Soccer: World Cup-Ghana vs USA

Alas, dear reader, we are here talking about the World Cup. The US team, to be specific. Part of what makes USMNT Soccer so fun is the fact that we are underdogs. Being an underdog is so fun. It’s great not being the asshole expecting to win. America doesn’t get to be the underdog often, thanks a lot to the industrial revolution. But, here we are, and no one thinks the USA is going to win shit and it feels so good.

We’ve always believed it’s important to always have to have a favorite player on whichever team we’re rooting for. How to pick a favorite is pretty much based on whoever is the coolest. Realizing that coolness isn’t something we can easily measure, we’ve dived into the USMNT to try to figure out who is the coolest, and thus our favorite, player.

We’re not here to discuss the details of the beautiful game or the subtleties of why time of possession is an overrated statistic. We’re just HYPED from the win against Ghana and want to figure out whose jersey we should buy and then eventually spill beer on.

There are three categories for which players can earn a score from 1-10. Skill — like actual soccer abilities. Personal style — soccer is fashion, both on and off the pitch. Outside interests — okay, you’re a world class athlete, what else? Least cool players at the top. Coolest at the bottom.

Kyle Beckerman – Midfielder – Real Salt Lake

kyle beckerman

Skill: 4  – Kyle tried and failed to make the US World Cup roster twice, and made it in this time on his third try. It’s unclear whether he really earned it or if Jurgen just felt bad for him this time around. Kyle used to sign his letters, “Kyle USA Soccer #15.” Fulfilling your life dream is pretty cool.

Style: 9 – Excluding the relatively recent addition of Mix Diskerud’s flowing mane of perfect brown hair, Beckerman and his matted tangle of dreadlocks would take the prestigious “best hair” award without question. It’s hard to say whether the ‘locks help or hinder his ability to contest headers.

Other Interests: 1 – Kyle brought his guitar to Brazil, so yes, he is the dude playing guitar at the party. Couple this with the fact that Kyle is a noted Reggae fan and this is a recipe for disaster. I also found an interview where he said before games he listens to “Kobe” by Lil Wayne, which is quite literally four minutes of nonsense. Okay okay, but Kyle is also a noted history buff. He once instagrammed a picture of himself reading Guns, Germs and Steel so him and my dad will have something to talk about.

Total Score for Kyle Beckerman: 14

Demarcus Beasley – Defender – Puebla

DaMarcus Beasley

Skill: 7 – Beasley is one of the oldest players on the team and the first American to play in 4 world cups. He may have lost a step at the decrepit age of 32, but he’s the only player in the backfield with any significant Cup experience. We’ll take it.

Style: 3 – Beasley has a tendency to make weird bug-eyes when he’s on the field. That might scare the players on the Algerian team but won’t do much when going up against the likes of Germany’s Mesut Ozil.

Other Interests: 5 – Beasley is a bit of a skinny dude. Obviously he’s been living on Hot-Pockets and Easy Mac for the last 10 years. He needs to get a little more adventurous with his pallet.

Total score for Demarcus Beasley: 15

Alejandro Bedoya – Midfielder – Nantes

alejandro bedoya

Skill: 6 – Bedoya is an outside back who likes to go both ways…get your mind out of the gutter, it means he can play both offense and defense. We’d list what you’re thinking of in the “Other Interests” section.

Style: 8 – Fashion, Fashion, Fashion. He reps his Nike Airmax with zebra pattern on Twitter. He’s posted a ton of other fashion pics as well and isn’t afraid to rep a suit. Looking good on and off the pitch comes naturally to Alejandro.

Other Interests: 4 – Among his style-pics, Alejandro posted a picture of a pair of new blue Beats by Dre headphones. C’mon Alejandro, that’s just poor taste. You’re going to get better sound quality, mileage, and value out of a pair of Seinheizers; and if you gotta get Beats, go red. Duh.

Total Score for Alejandro Bedoya: 18

Jozy Altidore – Striker – Sunderland FC

jozy altidore

Skill: 7 – Scoring is inherently the dopest thing you can do in soccer and Jozy is our scoring threat. The problem is he hasn’t been scoring lately. When he scored 30 goals there in 67 games in 2011, the world thought he finally made it. He finally got his dream move to Sunderland in the Premier League in 2013 with very high hopes but then only scored two goals in 38 games and was a huge bust. He didn’t score a goal in any game in any competition from December 4 until June 7 against Nigeria in which he scored two great goals.

