I disagree with the bigger stages. They were pretty similar at the World Cup and Confederations Cup. Julian Green has more knockout stage goals than Dempsey.Deuce was a the bigger player, on bigger stages.
How quickly we forget how good Donovan was.Deuce was a the bigger player, on bigger stages. He had both grit and moxie - a combination rare to find among US players.
I'm comfortable saying he's the best outfield player in US history.
That goal is so legendary, it overshadows the tight angle goal vs Slovenia that began the comeback. He also scored the penalty to tie Ghana and send that match to penalties. Landon Donovan is a weird guy, but he showed up for big spots.How quickly we forget how good Donovan was.
I’ve given the nod to Donovan. Until Pulisic, he was our most gifted offensive talent. Barring injury, Pulisic will be head and shoulders ahead of every prior American player when his career is over.I personally am in the Landon Donovan camp as far as who was the better player, but I know lots of folks who prefer Dempsey. Figure the folks who have watched US soccer longer than me would offer some insight and you folks have done just that.
The Donovan-Dempsey-Altidore-Davies front four that existed circa 2009 was probably the best US attack we've ever had. Shame about the car crash.Dempsey and Donovan are the yin and yang of why I love the USMNT. Clint brought needed swagger and determination to the team along with, at his peak, unique talent. I hope Pulisic is a combo of the best parts of each.
This is the one single moment that transformed me from footy-curious to a fan. I was watching this game. USA was down 2-0 at half. I knew almost nothing about soccer except that it was low scoring and I figured the USA were screwed. Only a minute after the second half started, the Slovenia defender fell, Donovan barged past him, and just brutalized the ball into the top of the net. Sheer force of will. I was like, GODDAMN, it's on.That goal is so legendary, it overshadows the tight angle goal vs Slovenia that began the comeback. He also scored the penalty to tie Ghana and send that match to penalties. Landon Donovan is a weird guy, but he showed up for big spots.
It’s funny that in the same thread Dempsey is said to have shown up for more big games and also is said to be the more consistent player.On the Dempsey vs Donovan question, it feels like the old debate about consistency versus peak moments. Donovan was capable of more singularly brilliant moments than Dempsey. Dempsey was more consistent. I'm not surprised that Donovan has the better highlight-reel moments at the WC finals. I feel like Dempsey was the more effective player in grinding out unglamorous results away matches in the Hex, for instance.
FTFY. Yes, It's been 16 years and I'm still bitter. Carry on.How quickly we forget how good Donovan was.
Donovan is also an
Oliver Kahnuncalled Torsten Frings handball penalty/red card away from having gone to a WC semifinal.
Deuce was great and I don't think you can go wrong with either player. I do think you can argue though that Klinsmann stole the WC from us that should have showcased Deuce and Donovan. Donovan even with his self exiles still was one of our best goal chance creators leading up to the WC.
It's hard to look at players across eras and in different positions..but you kind of have to look at goalkeepers for best US player..or look at other positions/players/eras as well when US players weren't given as many opportunities overseas. Howard, Keller, Friedel, Ramos, Reyna and McBride are all up there as well...but Dempsey is probably better than them all, but I think you could make an argument for at least Howard since he played for the bigger club.
Edit: missed the 'outfield' part of your post.. was more responding to the previous post saying he was the best USMNT player in history.
This is the one single moment that transformed me from footy-curious to a fan. I was watching this game. USA was down 2-0 at half. I knew almost nothing about soccer except that it was low scoring and I figured the USA were screwed. Only a minute after the second half started, the Slovenia defender fell, Donovan barged past him, and just brutalized the ball into the top of the net. Sheer force of will. I was like, GODDAMN, it's on.
Davies staying healthy probably still wouldn't have convinced Bob Bradley not to run out Ricardo Clark against Ghana. Yes, I'm still bitter (there's a theme developing here).I was at this match. Perhaps the most enjoyable US game I’ve ever attended, more fun than Algeria or (barely) Portugal in 2014.
Aside: Dempsey scoring with his dick against Portugal!
Surrounded by US fans at halftime, the predominant sentiment, fair or not, was that if Donovan was going to captain this team, he had to step up. Not play his normal, kill-them-with-kindness game, but basically Dempsey up. That first goal against Slovenia was a Dempsey style goal - pure grit and “fuck it, I’ll do it myself” which was not Landon’s normal style. He came through, and then again (with Dempsey paving the way) vs. Algeria. As crazy as it sounds I’ve never felt more excited by a US goal than that Donovan strike vs. Slovenia, because it was both so out of character and so necessary.
I loved that particular team. If Davies has stayed healthy I think they would have equaled the achievements ‘02 squad.
Shit, when do qualifiers start?
Findley sucked, but it was either roll the dice on a forward who could stretch the field with speed or blow up the entire elite counterattacking operation that had been built. Shitty situation either way.And F Bradley for thinking he simply HAD to find a player to replace Davies with any fast player.
It can't be heading if he's using his dick. It's technically a dicking. Or a dicker? A smashing dicker.Dempsey was a very dependable goal scorer for the national team during a time where so many people came through the ranks that potentially could have been top scorers, but never reached their potential .
Also, I'll love him for heading the ball in with his dick against Portugal.
I think for me it was that there was no plan B. Bradley had the talent to do something different.. although of course no time to implement it. I think he just needed to see that the player he wanted to take over for Davies was just in the way. They had a lot of attacking talent..and they just wanted to do the same thing that the US had always done up to that point..kick the ball up and chase. Donovan for one was a player who finally got the ball in midfield and looked to pass through balls rather than kick it over the defense and chase... there have been other players who have added to that since, but I think our coaches general approaches up until 2010 was bunker and kick it out and beat them with speed.Findley sucked, but it was either roll the dice on a forward who could stretch the field with speed or blow up the entire elite counterattacking operation that had been built. Shitty situation either way.
IMO the bigger problem in the latter years of Bradley's tenure is what @coremiller is alluding to — he could never get the central midfield to function effectively. The US was weak defending the central space between the defensive and midfield lines until Klinsmann installed Beckerman as the #6 in the lead up to 2014.
Interestingly, Bradley is taking the "F@#$ It!" approach to CM defense to the next level with LAFC right now. Since the somewhat more defensive-minded Mark-Anthony Kaye was lost for the season, he's experimented with a starting CM pairing of Feilhaber and Nguyen. Bradley certainly has his flaws, but one thing I respect about him is that he's still fiddling and experimenting at age 60. Many managers are set in their ways and fighting the tactical battles of two decades ago at that age.
Of course the handball sucked.. but I feel like I can still see Donovan one on one with Kahn multiple times that game and Donovan just getting slightly intimidated trying to hit the perfect shot.FTFY. Yes, It's been 16 years and I'm still bitter. Carry on.
“Ramos, Reyna and McBride are all up there as well”I'd say that Donovan was probably the better player - more technical, better able to control a match - but Dempsey was the player I loved. The swagger, the sweat, the smug confidence to try shit...he played the way we always wanted an American to play.
It's also fantastic that finally we have a real debate about who is the best outfield player in US history. It wasn't too long ago that we'd be tossing around names like Reyna, McBride, Ramos, and Wynalda. No disrespect to those guys, but they were superseded by an even better generation in exactly the same way we expect Pulisic to blow past Donovan & Dempsey. US soccer is on a good trajectory.