Saturday, November 25, 2017

Jamaican /Jamaican diaspora 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

Jamaica at World Cup 1998

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

This is my selection of All-Time Team for Jamaica and Jamaican diaspora.  All players who were capped by Jamaica and any other national teams are qualified to be on this fantasy team. The key factor is contribution to Jamaican football. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

Jamaica is known for its fine athletes.   Lennox Lewis, Usain Bolt Donovan Bailey, etc all came from Jamaica. Several Jamaican-born footballers such as England's John Barnes became star players in the UK and the United States.  However, its national football team never made almost any impact in the international stage until 1997.  In 1998, the Reggae Boyz qualified for the World Cup Finals in France.  Their success story was a mixture of a golden generation of homegrown talents and the mobilization of British Jamaican footballers in the English Preimer League. I have written a blog about the British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team
Bob Marley playing against Alan Cole

GK: David James (England)
At the time of writing, David James is the third all-time Premier league appearance record holder. He starred for Liverpool as one of the "Spice Boys" in the 1990's.  However, his reputation suffered after a series of blunders, earning the nickname of "Calamity James".  He later played for Aston Villa, West Ham, Portsmouth, Manchester City, etc. He picked up 53 caps for England.  He was the starting keeper at the European Champions in 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2010.
David James
GK: Warren Barrett (Jamaica)
Warren Barrett played for Cornwell college before becoming a professional.  He played mostly for Violet Kickers F.C., but also played one season for Wadadah F.C. in Jamaica.  He captained his nation at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. According to the Jamaica Football Federation, Barrett earned 127 caps between 1990 and 2000 for the Reggae Boyz, but this figure has not been officially acknowledged by FIFA.  

GK: Andre Blake (Jamaica)
Since 2016, Andre Blake became the starting goalkeeper for Philadelphia Union.  At the time of writing, he was voted as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year three times.  Before that, hge played NCAA football.  For Jamaica, he earned his first cap in 2014.  He won the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Glove Award in 2017 as Jamaica reached the final.  He had over 70 caps for Reggae Boyz.

RB: Viv Anderson (England)
In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the English senior national team. He would earn 30 caps between 1978 and 1988.  He was on two World Cup team: 1982 and 1986, and two European Championshiop team: 1980 and 1988. He was a part of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest team that won back-to-back European Cup in 1979 and 1980.  He also played for Arsenal, Manchester United and and Sheffield Wednesday. 

RB: Kyle Walker (England)
Kyle Walker started with boyhood club Sheffield United and made his name with Tottenham Hotspurs after loan spells with Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa.  In 2017, he joined Manchester City for one of the most expensive fees. At the time of writing, he has over 30 caps.  He went to the European Championship in 2016 and the World Cup Finals in 2018.

RB/CB: Frank Sinclair (Jamaica) 
Frank Sinclair started his career with Chelsea where he spent 8 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1996-1997.  And he won a League Cup with Leicester Town in 2000.  He played for many clubs all over England in the lower division at the end of his career. His performance in England led him to be call-up by Jamaica for the 1998 World Cup Finals in 1998. He was one of 7 English-born Jamaican players on the team. He played 28 caps for Jamaica between 1998 and 2003.
Frank Sinclair
CB: Sol Campbell (England)
Sol Campbell was one of the greatest English defenders. He was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season.  At the club level, he spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy.  He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006.

CB: Des Walker (England)
Des Walker played 59 times for England between 1988 and 1993.  He started in all of England's games at the World Cup Finals in 1990. He was rated as one of the best defender at that Finals.  For club football, he mainly played for Nottingham Forrest between 1984 and 1992, and Sheffield Wednesday between 1993 and 2001.  He played one season at Sampdoria in Italy after the 1990 World Cup Finals.  He was even named in their PFA Team of Century between 1977 and 1996. 

CB: Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
Rejected by Notts County, Morgan was playing for non-league team before being discovered by Nottingham Forest in  2002. In 2012, he moved to Leicester Town.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Preimership winning year and also served as the team's captain. At the time of writing, he had 30 caps for Jamaica.

LB/LW: Ashley Young (England)
Young started his career at Watford.  In January 2007, he transferred to Aston Villa.  He established himself in the first team at Villa Park and won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2009. In 2011, Young signed for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. He has gone on to win every trophy available in English football.  He also played for Everton, Inter Milan and Aston Villa. He played 39 times for England between 2007 and 2018.

LB/LW: Ricardo Gardner (Jamaica)
Gardner started with Harbour View at home. His performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup attracted English First Division side Bolton Wanderers. He played 14 seasons for Bolton Wanderers  of which 11 were spent in the Premier League. Gardner earned 112 caps for the Jamaica national football team, scoring 9 goals and playing at four CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He had 112 caps and went to the 1998 WC Finals.
Ricardo Gardner 
DM/CM: Kalvin Philips (England)
Philips made his debut with Leeds in 2015. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for Championship in 2020. In 2022, he was transferred to Manchester City. He was a part of the team that won the treble. In 2020, he earned his first cap with England. Later, he had a starring role at the Euro 2020 after England reached the Final. He was named England's 2020–21 Men's Player of the Year.

CM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the son of former England international Mark Chamberlain. He made his name with Southampton. He signed for Arsenal in 2011 after a single season at the senior level. Between 2017 and 2023, he played for Liverpool, winning the 2018–19 Champions League and 2019–20 Premier League. In 2023, he joined Besiktas in Turkey. Between 2012 and 2019, he had 35 caps. He participated at the European Championship in 2012 and the World Cup Finals in 2014.

CM: Peter Cargill  (Jamaica)
Peter Cargill also played for local sides Swallowfield FC, CC Lions, Hazard United and Harbour View and also spent 8 years in Israel with Maccabi Netanya from 1987 and 1994 and Hapoel Petah Tikva for a season. He captained the Reggae Boyz and was a participant at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. He collected a total of 84 caps from 1984 to 1998 and scored 3 times.

