U.S. Men's National Team

Michael Bradley wins Golden Ball, six USMNT players in Gold Cup Best XI

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

After winning Wednesday’s tournament final, the U.S. Men’s National Team earned plenty of honors in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Midfielder Michael Bradley took home the Golden Ball as tournament MVP. He was called into the group stage and played all 270 minutes of the knockout rounds.

There were six Americans in the tournament’s Best XI. Bradley was joined by Graham Zusi, Omar Gonzalez, Darlington Nagbe, Jordan Morris, and Jozy Altidore.


The Golden Boot went to Canada’s young forward Alphonso Davies, who also won the Young Player Award. He scored twice for the Canadians and took home the Golden Boot on the assists tiebreaker.

Andre Blake, who was injured in the tournament finale, won the Golden Gloves as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

      • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

        I don’t have an opinion on Zusi making the best XI

        Except that I am glad it happened. He is our second. Estoption at RB

        I feel VERY betrayed by all of the guys promising he is our man and he is overlooked. He was not good enough for the hype by some on SBI.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US


        Should read second best option for Zusi


        Should read Lichaj for the hype comment. Need to go to sleep.


      • Ronniet

        i don’t know what about last night confirmed to you Lichaj is worst than Zusi, but it sure doesn’t speak well to your knowledge of the game. It still amazes me that after one bad half Lichaj is all of sudden considered inappropriate for the position. Zusi has been given a slew of chances for god knows why, i’m guessing because our pool is just not as deep as some would think, but i’d bet that if Eric is given ample minutes all of the doubt will sort itself out.


      • Nate Dollars

        “How the hell do people think lichaj should have been starting over Zusi?”

        maybe the same way I do: they compare the games they’ve seen lichaj play with the games they’ve seen zusi play.

        I’ve seen a lot of lichaj’s games over the years (followed him at aston villa and when he first joined the senior usmnt, and then my close friend is a forest fan), and he’s proven to be a very dependable, even if not spectacular, fullback at a good level. (which is why his game against Martinique was such an anomaly: lichaj doesn’t really make big defensive mistakes, but he’s also not a very dangerous attacking threat.)

        in comparison, the games I’ve seen of zusi at fullback have been nothing to write home about, to say the least. i thought this last match against Jamaica was his best, because he didn’t look completely lost back there when arriola and/or omar weren’t there to help out. now might he just be lights out for sporting? i guess, but that doesn’t really mean a whole lot when it comes to playing teams better than 2nd tier concacaf.

        and yeah, i think we should question bruce arena, if he is making questionable decisions. same as we did with klinsmann: just because a person is knowledgeable doesn’t mean they won’t have bad judgment.

        and it’s not even that i think arena’s making a bad choice in this case—if zusi becomes an acceptable defender in a year’s time, then it might make him a nice option to bring to russia. my main issue is with people contending that zusi is a better—or even equal—fullback than lichaj at this point.


    • Nate Dollars

      i’ve been critical of zusi—and i think lichaj is clearly a better right back than him—but i thought he did well in the final. so if you have to pick a right back from this tournament? sure, why not zusi.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan

      Lichaj is hot trash. Not sure what people see in him. Blinded by Zusi hate? Its not like Zusi will make the plane to Russia so who cares?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ronniet

        What are you basing that on, one half of football in the GC?? Some one who is hot trash wouldn’t have had the career to this point that Eric has in Europe. If we’re going by one half of football well then quite frankly our whole team is hot garbage.


    • Twomilerule

      Quit whining, did you mean Zusi is the second best option at RB? I’m no fan of his game and see him far behind Yedlin and Chandler.
      Just for clarification on levels of competition. English Championship top three and maybe four teams are quality with a handful of fringe EPL players at best.


      • whammmm

        Chandler has the same story as Lichaj. Play fairly well in Europe, play poorly for the Nats. If Zusi played for NF and Lichaj for SKC nobody would say a word.


  • Keeping it Real

    Just no way.

    Dempsey was way more influential in far less time and Nagbe was the key midfielder player throughout the 270 min of the group stage.

    Michael Bradley scored one of the top 5 goals ever in USMNT history with strike vs Mexico. But, before this spring he was below average for close to 2-3 years.

    Michael Bradley is the chosen one of the ussoccer inner circle. It does not mean he is not a top 6 US player. I just think he will forever get the accolades because of his connections. Also including tons of SBI puff pieces of his greatness (lol).


  • DB

    Not sure how Bradley gets Golden Ball with just three games played, but they probably wanted somebody from the winner to get it.

    Zusi on best 11? It’s actually hard to argue. I doubt he’ll ever be “the” option at RB, but he certainly is an option in a pinch. Continues to grow into that role nicely.


    • MidWest Ref

      Bradley played very well with Acosta and Nagbe, but some of that is the competition faced. I agree that CONCACAF should have found a way to award someone who played in the whole tournament, not just who was brought in under the funky Gold Cup rules. At the end of the day, the Golden Boot was won by a player with two goals – two. So there wasn’t a lot of stand-out quality on the pitch for the tournament. I have tried to defend the Gold Cup in other posts, but it is hard to do so. Is it time to reduce the Gold Cup to every 4 years?


      • DB

        Davies had three goals (2 vs. FG, 1 vs. CRC) as did Morris and Parsemain (highly question the scoring on the defelcted goal vs. USMNT though). Davies won because he apparently also had an assist.


  • Joe Dirt

    If Zusi best 11 then thats an indication of the lack of talent across the tourament with teams having brought mostly B teams. Given the lack of quality competition we should have performed better against B team minnows. Zusi Best 11, thats ridiculous.


  • Scott e Dio93

    Zusi has expire his with USNT.

    Bradley the Golden Ball…haha

    Now Jamaica proven themselves to be “Classsy” team unlike El Salvador or mexico.

    Liked by 1 person

  • recoveredamishman

    Glad Andre Blake did so well. He’s fun to watch. The thinking seems to be he might have stopped the two US goals and he might have as Miller did get fingertips on both of them.


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