In honor of the Fourth of July (Happy Fourth Everyone!), MLSsoccer.com Editor and Chief Greg Lalas complied a list of the five greatest American players in MLS history and after watching this, I started thinking of my own list.
Full Disclosure: I was nine-years-old during the inaugural season in MLS, so this list is going to be subject to my own bias.
5. COBI JONES
No list is complete without the man in the dreadlocks -- Cobi Jones. The league's first true superstar, Jones helped the Galaxy win two MLS Cup titles (2002, 2005), two MLS Supporters' Shields (1998, 2002), the CONCACAF Champions' Cup (2000), and two U.S. Open Cups (2001, 2005). While Jones helped the Galaxy to club titles, he racked up a host of individual accolades including an MLS Best XI selection (2000) and eight MLS All-Star nods.
4. STEVE RALSTON
The league's all-time leader in assists with 135 and a mainstay during the great New England Revolution teams of the last decade, Ralston is an automatic selection.
3. JEFF CUNNINGHAM
The Jamaican-born U.S. international was an enigma throughout his 13-year career in MLS, but Cunningham was also a pure goal scorer. The league's all-time leader in goals scored 134 goals in 365 appearances, Cunningham was simply a class finisher.
2. KEVIN HARTMAN
Goalkeepers hardly get the respect that they deserve, but to date, Kevin Hartman is the most accomplished goalkeeper to ever play in MLS. Hartman has set league records in appearances (416), wins (180), saves (1474), and shutouts (112). And he’s still ticking, mind you, as a member of the New York Red Bulls.
1. LANDON DONOVAN
Simply put the greatest American soccer player of all-time. Landon Donovan’s club resume is littered with titles including five MLS Cup titles (2 with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001 and 2003 as well as three with the LA Galaxy in 2005, 2011 and 2012), two Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011), and a U.S. Open Cup (2005). At the age of 31, Donovan is third all-time in goals scored with 127 and second all-time in assists with 114. I wouldn't be surprised if by the time he's done playing, he holds the league records in assists and goals. And we said all that without ever mentioning his success with the U.S. National Team.
(Honorable Mention: Alexi Lalas, Jeff Agoos, Robin Fraser, Nick Rimando, Preki, Taylor Twellman, Clint Mathis)
Lalas' list is below.
What's your list? Tell me below.