AM/CM: Theodore Whitmore (Jamaica)
Whitmore is considered one of the greatest player who had played for Jamaica. He started his club career at Montego Bay Boys Club, and has since played for Violet Kickers and Seba United in his native Jamaica. He was signed on a free by English league side Hull City, but an accident in Jamaica cut short his Hull career. Scottish team Livingston acquired his services in 2003, and in June 2004 he signed for Tranmere Rovers. He had 127 caps for Jamaica.
Theodore Whitmore 
FW/RW: Raheem Sterling (England)
Sterling broke into the Liverpool lineup as a 17 years old in 2012, where he became their star players until 2015.  In the spring of 2015, he had a contract disputes with the club.  He moved to Manchester City for 44 million pounds.  He made his national team debut in 2012.  He played at Brazil 2014.  In 2019, he won the FWA Player of the Year. Liked John Barnes, he was born in Jamaica.

LW: John Barnes (England)
John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton.  Before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford.  At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984.  He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990.  He played 79 times for England between 1983 and 1995.  He helped England to reach the semifinal of Italia 1990.
John Barnes
LW:  Laurie Cunningham (England)
Cunnugham was considered to be the first Black star player in England and an icon for a generation of Black players in England. With Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson, they formed an all-Black attack that was known as "The Three Degrees" with West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970's. In 1979, he became the first British player ever to play for Real Madrid. He returned to Manchester United in 1983. He was only capped 6 times by England and was overlooked for Euro 1980, despite starring at La Liga the season before.

AM: Alan Cole (Jamaica)
At the peak of his powers, Cole was a midfield maestro local fans compared to Pele. He remains the Jamaica's youngest senior football international, donning national colours against a Brazilian team when he was only 15 years old.  Cole played in the NASL with the Atlanta Chiefs in 1968, and in Brazil with Náutico around 1972. He is largely known as one of Jamaica's greatest footballer.  In addition to his football career, Cole was also the manager of the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and his band The Wailers. He was credited as co-writing the 1976 song "War".

FW: Lindy Delapenha (Jamaica)
Delapenha was discovered while serving in the British Armed Force. In April 1948 he joined Portsmouth. There, he became the first Jamaican to play professional football in England.  In 1950, he transferred to Middlesbrough where his career took off. He became Boro's leading scorer in the 1951–52, 1953–54 and 1955–56 seasons. He moved to Mansfield Town in 1958. Delapenha played non-league football, Hereford United and Burton Albion. He won the Southern League Cup in 1964 with Burton.
Lindy Delapenha 
FW: Gil Heron (Jamaica/Canada)
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to Canada as a youth. He played for Detroit Corinthians and Detroit Wolverines, where he was top goalscorer in the 1946 season. He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic where he became the first Black to play for Celtic.  He also played for Third Lanark and English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames "The Black Arrow" and "The Black Flash".

ST: Ian Wright (England)
Wright was a legendary striker with Arsenal.  Before joining Arsenal, he was a hero with Crystal Palace.  At the time of writing, he was their highest goal scorer since the War.  In 1991, he joined Arsenal.  He spent 7 seasons with them, winning all three domestic trophies and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.  Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league(he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
Ian Wright
ST:  Alberto Spencer (Ecuador)
Alberto Spencer was known as "Cabeza Mágica" (Spanish for magic head).  He is still the all-time leading scorer in the Copa Libertadores' history.  He is considered one of South America's greatest strikers. He won three Libertadores Cups and two Intercontinental Cups with Uruguay's Penarol. He was elected the 20th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2004.  He also played for Everest and Barcelona at home.

ST: Dean Burton (Jamaica)
Between 1994 and 2016, Dean Burton played for numerous clubs in English football including Portsmouth, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday. In 1997, he became the first group of British-born footballers to play for Jamaica. He was their hero as Jamaica qualified for the World Cup for the first time.  He was named Jamaican Sportsman of the Year in 1997. He had a total of 62 caps between 1997 and 2009.  He was an important player for the Reggae Boyz.
Dean Burton 

Honorable Mention
Selwyn Murphy (Jamaica), Don Clarke (Jamaica), Orville Edwards (Jamaica) Aaron Lawrence (Jamaica), Alex Williams (England), Luther Blissett (England),  Kieran Tripper (England), Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica), Tyrone Marshall (Jamaica), Adrian Mariappa (Jamaica), Chris Smalling (England), Resse James (England), Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica), Danny Rose (England), Rodolph Austin (Jamaica),  Kalvin Phillips (England), Mark Chamberlain (England), Jermaine Pennant (England),  Aaron Lennon (England), Andros Townshed (England), Darius Vassell (England), Paul Davis (England), Claude Davis (Jamaica), Robbie Earle (Jamaica), Marcus Gayle (Jamaica), Paul Hall (Jamaica), Walter Boyd (Jamaica), Jeff Cunningham (USA), Robin Fraser (USA), Mark Chung (USA), Julian Guzman (Canada), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (England), Andros Townsend (England), Jack Leslie (England), Daniel Sturridge (England), Andy Cole (England), Darren Bent (England), Aaron Lennon (England), Onandi Lowe (Jamaica), Trevor Sinclair (England).

