If it was strange to be a footballer in United Statesimagine being a goalkeeper. In a country where you always sent the baseball, the basketball or the football, but the american, devoted to the Soccer it was a rarity, and among those who chose to be outside of the borders of north american was the sport king, some decided to put on the gloves.
Great stars such as Pelé, Beckenbauer or Cruyff lit the spark in a good part of the fans with your step by NASL (North American Soccer League), as it was then known the football of the united States. The 1994 World cup, held in american soil, was the great definitive for the Soccer, which today enjoys a MLS that grows gradually and that has seen extraordinary footballers go through their stages, even though they were mostly in the twilight of their careers.
Before the 1994 World cup, the U.s. team has participated in the Italia 90and don’t miss the big event of the football for seven consecutive tournaments, a milestone for The Yankees (failing, yes, in 2018). Already in that World of Italy the owner in goal was Tony Meola, one of the great media figures of the american football, and with which we begin the review the goalkeepers most famous in its recent history, those in charge of the networks of the country of the Stars and stripes would be safe.
An off-road sport: Meola played baseball, basketball or american football, but it was decided by the football possibly decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Italian immigrant who also played as a goalkeeper at Avellino of Serie B in italy. After being the goalkeeper in the World Italy, Meola came to his country as one of the great stars of his selection alongside Alexi Lalas, Wynalda, Cobi Jones, Tab Ramos and company.
But what of Tony Meola was a case apart: such was his popularity that even a video game of the then in vogue Super Nintendo he was wearing his name.
Goalkeeper of large-scale, in the early days of his career he played in two English clubs, Brighton and Watford, but failed to settle and returned to his country, initiating a long career in the MLS.
But don’t forget about other sports: after the 1994 World cup he wanted to try his luck in the NFL with the New York Jets in the style of Angoy, but not managed to make a place in this sport. For when he wanted to return to the Soccer, Meola had already lost the historic America’s Cup in 1995, in the united States was fourth and where he had defeated Argentina 3-0 in the group stage. However later returned to the selection, but as as a substitute usual, being his last World cup of 2002 in Korea and Japan.
It is precisely the replacement of Meola in the selection was probably the most well known in Spain, a Kasey Keller he defended the goal for Rayo Vallecano during two seasons with good performances. Also made a career in England: if Tony Meola was a forerunner in goal for american, Keller it was for their peers in the Premier League. Not in vain was the holder at Tottenham for a couple of seasons, and before already became an idol for the fans of Millwall from 1992 to 1996. He also played in the Leicester, Southampton and Fulham, and in Germany with Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Was present in four world, 1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006, being owner in 1998 and 2006, in addition to being the goalkeeper of the selection of the semi-finalists of the Copa America in 1995.
A special case of Brad Friedel, as up to the 41-year-old was defending as a starter, and with good performances, the goal of a Tottenham. And it was not any Tottenham: it was Harry Redknapp with Bale, Modric, Van der Vaart and company. It was the icing on the cake to a sublime career that she put on the gloves for 17 years in England in the goals for Liverpool, Aston Villa and Blackburn, where he was unchallenged for eight seasons.
Before, in the nineties he had played in Denmark with the Brondby and in Turkey with Galatasaray. With the selection he played three world cups in 1994, 1998 and 2002being the holder in this latter, where the united States had the best ranking in its history to reach the quarter-final round in which they lost to Germany by the minimum.
As a curiosity, holds the record for consecutive games in the Premier, 310 encounters and in addition with three different teams: Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham, which gives account of its regularity. It is also one of the few goalkeepers who scored a goal in the Premier league, being another of them, in our next protagonist.
Something must have Tim Howard for that Sir Alex Ferguson will take it to Old Trafford from New York in 2004. Following the departure of Barthez came to compete for the position with the irish Carroll, but the arrival of Van der Sar two years later led to his departure to the Everton, where he would become one of their pillars during the ten seasons.
With the selection was in three world cups: 2006, 2010 and 2014, being a starter in the last twoin the united States reached the knockout round. Especially remembered is his match against Belgium in 2014, in which the team of Hazard, Lukaku and De Bruyne had to resort to the extension after no way to whisk you over the first ninety minutes.
He was also named best goalkeeper of the fifa Confederations Cup 2009, in which his selection reached the final after defeating Spain.
Zack Steffen, present and future
After shining in the Columbus Crew, the porter of Pennsylvania was signed last summer by the Manchester City, who gave a year to the Fortuna Düsseldorf. Their good performances in the Bundesliga, made the citizens consider your addition to the template, taking account of the experience of Claudio Bravo. However, a recent injury that will take time away from the goal could be to accelerate the renewal of the chilean for one more year.
At 25 years, Steffen is presented as the best option for the future, the goal of the united States, and not in vain, he was already the holder in the Gold Cup 2019.
Bonus Track: Hope Solo
If football american male has lived in the last decades, an evolution, the female is one of the great powers of the sport king in the world, if not the most. And among its great exponents, in addition to Alex Morgan or Megan Rapinoe, is your goalkeeper of the galactic surname, the media Hope Only.
With the whopping 202 international matches, two olympic gold medals and a world conquered, the, 2015, in neighboring Canada, Hope Solo stands as one of the most important figures in not only women’s american football, but all over the world.
He developed almost all his career in equipment of the united States Washington, Atlanta or Seattle, in addition to short-lived steps by Sweden and the Olympique Lyonone of the strongest teams in women’s football.
In NdF | The short-lived United Soccer Association