Friday, September 1, 2017

Net Rewards

As promised, we shift our sports stat obsession over the USMNT scene. Today, we're going to deal with goal scorers.

THE GOAL HOUNDS

This count ranks the top US players of all-time by their strike ratio in competitive matches. Those who scored fewer than five career international goals in matches that mattered were left off the list. Active players are marked with an asterisk on all the lists, while pre-1980 guys are listed by their full name.

2.5 Aldo Donelli (5 goals in 2 games)
.55 Willy Roy (6 in 11g)
.53 E. Johnson (16 in 30g)
.48 Dempsey* (41 in 86g)
.42 Pulisic* (5 in 12g)
.40 Donovan (38 in 94g)
.39 McBride (27 in 70g)
.38 Ed Murphy (5 in 13g)
.37 Wynalda (22 in 60g)
.36 Altidore* (21 in 58g)
.33 Wondolowski* (5 in 15g)
.31 Wood* (5 in 16g)
.31 Ching (8 in 26g)
.27 Razov (6 in 22g)
.24 Wolff (6 in 25g)
.24 Murray (10 in 42g)
.22 Moore (11 in 51g)
.18 Beasley* (13 in 72g)
.18 Stewart (13 in 74g)
.16 Bradley* (12 in 75g)



BAGGING THE FULL POINTS

This ranking covers the USMNT players with the most game-winning goals in competitive matches. Mad props to Da Bease, who has decided qualifying/tourney matches with over 35% of  his 17 career US tallies.

13 Dempsey*
10 McBride
8 Altidore*
8 Donovan
7 Wynalda
6 Beasley*
4 Bocanegra
4 E. Johnson
4 Moore
3 Dooley
3 C. Jones
3 Wegerle
3 Wolff
2 by Balboa, Bradley*, Caliguiri, Cooper, Corona*, Morris*, Perez, Preki, Ramos, Shea*



OPENING SALVOS

Striking the opener is often very important. Sometimes that's all it takes to win a game, on other occasions it kicks off a rout. Here we're listing the guys who hit the most icebreakers in competitive matches.

18 Dempsey*
12 McBride
9 Altidore*
8 Wynalda
7 Donovan
7 E. Johnson
4 Beasley*
4 Bocanegra
4 Bradley*
4 Wolff
3 Murray
3 Wegerle
2 by Caligiuri, Davies, Dooley, Gonzalez*, Goodson, C. Jones, Mathis, Moore , Ed Murphy, Perez, Preki, Ramos, Razov, Shea*, Stewart



THE HERO STRIKES

This category covers all goals bagged over the final 15 minutes of a game or in extra time that changed the USMNT's result for the better. A few turned a loss into a draw, while most improved a draw into a win. And on a couple of occasions, the Nats snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the waning moments to include both types of hero strikes in the same game.

One added caveat: this time, I have excluded all minor temporary tournaments from days of yore, such as the US/Nike Cup and the Amistad Cup. That means that this count includes only World Cup and its qualifying, Confederations Cup, Gold Cup and Copa América. In my book, the theatrics need to happen on the biggest stages available for us to pull out the "H" word.

So, all those rules aside... did you know that, until Jordan Morris fired two late, late winners during the recent Gold Cup, only one player in USMNT history accounted for two career hero strikes?

Does anyone know who that player is?

Think long and hard about it and I will give you the answer, along with the full list of all the USMNT players that accounted for one after the final whistle of tonight's game...






- Greg Seltzer

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