Squad Explanation
-- When I first started to work on this team in 2017, I wanted to reward Jamaican superstars such as John Barnes, Alberto Spencer, Sol Campbell and Laurie Cunningham.  I thought that the team would be more interesting to include overseas Jamaicans.  I redid the entire team in December, 2023.  Then, I realised that I neglected a lot of great Jamaica international players.  They deserved their own team without the overseas players. So I create an All-Time Team for Jamaican international players. Meanwhile, I did a blog entry on British-Jamaicans on Jamaica's 1998 World Cup team, but at the time of creation, I did not have enough players to form a British Jamaican All-Time team.  I did not have candidates for goalkeepers.  However, in 2023, I reworked on it and created a British Jamaican All-Time team.  I also did a review of Black Players who played for England at the same time.
-- The selection is mainly based up the successes of the players in their entire career.  However, I did consider the contributions to the Jamaican national team as the criteria since this team was largely about them.  I gave preference to footballers who played for Jamaica over overseas Jamaican players who represented other countries.  For example, Ricardo Gardner was chosen over Danny Rose, and Deon Burton over Andy Cole and Luther Blissett.  I also gave extra considerations to Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron and Allan Cole because of their legendary status in Jamaica. They never played internationally for Jamaica.  I cited them as being a "hero of Jamaican football" as a major factor for selecting them. 
-- However, this all-time team was still dominated by overseas Jamaicans. Warren Barrett, Andrw Blake, Peter Cargill, Theodore Whitmore and Ricardo Gardner were the only native-born Jamaicans who played for Jamaica.  And I still selected Des Walker and Sol Campbell over Ian Goodison who is Jamaica's most capped player could not get into this team.  Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron and Alan Cole never played for Jamaica. Thirteen of the players were capped by England, and one each for Ecuador.
-- David James, Sol Campbell, Viv Anderson, Kyle Walker, Des Walker, Sol Campbell, John Barnes, Laurie Cunningham, Raheem Sterling, John Leslie and Ian Wright were on my All-Time Team for Black English players.  Laurie Cunningham was widely known as the first Black star footballer in England.  
-- Three Americans made my honourable mention.  Mark Chung is of Chinese heritage.
-- In 2023, Yard Hype, an entertainment website in Jamaica came up with their All-Time Best XI.  The players were Andre Blake, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Wes Morgan, Demar Phillips, Allan ‘Cole, Theodore Whitmore, Peter Cargill, Andy Williams, Luton Shelton and Deon Burton.
-- The IFFHS complied their All-Time Best XI for Jamaica in 2021.
Warren Barrett, Frank Sinclair, Wes Morgan, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Darryl Powell, Robbie Earl, Lindy Delapenha, Gil Heron, Deon Burton and Leon Bailey.
-- Craig Butler, founder of Phoenix Academy, came up with his All-Time Best XI.  They were Andre Blake, Anthony Corbett, Deon Wilmot, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Peter Cargill, Allan Cole, Onandi Lowe, Leon Bailey, Walter Boyd, and Luton Shelton.  His team included bench players: Theodore Whitmore, Aldrick 'Allie' McNab, Richard McDonald, Damion Lowe and Shamar Nicholson. This list seemed to favor Jamaican-born and trained players.
-- I found this ranking of the Top 25 Jamaican All-Time Soccer players by BOLAVIP.  I used it as a reference.
-- David James was the first Black goalkeeper to represent England at the senior level.  Since his time, England has not capped another Black goalkeeper. 
-- Alex Williams won the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship and 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with England, but I decided to go after Jamaican internationals for my second and third goalkeeper.  
-- In 2017, I selected Warren Barett and Donovan Ricketts.  Barett played in the 1998 World Cups while Ricketts was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2010 and 2013.  However, during the review in 2023, Andre Blake started to build up a career that could challenge their spot on the team.  He had won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year 3 times.  In 2020 and 2022, he was shortlisted and finished among the top five for the MVP of the year.   So in 2023, he replaced Ricketts. 
Andre Blake
-- Donovan Ricketts played more than 100 games for Bradford City in England between 2004 and 2008, and has more than 100 appearances in Major League Soccer for various teams and has twice been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He was also the captain of the Jamaica national football team, earning 100 caps for his country, until his retirement from international football in 2013.
-- I also looked into Vester Constantine who was related to Learie Constantine.  Learie Constantine was a former Trinidadian cricketer, lawyer and politician who served as Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and became the UK's first black peer. 
-- I came upon Selwyn Murphy and Don Clarke, but I had no information about them.  They were from the older generations. Orville Edwards and Aaron Lawrence deserved to be honorable mention.
-- Lawrence Vigouroux who was born in England, but he represented Chile at the youth level.  His father was from Chile, but his mother was a Jamaican.  At the moment, he is a League Two Player.
-- Sol Campbell is on my England's All-Time team.  For England, he was named on the Team of the Tournament in both 2002 World Cup Finals and Euro 2004.  He was considered one of the best centrebacks in the world of his generation.  For Arsenal, he was being part of the team that became known as The Invincibles for their undefeated 2003–04 Premier League campaign. 
Sol Campbell
-- Des Walker was another sure-in defender. On four straight occasions, he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year between 1989 and 1992.  He was even named in their PFA Team of Century between 1977 and 1996.  Frank Sinclair is on my CONCACAF All-time 23 member team.   Frank Sinclair also played as a rightback. He began his career as a leftback, but he was a much better central defender or rightback.  
-- Even Ian Goodison who is Jamaica's most capped player could not get into this team.  By contrary, Wes Morgan only played 30 times for Jamaica and Sinclair 28 times, but their club careers in the Premiership spoke volumes.  Both were among the best in their position in certain years in their careers.  Morgan was Nottingham Forest longest-serving player when he transferred to Leicester City in 2012.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Premiership winning year.  He also helped Jamaica to finish second at the 2015 Gold Cup. Sinclair played in the 1998 World Cup Finals.  Goodison's best stint was with Tranmere Rovers by comparison.
-- Chris Smalling played over 200 games for Manchester United, but I rewarded Wes Morgan and Frank Sinclair for a place on the team because they played for Jamaica.  I also had no room for Jermaine Taylor, Tyrone Marshall and Adrian Mariappa.
-- Frank Sinclair was also a rightback, but I still took Viv Anderson and Kyle Walker.   Being the first Jamaican British or Black player to be capped by England at the senior level made Viv Anderson an undisputed choice for this team.  He was an iconic footballer of his time.  He also won back-to-back European Cups with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.  Kyle Walker had over 80 caps for England.  At the time of writing, he was named on the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions. He was a big part of Manchester City's continental treble in the 2022-2023 season.  The pair kept Libval Dixon off the team.  He is Jamaica's second's most capped player.  He was a rightback according to transfermarkt.  Reece James is still an emerging talent as of December, 2023.  He alongside Kieran Tripper made honorable mention.  Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain was also a right wingback.
-- Ashley Cole is of Barbadian descent, but both of Ashely Young's parents came from Jamaica.  He played 39 times for England.  He was named twice on the PFA Team of the Year.  Danny Rose probably played more times as a leftback for England than Young, but Young was a more famous player.   On the other hand, Danny Rose might be a more famous name than Ricardo Gardner, but Gardner was one of the most famous Jamaican internationals.  I have given priority for Jamaican international players.  LB Kemar Lawrence played 60 times for Jamaica.  He was named in IFFHS CONCACAF Team of the Decade (2011–2020), but I had Young and Gardner on the team.
