The past decade for the U.S. Men’s National Team was a great one for memorable goals and moments, though many of the best moments came in the early part of the decade.
The painful low points in recent years could make it easy to forget some of those magical moments USMNT fans were treated to in the past decade, but with the 2010-2019 era drawing to a close, it is time to look back at the best goals scored over the past decade.
The criteria for selecting the best goals comes down a variety of factors, including the importance of the match, and quality of the opponent, as well as the degree of difficulty of the finish and the passing leading up to the goal. Dramatic finishes in elimination matches and finals are tough to top, as are big goals against arch-rivals like Mexico (and World Cup nemesis Ghana).
In other words, scoring in important goal a World Cup beats a golazo in a friendly, and scoring on the road against a world power will trump scoring a goal against a Concacaf minnow (though the truly jaw-dropping goals still made their way up the list, regardless of opponent).
Take all those elements into account and you come up with a very strong list of top USMNT goals, one dominated by goals scored on the biggest stages. A whopping seven of the top nine goals on the list were scored in World Cup matches, with the only two in that top nine being goals scored against Mexico in official competition (with the Top 10 being rounded out by a free kick beauty scored in a tournament final).
The Top 30 (and we pushed it to 30 after initially shooting for 25 and realizing we still had some good goals to commemorate) is filled with the names you would expect, led by none other than Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, with five goals apiece. Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood notched four entries in the Top 30. Landon Donovan only managed three, but no USMNT player had a bigger trio of goals this decade.
As much as the number of goals scored by the aforementioned stars matter, it is worth noting just how many goals were set up by the likes of Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey and Altidore, which helps put some serious perspective on just what those player meant to the USMNT program over the past decade.
If you have a tough time remembering all the great USMNT goals scored in the past decade, we have provided links to each SBI Goals of the Year post in the past 10 years, and one thing you’ll realize quickly based on those annual rankings is that rating goals is a very subjective exercise and opinions will always vary.
Ultimately, there is no such thing is a perfect list ranking top goals. The main purpose of putting together this list is to give USMNT fans a chance to reminisce over the good times of the past decade, and remember those moments they may have forgotten amid the recent disappointments.
Here are the Top 30 USMNT Goals of the Decade:
30. Michael Orozco Fiscal vs. Mexico, 2012
29. Edson Buddle vs. Slovenia, 2011
28. Christian Pulisic vs. Chile, 2019
27. Bobby Wood vs. Colombia, 2018
26. Brek Shea vs. Switzerland, 2015
25. Clint Dempsey vs. Panama, 2011
24. Clint Dempsey vs. Honduras, 2017
23. Jozy Altidore vs. Guadeloupe, 2011
22. Fabian Johnson vs. Turkey, 2014
21. Jozy Altidore vs. Germany, 2013
20. Danny Williams vs. Brazil, 2015
19. Michael Bradley vs. Panama, 2015
18. Clint Dempsey vs. Costa Rica, 2017
17. Michael Bradley vs. Scotland, 2012
16. Bobby Wood vs. Mexico, 2015
15. Michael Bradley vs. Russia, 2012
14. Jozy Altidore vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2013
13. Bobby Wood vs. Germany, 2015
12. Clint Dempsey vs. Germany, 2013
11. Bobby Wood vs. the Netherlands, 2015
10. Jozy Altidore vs. Jamaica, 2017
9. Landon Donovan vs. Slovenia, 2010
8. Landon Donovan vs. Mexico, 2011
7. Clint Dempsey vs. Ghana, 2014
6. Michael Bradley vs. Slovenia, 2010
5. Julian Green vs. Belgium, 2014
4. Michael Bradley vs. Mexico, 2017
3. Jermaine Jones vs. Portugal, 2014
2. John Brooks vs. Ghana, 2014
1. Landon Donovan vs. Algeria, 2010
The Top USMNT Goals of the Decade, Year-by-Year