fernando Clavijo also played in the 1980's.  He retired before the beginning of the MLS in 1996.
-- Juan Agudelo was highly rated, but his progress seemed to have stalled.

The formation is 4-3-2-1.  I tried to field the most famous players on the same field.  Hugo Perez played as a forward against Brazil at the WC Finals in 1994.

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