Ashley Young
-- In 2014, I took Fitzroy Simpson and Darryl Powell probably because I was Anglocentric.  Both were naturalised for the World Cup Finals in 1998.  Simpson came along at the end of the World Cup Qualifiers while Powell did not join until after Jamaica booked their tickets to France. That should not be a factor to improve or diminish their status with this All-Time team.  Nevertheless, I reexamined their standings in 2023 against the likes of several midfielders.
-- In 2015, Rodolph Austin captained Jamaica to their first ever final of the Gold Cup, scoring one goal in the process, before losing 3–1 to Mexico in the final.  However, he spent most of his club career in Leeds United playing in the EFL Championship.  Fitzroy Simpson and Darryl Powell at least did spend time at the Premiership. DM Je-Vaughn Watson had a long career in the MLS.  He played 95 times for Jamaica.  
Peter Cargill did not have a club career as good as others, but he was selected by Yard Hype and Craig Butler on their All-Time Best XI respectively.  He was also listed as a Top 25 players by BolaVIP.  He also had a total of 84 caps while Simpson had 43 and Powell only 21.  He was a big part of Rene Simoes' tenure with Jamaica before the naturalisation of British players and continued to be a vital member of the team afterward.  So he must be a part of this team over Simpson, Powell and others.  
-- With Liverpool Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain  won the 2018–19 Champions League and the 2019–20 Premier League.   In Arsenal, he was mainly used as a right winger or wingback, but he preferred to play as a central midfielder, a position he played in Liverpool (see below).
-- Kalvin Phillips had some issues since he moved to Manchester City in 2022, but he had a starring role at Euro 2020.  The tournament was England's best finish in a senior international tournament since 1966. He was named as the England's Player of the Year in the 2021-2022 season for his Euro 2020 performances.
-- In 2020, I also added Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Honorable Mention.  He would be better than Peter Cargill, but Cargill was a Jamaican international who contributed to the Golden period of Jamaican football. Oxlade-Chamberlain had a longer international career than Loftus-Cheek, and his club career was more decorated.  Kalvin Phillips had a starring role at Euro 2020, and Loftus Cheek could not match that.
-- Jonathan and Julian Guzman are brothers from Canada. Their mother is Jamaican.  Jonathan de Guzman chose to play for the Netherlands.  He had more experience in the World Cup Finals, but  I did not have space for him.
-- The son of a Reggae musician, Darryl Powell was born in Lambeth, London, and his career included spells at English clubs Portsmouth, Derby County, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, as well as a stint at Colorado Rapids in the USA. He was one of the British-born Reggae Boyz playing for Jamaica in France 98. He has 21 caps.  
-- Theodore Whitmore was considered to be the greatest Jamaican international player. I meant players being born and capped by Jamaica.  Allan Cole remained the Jamaica's youngest senior football international when he made his debut at the age of only 15 years old.  He was sometimes known as Jamaica's greatest players.
-- Raheem Sterling was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 2019. At one point, he was the most expensive English international player.  He was a key player for Manchester City.  I could use him as my wide right player. 
Raheem Sterling
Leon Bailey is an emerging player as of 2023.  His future seemed bright.  I usually gave priority to Jamaican international players, but Bailey is still fresh at this moment.  Theo Walcott was only 17 years old when he went to the 2006 World Cup Finals, but he was passed over every other World Cup Finals during his time.  Even with 47 caps, his career seemed unfulfilled.  However, he played 564 senior games in the English league, scoring 129 goals largely from the right wing, and played 47 times for England. He remains England's youngest debutant and the youngest scorer of an international hat-trick. But in the end, I could not drop anyone else for him.  I had to leave him out of the team.  Alex Oxlade Chamberlain also played on the right side of the field in Arsenal.  So he could serve as a backup winger.  
-- Walcott was a teammate of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Arsenal, but both ended up as rivals in the Mersey derby.   
--  Shaun Wright-Philips would have been a prime candidate, but I could not find his ethnic origin.  Ian Wright was only his adoptive father so I do not know how this "grandfather" rule applied to him.  So I did not even put him on honorable mention.
-- On the left, I had two of the most iconic players on the entire team. John Barnes was born in Jamaica, but he played for England. His career with Liverpool FC was well-known.  Laurie Cunningham inspired many Black players in the United Kingdom.  Ricardo Gardner and Ashely Cole were sent to the left wingback position.
Laurie Cunningham
-- Mark Chamberlian was also considered.  He had a long career playing in England.  He could play both sides of the wings. Luton Shelton who was a striker/left wing forward is Jamaica's all-time leading scorer.  The two of them and Trevor Sinclair made honorable mentions.
-- Dean Burton was the hero of the 1998 World Cup Qualifiers. He deserved a spot on the team.  So I selected him over Daniel Sturridge, Darius Vassell and Andy Cole.  They were all more established in the Premiership than Burton, but I gave Burton credit for being a hero of Jamaican football.  His decision to represent Jamaica changed the history of game in this country.  
-- Onandi Lowe might have scored more goals for Jamaica than Burton, but Burton as mentioned was very important to the history of Reggae Boyz.  Lowe's club career also did not match that of Burton who spent a few seasons in the Premiership. 
-- Ian Wright was elected English Football Hall of Flame.  Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league (he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
-- Alberto Spencer's father was a British Jamaican.  In fact, England allegedly considered to cap him at one point before the World Cup Finals of 1966.  I do not know how serious the link was. But that would have made him the first Black player to represent England at any level.  He was the greatest ever player from Ecuador, and one of the best South American strikers of his time.  Along with John Barnes, he was probably the greatest Jamaican footballers ever.
Alberto Spencer
-- Gil Heron was the first Jamaican to play in Scotland.  He was born in Jamaica but spent some time in Canada.   Lindy Delapenha was considered the greatest Jamaican player ever.  Both never played for Jamaica as the island was still a British colony when thy were active m players.  They were still a pioneer of the game for Jamaica.  
-- Luther Blissett was a special case.  He still holds Watford's all-time records for both appearances (503) and goals (186).  He played alongside John Barnes under manager Graham Taylor with Watford in the early 1980's.  There were some romantic notion of a pair of Jamaican-born players tearing up the English league in the early 1980's. It was a period that set the foundation for other Black  players.  Blissett also helped Watford to jump from the Fourth Division to top flight runners-up in a relatively short period.  His reputation however was tarnished by his move to AC Milan, but his association with AC Milan turned him into a cult player in Milan.  His name had some cultural impact.  He only made my honourable mention due to other more important players.
-- Andy Cole is the 4th All-Time leading scorer in the Premier League.  Gil Heron and Lindy Delapenha were pioneer of the game for Jamaica.  Deon Burton was a hero of the 1998 World Cup campaign.  Ian Wright had a better international career.
-- I also discovered a player named Jack Leslie who was a striker.  He was the first Jamaican or Jamaican-British to play in the English league.  He was called up by England, but later withdrew the invitation by the FA because of his skin colour.  Since he was born in Jamaica, I could only put him on honorable mention.  
-- In 1998, René Simões tried to call up Dean Sturridge for Jamaica for the 1998 World Cup, but the offer was rejected.  He is the uncle of Daniel Sturridge.  Of cousre, Daniel Sturridge lost out to Burton, Spencer, 
-- Walter Boyd was a fan favorite, but I could not drop anyone for him.