Style: 5 – Jozy is currently rocking the neckbeard AKA the Lebron AKA the Andrew Luck AKA the Abraham Lincoln. It’s not my favorite look due to its overall sense of incompleteness and neck-focus. Fortunately for Jozy, his name is Jozy Altidore which is an amazingly cool name that falls off the tongue and makes any bandwagon fan sound like they know something.

Other interests:  6 – Jozy tweets often about the Miami Heat which is okay because he is from South Florida. He has Haitian ties and was super involved with Haiti support after the quake there, which is cool. He also has publicly stated that he would eat cat food for the rest of his life if it meant the US would win the World Cup. I’ll take that.

Total Score for Jozy Altidore: 19

Fabian Johnson – Left Back – TSG 1889 Hoffheim

Fabian Johnson

Skill: 8 – Fabian Johnson was born and raised in Germany but has dual eligibility to compete internationally for either Germany or the US.  Although he was initially in line to compete for a spot on a crowded German squad, he joined the US after being asked by Klinsmann in 2011. Obviously his lack of Americanness directly correlates to his skill on the pitch. Johnson’s great dribbling, speed, and ability to use either foot make him a dangerous threat when attacking from the back which will be risky when he is assigned to cover Cristiano Ronaldo in the match against Portugal.

Style: 9 – It’s clear that Johnson uses a lot of product to style his faux-hawk, which he’s repped regularly for the last few years he’s spent on the pitch. It’s important to recognize the time and effort he puts in to make sure his hair always looks perfect while competing on the ultimate stage of soccer.

Other Interests: 3 –  Fabian has the name and look of a dude who likes to lounge around without a shirt on a lot. We get it dude. You work out. You’re ripped.

Total score for Fabian Johnson: 20

Tim Howard – Keeper – Everton

tim howard

Skill 8 – Tim Howard is a very solid goaltender. We rely on him to make about three big saves per game, which is a lot to ask, but Tim is usually able to get the job done. He once scored a goal but he also felt really bad for embarrassing the other team’s keeper. 

Style 6: Also bald, Tim has been accessorizing his skull with a pretty legit beard. The Rick Ross look is both intimidating and confusing to opposing forwards who only have a split second to figure out where exactly Tim Howard’s head is located. He has a bunch of tattoos but the green goalie kit could be cooler.

Outside interests 7: Clinically diagnosed with Tourette’s, Tim serves on the BOD for the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey. He’s also a pretty badass basketball player, even getting recruited by the Harlem Globetrotters at one point.

Total score for Tim Howard: 21

Michael Bradley – Center Midfielder – Toronto FC

Michael Bradley

Skill: 10 – Bradley recently did the MLS a huge solid by leaving his European contract and joining Toronto FC. He has incredible passing skills as evidenced by his assist in a recent match against Turkey.

Style: 8 – This score might be a surprise to some. Baldly Bradley’s lack of hair is a bit abrasive. However he’s worn the chrome dome for years and years and now absolutely owns it. This ownership prevents Bradley’s baldness from becoming a distraction as was Landon Donovan’s receding hairline during his tenure with the US team.

Other Interests: 6 – Bradley has a well rounded set of  interests including pinball, marbles, bowling, and many other hobbies centered around shiny spherical objects.

Total score for Michael Bradley: 24

Clint Dempsey – Winger – Seattle Sounders FC

clint Dempsey

Skill: 9 – Dempsey left his defender in the dust to score in the first 30 second of the match against Ghana and delivered the most thrilling start to a World Cup the US has ever seen. However, before this big goal, he was most famous for scoring a lucky one that should’ve been saved against England in the 2010 Cup. Being good is great, but being in the right place at the right time is better.

Style: 8 – Clint probably has the most swag on the whole team. Having tons of tattoos, ditching the English Premier League to play in the US, and starting two matches with a broken jaw all contribute massively to his badass points. His cold-blooded on field demeanor (except immediately post goal) doesn’t hurt either.

Other Interests: 10 – Clint Dempsey’s rap music video

Total score for Clint Dempsey – 27

John Brooks – Defender – Hertha Berlin





Total Score for John Brooks: 30