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VUSA Podcast #33: A USA-themed podcast: favorite national team players

Sid and Zach debate the relative merits of Roma and Fulham, or Bradley and Dempsey, I’m not sure which. I just try to referee.

Soccer- MLS Championship Match Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC
Dempsey and Bradley, December 2017
Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

In a recent roundtable, Zach asked us to pick our favorite (and by inference, most valuable) players on our respective national teams. Now admittedly, I cheated: I chose the national team I followed the most, and I picked the player I thought was a key to their success, not the player who was actually my “favorite” (which would have been Forlán). But maybe it’s good I did cheat, because this way I was able to remain—mostly—above the fray here.

So in one corner, we’ve got Sid, making the case for Michael Bradley as his favorite/most important USMNT player of recent years. Not necessarily the easiest sell, but he’s game for the challenge.

In the other corner, Zach comes down hard for Clint Dempsey, who shares the NT goalscoring record. A more obvious pick.

But being that we follow European football, the discussion invariably gets into the merits of their respective careers in Europe and for that matter their career trajectories. Do you go for the Furman University star, or the Heerenveen whiz? The fellow who played for Fulham for six seasons, becoming the first American to play in the final of a major European competition, or a player who enjoyed eight seasons in major European leagues like Serie A and the Bundesliga?

Hey, I would have chosen Tim Howard, if we were going for “American player who had the most successful career in Europe”. But it sure was fun listening to the debate and as you can tell it was nice to have something football-related to talk about!!! Enjoy the mayhem.