I decided to build my team around the top players who played for Jamaica.  Ricardo Gardner, Lindy Delapenha, Theodoro Whitmore and Wes Moragn.  I should not leave out Gil Heron or Deon Burton. And then, I surrounded them with overseas Jamaicans such as John Barnes, Sol Campbell, Ian Wright. Alberto Spencer took over Ian Wright's on the starting lineup.   Raheem Sterling could easily make the starting lineup too.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

If USA can send those players to the 2010 World Cup

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

USA 2010
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
USA All-Time Team
African American Players
German Americans/American Germans
Hispanic/Latino American Players(USA)
Hungary World Cup 1950
Sweden World Cup1950
Argentina World Cup 1958
Scotland World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
England World Cup 1974
United Kingdom World Cup1982
Italy Euro 1992
Yugoslavia World Cup 1994
France World Cup 1994
Germany World Cup 2002
Holland World Cup 2002
Brazil 1982 with Careca,etc
Ireland/Northern Ireland Combined Team 1986 World Cup
Yugoslavia World Cup 2018

The US Men National Team reached the Round of 16 of World Cup Finals in 2010.  It was not the best ever showing by the US in the tournament, but the American fans should be happy with the result.  They made three comeback matches in the first round. However, in 2010, the USMNT was missing a few players who could have been eligible to represent them.  Brede Hangeland, Neven Subotić, Jermaine Jones, Giuseppe Rossi and Vedad Ibišević were all finding successes playing at the highest level in Europe that season while Fabian Johnson was emerging as a player in Bundesliga.  The addition of the more established players playing in the top European leagues would have improved the team. Perhaps, the USMNT could have gone further.  

Added: Neven Subotić, Brede Hangeland, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Giuseppe Rossi, Vedad Ibišević.
Dropped: DaMarcus Beasley, Edison Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Clarence Goodson, Maurice Edu, Jay DeMerit.

Note: Since this is a fun blog, many details of the eligibility issue is overlooked.  I do not know American citizenship laws.  Vedad Ibišević and Fabian Johnson would have issues with their eligibility for the US team in 2010.  Brede Hangeland could probably apply for citizenship because he was born in the US.  Neven Subotić and Giuseppe Rossi would not have much issue.  Jermaine Jones was eligible in real life by 2010. Ramiro and Rogelio Funes Mori probably could not obtain citizenship due to the rumor that their family was undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

The USA narrowly lost to Ghana in the round of 16 during the extra-time. With the additional of 5 to 6 starters, the Americans might have a better chance against Ghana.  In the real World Cup Finals, Ghana got eliminated in the next round after a controversial tactics by Luis Suarez of Uruguay.  Ghana should have gone through to the semi-final. Can the American do better than Ghana in the quarter-final? Ghana did have a home field advantage, the World Cup being held in Africa. Without home advantage, Uruguay might be a tougher opponent for the Americans, but we would never know.
Clint Dempsey and Brede Hangeland for the USA 2010?
 GK: Tim Howard (Everton)
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: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Guzan was second overall pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, signing for Chivas USA, with whom he was the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In July 2008, he joined Aston Villa for a fee of $1 million, where he has made over 100 Premier League. appearances.  Since 2006, he has been capped by the USA.  He is mainly a backup to Tim Howard. He went to South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

GK: Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
He played for the Seattle Sounders and the Colorado Rapids before signing with English club Fulham in 1999. While at Fulham, he enjoyed loan spells with Rochdale and Reading, before signing permanently with Reading in 2002. In 2009, he transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has won nine caps, featuring as back-up for Kasey Keller and Tim Howard in two World Cups.

