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SBI’s Top 10 USMNT goals of 2017

Most involved with the U.S. Menโ€™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:

HONORABLE MENTION

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.

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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.

Comments

  1. Bradley’s chip was a beauty, damn near lost my mind when I saw it live on TV. Not qualifying for the world cup sucks but it doesn’t mean we didn’t have some pretty goals this year. Would definitely have preferred qualifying and pretty goals tho.

    Reply
    • Yes, that goal was fantastic. When I saw him lift his head and then look down at the ball, I screamed Goal in a crowded bar and was pleased that got several people to see it live who would have other wise missed it. (I would have sounded pretty silly if he had either not taken the shot or had missed.)

      Reply
  2. At 71, I should have more than my share of the rights as a bitter old man, but the previous comments are over the top. Anyone who cannot appreciate great plays for what they are without wallowing in — is not really that much of a fan to begin with.

    Reply
    • What type of fan are you? This is the biggest and most important competition on the planet that happens once every 4 years. This AIN’T LACROSSE. Futbol is the world’s game and the US is nowhere. There are four other teams in CONCACAF that were better then them. They couldn’t beat Trinidad and Tobago when the chips were down. IF this doesn’t bother you at the gut level everytime you are reminded of the Hex and the players that failed us, then I question how much you care about the sport and how much you believe in the potential for American soccer.

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      • Anyone who thinks I am not disappointed at the poor performance by the USA in WC qualifying is just not paying attention. That said I am still more than capable of applauding great plays by the team members even if their total performance came up short. FWIW, I blame the defensive woes this team had above all else. Allowing 13 goals in the Hex while Mexico and CR allowed just 15 between the two of them is evidence enough; In the Costa Rica humiliation, the USA had more possession, but surrendered 4 goals and 9 shots on goal.

        JK needlessly bickered with Besler publicly; he ignored Besler’s contributions in what looked like pure spite. He was unable or unwilling to settle on a back line that was stable or that would put the defenders in spots to succeed. Nowhere on the field is it so important to have the players comfortable with their teammates, the resulting lack of coordination is totally on the coaching. Arena, late to the task, went with Gonzales who rewarded that faith with blunders and Beasley who had his share of problems and similarly Arena did not settle on a defensive organization or a lineup in the back.

  3. Pulisic’s goal vs. T&*T in the losing effort belongs to be here. I share the sentiments of others here that maybe we shouldn’t be celebrating anything from the US team this year given their epic fail.

    Reply
    • Loathe as I am to agree with Rob in any particular…I am forced to agree with him on this particular.

      Was as big – and not in a good way – as the one poor Andres Escobar own-goaled against his own Colombia side in ’94.

      Ultimately that was the one that ended up mattering most. Such is soccer, unfortunately. The most beautiful game, yes…and often the cruelest.

      Reply
    • Agree with you both. However, per usual, robs inability to read results in him spinning another headline into his never ending string of miserable negativity.
      This is simply a list of top goals, not most important (none were important). Rob never fails to prove his unprecedented level of stupidity.

      Reply
  4. DGAF. The US is out of the World Cup. I don’t care to see any of these players celebrating their goals when the achieved the greatest failure in US soccer history. How about a list of the top 10 players you’d never want to say playing for the NATs again?

    Reply

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