U.S. National Team
Michael Bradley Remains Atop First ASN 100 of Year
Every other month we assemble a team of soccer obsessives and get them to rank the top 100 U.S. soccer players. Then we add it all up, double-check the math, and post our ASN 100.
BY John Godfrey PostedIF YOU AREN'T YET FAMILIAR with the ASN 100, you really need to read the next few paragraphs. (The rest of you can skip ahead to paragraph No. 5.) The editorial team at ASN created the ASN 100 in October 2012 as a way to maintain a current ranking of the 100 best American soccer players. We call ourselves American Soccer Now, and we take that Now part very seriously. So every 60 days we poll our esteemed panel of writers, broadcasters, and former players and get them to submit a 1-100 ranking of the best American talent. It's not about potential. It's not about legacy. We frame it like this: "If you were in charge of the United States men's national team and had to submit a depth chart of the entire player pool for a World Cup match to be played tomorrow, how would you rank the players?" Let me tell you—it's tough. Just ask Alexi Lalas, or Jared DuBois, or Noah Davis. Or our newest ASN 100 panelist, Top Drawer Soccer's Travis Clark. You can spend a lot of time agonizing over whether Chris Pontius should be ranked higher than Josh Gatt, and we do. And we do so because we want to give soccer fans like you something substantial to consume. Yes, you can simply look at the ASN 100 and absorb the latest rankings. But we want you to do much more with the interactive feature. There are 13 filters that allow you to reassemble the list in interesting ways. You can rank the players by height (Corey Ashe is the shortest player, Omar Gonzalez is the tallest); weight (heaviest or lightest); number of international goals; age; hometown; and even by Twitter following. By clicking on any players' picture you will get a baseball card-like collection of facts and figures; a profile; embedded videos; and recommended reads. You can trace each players' ASN 100 history over time with our ASN 100 Ranking Tracker widget. And, of course, you can tell us everything we got wrong in the Comments section below the list. [Editors note: This is the fifth paragraph—welcome!] Clint Dempsey, who was our unanimous No. 1 player back at ASN's launch, has dropped all the way to No. 5 on the list. Michael Bradley supplanted Deuce in the top spot early last year, and the Seattle/Fulham man has fallen slightly over the last few polls. Will Dempsey be able to turn it around in the build up to the 2014 World Cup? Jurgen Klinsmann certainly hopes so. We have two new players in the Top 10—Geoff Cameron at No. 6 and Aron Johannsson in the eighth spot. Cameron's steady play at Stoke City speaks for itself, while Johannsson's speed, technique, and closing ability make him an enticing strike option for both AZ Alkmaar and the U.S. national team. Mix Diskerud was hovering in the 40s last spring, but now he is holding steady in the No. 15 slot. Do you agree with this ranking? If not, can we at least agree that he has the best hair, and the best social media technique, among U.S. national teamers? Eddie Johnson dropped four spots to No. 21. Did it have anything to do with his acrimonious departure from Seattle? Probably. Is that fair? Dunno. Major League Soccer MVP Mike Magee rocketed up to 27th place on the list, and it's hard to dispute that lofty position when you consider what he accomplished after being traded to the Chicago Fire. Magee, still toiling in the considerable shadows of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, was 83rd on our list at the start of last year. We will find out soon if Magee's breakout 2013 earns him a shot on the U.S. national team's training camp roster. There is one debutant on January 2014 ASN 100: Duane Holmes. Brian Sciaretta wrote about the Huddersfield Town teen recently—check it out. Other big movers include Paul Arriola (+9), Dillon Powers (+12), Tim Ream (+9), Brad Friedel (-6), and Jose Torres (-6). Hope I've inspired you to check out the January 2014 ASN 100. Please let us know what you think—either in the Comments below or right underneath the actual list. John Godfrey is the founder and editor in chief of American Soccer Now.
January 02, 2014
January 02, 2014