RB: Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
Steve Cherundolo played for the University of Portland before turning professional playing in Germany. He was the captain of Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga, where he spent his entire club career.  He later served as its captain and set the team record for Bundesliga appearances. For international level, he earned 87 caps and played for the United States men's national soccer team at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
Steve Cherundolo
RB/CB: Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
Jonathan Spector was a youth product of Manchester United in England. He played on loan at Charlton Athletic, then in 2006 joined West Ham United. He then spent five-and-a-half seasons with Birmingham City. In 2017, he joined Orlando City in the MLS. He earned 36 caps and went to the World Cup Finals in 2010.

CB/LB: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes)
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: Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan)
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.  At Milan, he was remembered for a big fight with Zlatan Ibrahimović during training.  Capped over 60 times.  He played in the WC Finals of 2006 and 2010. 

CB: Brede Hangeland (Fulham) * new addition
Hangeland began his career with Viking. In 2006, he moved to Copenghagen. From 2008 to 2014 he played for Fulham, helping the team to the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final, but was released in 2014 after the club's relegation, subsequently joining Crystal Palace. Hangeland was capped 91 times, 48 of them as captain, and scored four goals for the Norway national team.

CB: Neven Subotić (Borussia Dortmund) *new addition
Born in the former Yugoslavia, he moved to the US in 1999.  He joined 1.FSV Mainz 05 youth team making his first-team debut in the 2006–07 season. In 2008, he signed with Borussia Dortmund. From 2008 to 2016, he played for the club and was at one point considered the best defender in the Bundesliga. In 2017, he went to Koln.  Subotić played the youth team of the USA, but represented Serbia in the senior level. He earned 36 caps and went to the WC Finals in 2010.
Neven Subotić 
LB: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)
Jonathan Bornstein was a son of a Mexican mother and a Jewish father.  Drafted by Chivas USA, he was 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 later played for Chicago Fire. He went to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He had 38 caps in total between 2007 and 2011.

LWB/LW: Fabian Johnson (VfL Wolfsburg) *new addition
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 the youth level, but he played for USA at the senior level.  He went too Brazil 2014.  He had 57 caps between 2011 and 2017.

CM: Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04) *new addition
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.
Jermaine Jones
CM: Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)
Holden played NCAA soccer with Clemson.  Later, he joined Sunderland, but never received any chance. He made his name with Houston Dynamo before joining Bolton Wanderes in 2010. He was part of the United States squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 and 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup. Since his debut, Holden has gained 25 caps and scored three goals.

CM: Benny Feilhaber (AGF)
Born in Brazil, Feilhaber moved to the United States as a child. In his club career, he played with Hamburger SV, Derby and AGF.  In MLS, he played with New England Revolution, Sporting Kansas City and LA FC. From 2007 onward, he has earned over 40 caps.  He played in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup where the USA reached the Final. He went to the World Cup in 2010.

CM: Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Michael Bradley is the son of former US head coach Bob Bradley.  He played professionally in Germany, Holland, Italy, England and now, in MLS.  He was best-known for his stint with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He was the first American player to play in Serie A since Alexi Lalas.  He played for Chievo Verona and Roma over there. He joins Toronto FC in 2014.  At the time of writing, he earned 140 caps.  He played in the World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014.  
Michael Bradley
CM: Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Clark played two years in college at Furman before being drafted second overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by MetroStars. He also played for San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Eintracht Frankfurt, Stabæk and Colombus Crew. For the USMNT, he earned 34 caps between 2005 and 2012.  He played in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup where the USA reached the Final. He went to the World Cup in 2010.

CM: Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
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.

SS/AM: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Landon Donovan is perhaps the greatest American player of the modern era.  He is the all-time leading scorer for the US national team.  He represented the USA at three World Cup Finals.  In 2002, he was named the best young player at the World Cup Finals. He was Honda Player of the Year for 6 times and US Soccer Athlete of the Year for 4 times and numerous awards in MLS.  He had a brief spell with Leverkusen before returning to MLS.  With LA Galaxy, he won four MLS Cup.
Landon Donovan
FW/AM: Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
Clint Dempsey was perhaps the most successful American-born outfielder playing in Europe.  He was best remembered for playing for Fulham between 2007 and 2012.  He was their top-scorer for two seasons.  He was also their Player of the Season twice.  He has also played for New England Revolution and Tottenham Hotspur. At the time of writing, he plays for Seattle Sounders.  He has over 130 caps for the USA.  He played in the World Cup Finals of 2006, 2010 and 2014.

FW: Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
Findley played college soccer for the Oregon State Beavers and amateur soccer for the Boulder Rapids Reserve before turning professional in 2007; he played in Major League Soccer for Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, before moving to English club Nottingham Forest in January 2011. capped 11 times.  Three of the caps happened at the WC Finals in 2010.

FW: Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal) *new addition
When Rossi was 17, he was signed by English club Manchester United. He had loan spells with Newcastle United and Parma before joining Villarreal in 2007. After five-and-a-half years with Villarreal, he returned to Italy, signing for Fiorentina in January 2013. In January 2016, he was sent on loan to Spanish club Levante, while he spent the following season on loan with Celta. Born in the US, Rossi chose to represent Italy.  he made his debut for Azzuri in 2008, but injuries through his career limited him to 30 caps.
Michael Bradley and Giuseppe Rossi 
FW: Vedad Ibišević (1899 Hoffenheim) *new addition
His family moved to the USA in 2001, where he played soccer in High School and college. In 2004, he joined PSG.  Then, he joined Alemannia Aachen, and in 2007, he moved to 1899 Hoffeneheim, where he played until 2012.  From 2012 to 2016, he played for Stuttgart. At the time of writing, he is with Hertha Berlin. In 2008, he won the Idol Nacije award(Bosnian Footballer of the Year). From 2007 to 2017, he has earned over 80 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was selected for the 2014 World Cup, where he scored Bosnia's first ever goal in a major tournament.

