Most involved with the U.S. Men’s National Team will be hoping to forget everything about 2017, and for good reason. It’s a year that will be forever stained and one that will always be looked upon with scorn and disdain because of how it all went wrong.
Still, 2017 did have its bright spots and it certainly had its share of impressive USMNT goals.
While a memorable goal will not erase the fact that the U.S. missed the World Cup, there were plenty of moments for highlight reels and a number of goals that will be remembered for years to come. From long-range stunners to tournament-winners to superstar finishes, 2017 had it all.
With that said, let’s take a look at SBI’s Top 10 USMNT goals of 2017:
JOZY ALTIDORE vs. COSTA RICA
MATT MIAZGA vs. NICARAGUA
ERIC LICHAJ vs. EL SALVADOR
KELLYN ACOSTA vs. GHANA
TOP 10 USMNT GOALS OF 2017
10. WESTON MCKENNIE vs. PORTUGAL
We start our list with the dawning of a new era.
Weston McKennie’s finish against Portugal wasn’t the most meaningful goal of the year. It wasn’t the prettiest or the most technical. However, it was a big moment for a team and program in need of hope. McKennie’s goal provided a small glimmer of what’s to come over the next few years as the U.S. begins the long process of pushing for 2022.
9. JORDAN MORRIS vs. JAMAICA
There’s no better feeling than scoring a late goal, except maybe scoring a late goal to win a trophy for your country.
Jordan Morris did that this summer against Jamaica as the young forward scored a late Gold Cup winner. In the 88th minute of the Gold Cup finale, Morris pounced on a loose ball to fire a tournament-winning goal to cap off a strong summer run for the U.S.
8. MICHAEL BRADLEY vs. HONDURAS
Michael Bradley isn’t known for scoring goals, but, when they come, they tend to come from range.
That was the case against Honduras, as Bradley fired a low driven shot from outside of the box after a solo run. The goal wasn’t Bradley’s best long-range hit of the year, but it was a good one from what was one of the best USMNT performances of the year.
7. CLINT DEMPSEY vs. HONDURAS
This won’t be the last time you see Clint Dempsey against Honduras pop up on this list.
After scoring a pair of earlier goals that will feature on this list, Dempsey capped his hat-trick with a well-hit free kick. The goal was a fitting finish to a memorable match, one of the best Dempsey’s had with the USMNT even after his extended absence.
6. CLINT DEMPSEY vs. HONDURAS
As promised, Clint Dempsey’s performance against Honduras pops up yet again.
Dempsey and Christian Pulisic combined for a well-worked opener with an equal combination of finesse and power. Pulisic’s flick combined with Dempsey’s strength led to a solid goal that started an eventual scoring onslaught.
5. CHRISTIAN PULISIC vs. PANAMA
Throughout the year, there were plenty of moments that showed just how special Christian Pulisic is and can be. The 19-year-old star’s solo finish against Panama may just be the best example.
Pulisic took a flawless touch into space after receiving a pass from Jozy Altidore, leaving him one-on-one heading towards goal. The Borussia Dortmund product rounded the goalkeeper and fired a falling finish, capping a wonderful solo run with what was, at the time, a momentum-lifting goal.
4. CLINT DEMPSEY vs. HONDURAS
The goal may have belonged to Clint Dempsey but make no mistake: it’s all about Christian Pulisic.
Sometimes, its the pass that is more special than the finish, and that was certainly the case with Dempsey’s finish against Honduras. Pulisic’s perfectly-weighted through ball couldn’t have been hit any better, and it teed up Dempsey for the second of his eventual three goals on the day.
3. JOZY ALTIDORE vs. JAMAICA
In terms of pure beauty, there are few free kicks that match Jozy Altidore’s against Jamaica from this summer’s Gold Cup.
Just moments before halftime in the Gold Cup final, the Toronto FC forward curled a magnificent long free kick up and over the wall and into the top corner. The goal gave the U.S. a lead it would eventually relinquish, but Altidore’s finish isn’t diminished due to its pure beauty.
2. CLINT DEMPSEY vs. COSTA RICA
Clint Dempsey has never been afraid of a big moment, and he showed it once again with his record-tying blast against Costa Rica.
With just one goal between the forward and Landon Donovan’s all-time record, Dempsey fired a free kick that also lifted the USMNT to a Gold Cup final. The veteran striker sent a perfectly-hit shot under the Ticos wall and into the back of the net, locking up a semifinal win and a spot in the history books in one shot.
1. MICHAEL BRADLEY vs. MEXICO
There are few places more intimidating than the Azteca, and there are few goals that have silenced a boisterous Mexico crowd quite as quickly as Michael Bradley’s long-range stunner.
In what was one of certainly the most audaciously stunning goal of the year, Bradley’s midfield chip against El Tri was certainly the midfielder’s prettiest finish in a USMNT jersey. Although the match ended in a 1-1 draw, Bradley’s stunner against Mexico was one that will be watched and rewatched as it is added to highlight reels of the region’s premier rivalry.
What was your favorite USMNT goal of 2017? Any goals fail to make our list that you think deserved mention?
Share your thoughts below.