Watching the World Cup unfold across the United States is a curious phenomenon. For one thing, even if interest in soccer/the real football is not nearly as dead, or as niche, as often portrayed by the sports media and the inhabitants of U.S. sports fandom — who’ve got only enough time to gasp between breathless Tweets about American Football (which is also awesome, by the way; we take no sides in the which soccer is the real soccer) — it doesn’t seem to come out in any sort of overt fashion until the World Cup is coming ’round. It’s the same way most people are captured by the various Olympic sports only when the Games are looming.
With the tournament set to take place around Brazil, the U.S. Men’s National Team has been announced. At least, the 30-man squad has been revealed, and it will be cut down to 23 before the Cup actually starts. While that will be an exciting adventure in and of itself, and the three games in the USMNT’s Sendoff Series (5/27 against Azerbaijan, 6/1 against Turkey, and 6/7 against Nigeria) will provide more than a glimpse into how coach Jürgen Klinsmann and company will approach their insanely difficult grouping, but we’re not in possession of any kind of life-DVR as of yet, and can’t fast-forward the two weeks it’d take to get there.
For now, in some World Cup Festivus, let’s look at the best players on the USMNT Team of all time. The best ofs, as it were. We’ve scoured the Internet and the U.S.’s World Cup history — which is probably longer than you might think, given the relative inattention paid to the sport in the country — to bring you the seven best players in the history of the World Cup that’ve played for the U.S.