ST/FW: Jozy Altidore (Hull City) 
Started with NY Red Bulls, Jozy 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 in the MLS.  Since 2007, he is a key player for the USA.  He has over 110 caps.  He played in both World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014. He scored a goal against Spain the semi-final of the 2009 Confederation Cup.

Jozy Altidore
Players Pool
Ramiro Funes Mori (Argentina), Eddie Gustafsson (Sweden), Rogelio Funes Mori (Argentina), Roger Espinoza (Honduras), DaMarcus Beasley, Edison Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Clarence p;Goodson, Maurice Edu, Jay DeMerit.

Squad Explanation
-- Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, three of the greatest American soccer players, were at their prime. Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Bradley were also on my all-team for the USA
-- There are only three MLS-based players on my team.  It is only one less than the actual team.   The 2010 MLS Cup was played between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas.  Not a single player from neither team went to this World Cup Finals for both the real and this "fake: team. 
-- Eight played in England.  And seven others were based in Bundesliga.  Two of the players were German-born Americans, and both were not on the original World Cup team.
-- Both Brede Hangeland and Clint Dempsey played in the Final of Europa League in 2010 where their club team Fulham lost to Atletico Madrid.  
-- Giuseppe Rossi was included in Italy's provisional 28-man 2010 World Cup squad,  but failed to make the cut for the final 23-man squad.  Neven Subotić went to South Africa, but only started a single game.  Bosnia and Herzegovina advanced to the UEFA second round qualifying playoff, where they lost to Portugal.  Vedad Ibišević played in both legs.  Brede Hangeland was the captain of the Norwegian national team, but Norway did not qualify for the World Cup Finals.  They were the only second place team in the group stage that were eliminated.
-- Eddie Gustafsson who was born in the United States played 10 times for Sweden between 2000 and 2010.  In 2010, he played once for Sweden.  The United States did not need him for this World Cup Finals.  I am happy with the three existing goalkeepers.
-- Brad Guzan only played 10 games for Aston Villa in the 2009-2010 season, but none of them was in the Premier league.  He was an understudy to Brad Friedel who was their starter.   Friedel had retired from the national team since 2010.  I had no intention of bringing him back. I did not need him and altered the goalkeeper position when I had Tim Howard.
-- Marcus Hahnemann only joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2019. He beat out starter Wayne Hennessey half way through the season.  He remained first choice keeper for the remainder of the season, helping the club attain survival. His form ranked him as "the Best Goalkeeper in the World" using the Castrol Performance Index system, helping earn him a one-year contract extension.
-- Neven Subotić was 21 in 2010, but had established himself as a star defender for Borussia Dortmund.  In the 2009–10 Bundesliga season, Subotić was one of only four players in the entire league to play every minute of every league match. He also went to the actual World Cup Finals playing two games for Serbia. Neven Subotić has represented the US at youth level.  So his citizenship was not an issue in 2010.
-- Brede Hangeland was born in Houston, Texas, but his Norwegian family moved back to Norway.  In 2010, he was a key player as Fulham reached the UEFA Europa Cup Final, playing alongside Clint Dempsey.  He turned 29 in June, 2010. He was the club's third in appearance that season.  He was eligible for the US through his birth rights.  If the USSF got to him before he was cap-tied to Norway, he would have helped the US national team. In real life, he was capped 91 times, 48 of them as captain. He earned "honourable mention on my All-Time Team for Norway.  
-- Brede Hangeland and Neven Subotić would replace Jay DeMerit and Clarence Goodson.  DeMerit was playing for Watford of the EFL Championship in 2010, and Goodson was ironically playing club football for IK Smart in Norway.
-- In the 2009-2010 season, Oguchi Onyewu was not playing much for AC Milan, but I would have take him over Jay DeMerit to South Africa because he was still rated as among the best American centerbacks at the time. If I were the coach  I would have gambled on him. However, I would not be surprised if Coach Bradley took DeMerit to the World Cup Finals in Onyewu's place.  In the actual World Cup Finals, I thought DeMerit outperformed Onyewu.
-- In the real world, Fabian Johnson did not become eligible to play for the USA until 2011.  In our imaginary world, he got his paper work ready by 2010.  In 2009, Johnson was a starter for Germany's Under 21 team as they won the UEFA European Championship. That team was widely considered to be the greatest Under-21 European champion.  Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil all played in the World Cup Finals in 2010 for Germany.  However, the starting left back for the USA in 2010 was the US captain Carlos Bocanegra.  Meanwhile, Jonathan Bornstein was of one of Coach Bob Bradley's most frequently used players before the WC Finals.  So Johnson probably would not unseat the two players. However, I decided to take Johnson over DaMarcus Beasley. 
-- DaMarcus Beasley (winger) was struggling with Rangers that season (see below).  If Coach Bradley had a very good alternative, Beasley might have been dropped.  I moved Bocanegra to the central defender his natural position.
Fabian Johnson
-- Roger Espinoza grew up in the US.  He was capped by Honduras since 2008. In 2010, he was playing in the MLS, but I prefer Fabian Johnson over him.
-- Christian Fuchs is a also a left back.  He was capped-tied to Austria since 2006.  He has family living in the United States, but his American connection was not strong enough.  I doubt that he would ever play for the US.  He is not considered for this blog.
-- Ramiro Funes Mori had not made his professional debut.  His brother already did. Please see below for more details.  
-- Gōtoku Sakai of Japan was born in New York.  In 2010, he was only playing for Japan Under-20 team.
-- Michael Bradley is the son of US head coach Bob Bradley.  He was playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2010.  
