The role of defender is very important for the soccer team although they do not placed under the spotlight often. Nevertheless, people can see the defenders who play greatly. Here are the names of the best male defenders that can be found in the US soccer history.
There is no doubt that people have to consider Eddie Pope as the defender with the most complete skill in the history of US national soccer team. The great appearance of Pope in the soccer world could be found in 1996. He became the starter for Bruce Arena as well as DC United in the Major League Soccer. During the final match of inaugural MLS Cup, he made the golden goal for winning the game. After his impressive performance, he had the opportunity to join the team under the US coach, Steve Sampson. He played on the backline for the US team for three World Cup events. Two of them were couched by Arena. His appearance has great impact to US national team especially during 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. He helped to defeat Mexico 2-0. Unfortunately, he got the red card which is pretty controversial during the match against Italy in 1-1 draw. It also became his last game as part of US national team. He had so many chances to play in the European league but he was so loyal to MLS. He played for DC United, MetroStars, as well as Real Salt Lake. His international career was finished with 82 caps and also eight goals.
Maybe people who are new in the soccer world will have very big question about the reason why Carlos Bocanegra should be included in the list not only of the best defender but also the best soccer players in the US. There was a time when the outfielders from the US find a hard time for finding their career overseas. However, Bocanegra became the defender as part of Fulham team at Premier League. He also became the captain of Cottagers and Rangers. People must not forget that e also became the captain of national team of US for six years including for one World Cup. His position was as defender but people could see that he had fearless performance not only at the base line but also at the front line. He created 14 goals and it became kind of proof about his potent weapon. At the time when the national team depends on the counter attack for offense, he became the defender. It must be a hard work of course because the team was forced to deal with long stretch defending without any breaking down. Because of his steadiness and reliability during the time of US rising on the world stage, Landon Donovan made him as captain of the team.
There must be a reason why Marcelo Balboa was labeled as iron man. In fact, he was durable and reliable. More importantly, he also played very important role in the defense approach revolution of the US team. That is why he became the key player of the US team for 1994 World Cup. He came from Argentinean family who was crazy of soccer, he used the defense technique when the defenders of the US thought that playing ball on the ground is more important than smashing it away for getting the possession of the ball. If people are looking for the soccer player of the US that is able to break 100 caps mark, Balboa must be the guy. He played for six clubs during his career but he thought that Mexican club Leon was the most important part of his career. He was awarded as the US soccer athlete of the year three times in 1992, 1994, and also 1995. Her career with MLS was started in 1996 when he played for Colorado Rapids. His appearance could not be separated from beard as well as flowing locks but soccer public surely would remember him for propensity for the spectacular. He got international acclaim after he was made scissors kick which was nearly miss in 1994 World Cup. He also created bicycle kick and it was awarded as goal of the year for 2000 MLS season. It was considered as one of the best kick in the MLS history after all.
Because Steve Cherundolo never played in the MLS league, Americans maybe were not so familiar with him. Nevertheless, people could make sure that he could be considered as the most consistent US team member. One thing for sure, he became great American soccer ambassador abroad. He was criticized bout his difficulty to adapt as well as assimilate to the foreign culture but he could be great example for American players. He worked hard to learn the German culture and language so he could be closer to the supporters. As defender, he can pass impressively and he had solid performance. However, his professionalism and consistency made him has great reputation. His entire career was spent in Germany. He became Hannover 96 hero and legend. During 2010-2011 seasons, he became the captain for the club. He also became part of US national team for World Cup in 2006 and 2010. He won 87 caps before he finally retired in 2012. There is no doubt that he could be the best example in the American soccer because he knew the way for getting the job done without being flashy.
Last but not least, Alexi Lalas can be considered as the celebrity of US soccer world. He stands out because he had long hair and beard. He grabbed public attention as well when he became player for Padova in Serie A and MLS player. After being part of the best European league, he could win the MLS title with LA Galaxy. He also played for other club before he became part of general management as well as TV people. His passionate and sometimes mischievous performance made people remember him as US player for sure.