-- Pachuca won the title with a 1–0 home win against compatriots Cruz Azul in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions' League final in April.  Jose Francisco Torres played in both legs.  He also played well in a friendly match against Turkey for the USMNT right before the World Cup Finals.
-- Jermaine Jones had declared his eligibility for the USMNT in 2009. He even joined the US camp in March, 2010, but an injury prevented him from joining the team at the World Cup Finals.  Jones was 29 in 2010 at his prime.  He would have made the team in South Africa if he was injury free.
-- With the inclusion of Jones, I needed a single midfielder.  Coach Bob Bradley used Stuart Holden, Benny Feilhaber and Ricardo Clark frequently throughout 2009 and right before the World Cup Finals. Maurice Edu played well at the World Cup Finals. However, he was seldom used during the World Cup qualifiers.  Coach Bradley would not have known about his performance in the World Cup Finals before he went to South Africa.  I assumed that he would be the most likely player to be dropped before the World Cup Finals based on the number of his appearance. 
--Stuart Holden only joined Bolton Wanderers that January after he was named to Major League Soccer All-Star team and MLS Best XI in 2009.  He was also named in the Team of the Tournament in Gold Cup in 2009.  
-- Ricardo Clark also left MLS after the 2009 season.  He joined Eintracht Frankfrut.  
-- Clint Dempsey could operate as a winger.  On May 12,  he replaced Bobby Zamora in the 55th minute of the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final, thus making history in becoming the first ever American to appear in a major European final.  
Clint Dempsey 
-- During the 2009–10 season, DaMarcus Beasley saw little playing time with Glasgow Ranger.   He seek for a transfer to increase his chance with the 2010 World Cup team.  In real life, he stayed in Ranger, and made the World Cup team despite not playing much.  This period of his career was dark.  He did not feature much until the next World Cup qualification in 2013 when he was converted into a left wingback.  So I did not take him.
-- Vedad Ibišević scored 12 goals in Bundesliga that season, which made him one of the top scorers in the league.   He would make the US team ahead of other American forwards. In real life, he came to the United States in 2001 as a high school student.  He was discovered by Paris St Germain and left for Europe before becoming an American citizen.  He never became qualified to play for the USA.  But since he went to the USA in 2001, he would have gotten 9 years to grain his citizenship under a different situation.  I stretched the reality further and added him to this World Cup team.  I do not believe that he ever considered playing for the USA, but this is not a real team.  He is a hero in his native country. He is a member of my Bosnia and Herzegovina All-Time team.  He was on Bundesliga Team of the Year as well as ESM Team of the Year in the 2008-2009 season.
-- Without injuries, Giuseppe Rossi could have became one of the greatest American-born players ever, but injuries had kept him from reaching his potential.  In the summer of 2010, he was actually injury free.  The season before the World Cup Finals, he starred for Villarreal.  Coincidentally, Jozy Altidore was also a player under contract with Villarreal in 2010, but he was on loan to Hull City after failing to make an impact with the team.  That season, he only managed to score a single goal. Rossi would be ahead of him in 2010. He is on my Villarreal All-Time team and he is the club's all-time leading scorer.
-- Jozy Altidore, Edison Buddle, Herculez Gomez and Robbie Findley went to South Africa. I needed to drop two of them to make rooms for Giuseppe Rossi and Vedad Ibišević.
-- In 2010, Jozy Altidore was projected to be the future of US Soccer.  So I am adding him to the team.
-- Edison Buddle had not played for the USA for 7 years before
the WC Finals, but he was great in the MLS right before the WC Finals.  Herculez Gomez's career was actually going downhill even as late as October, 2009 when he was released by Kansas City Wizards.  He suddenly experienced a career revival early in 2010 with Puebla in Mexico. Both players seemed to be in form that year. However,  Coach Bob Bradley started Robbie Findley in the first two World Cup matches, which probably meant that Coach Bradley had more confidence with Findley than Gomez and Buddle at the beginning of the tournament. So I selected Findley because it would probably be Coach Bradley's idea at the time of the selection.
-- Yura Movsisyan who grew up in the United States chose to play for Armenia in August, 2010.  I did not consider him for this team.
-- Ramiro and Rogelio Funes Mori (Argentina) were twin brothers who moved to the United States in 2001 at age 9. They were star high school players in Texas. In 2010, they were not American citizens.  They were reported to be undocumented immigrants, but given that they were in the United States for so long, they might be able to obtain citizenship under an alternative timeline. In 2010, they were 19 years old with River Plate in Argentina.  Ramiro had not made his senior debut, but Rogelio was already on the first team.  He even featured against Boca Juniors before the 2010 World Cup Finals.  He was rated very high in Argentina. So he would have been capped by the United States if he was a citizen and his heart was with the United States.  Both brothers went on to represent Argentina.  Rogelio became an all-timer with C.F Monterrey.  He switched to represent Mexico in 2019.  However, I decided not to take them for now.
USA Vs Ghana World Cup 2010

The formation is based upon the one used by Coach Bob Bradley against England on the first match in South Africa. Carlos Bocanegra was used as a leftback on that match.  All six of my original starters also started for my all-team for the USA.  They are all their prime.  Five of the additional players made my starting lineup.  In 2010, Brede Hangeland and Neven Subotić had better club careers than the original starting centerbacks.

The formation is based upon the one used by Coach Bob Bradley against England on the first match in South Africa. Carlos Bocanegra was used as a leftback on that match.  All six of my original starters also started for my all-team for the USA.  They are all their prime.  Five of the additional players made my starting lineup.  In 2010, Brede Hangeland and Neven Subotić had better club careers than the original starting centerbacks.