- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2008

New York Red Bulls midfielder Claudio Reyna announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a playing career that took the former U.S. national team captain to some of the most prestigious leagues in the world. Reyna’s 14 years of dynamic play is cause enough for him to be considered the best American soccer player of all time. Drew Hansen ranks the top American men ever to play the beautiful game.

1. Claudio Reyna - “Captain America” made the jump to Europe directly after the 1994 World Cup and a storied career at the University of Virginia. From 1994 to 2007, Reyna starred in the German Bundesliga as well as the Scottish and English Premier leagues. He was the first American to captain a European club, doing so with German side VfL Wolfsburg in 1998. Though injuries were a frequent concern, Reyna was an integral part in four World Cups and two Olympics with the U.S. and filled possibly the most demanding position as a playmaking midfielder.

2. Tab Ramos - Ramos was drafted by the New York Cosmos out of high school in 1984 but instead opted to play for four years at N.C. State. The midfielder went on to play 13 professional seasons in Spain, Mexico and the U.S., where he was the first player to sign with MLS in 1996. His work for the national team included three World Cups and several successful Copa America appearances.

3. Billy Gonsalves - Considered the Babe Ruth of American soccer, the Rhode Island native rose to prominence in the 1920s and 1930s playing in a variety of early professional leagues. The central midfielder had a powerful shot and played in two World Cups (though received just six caps) for the U.S. His eight U.S. Open Cup victories remain a record.

4. Brad Friedel- Very few players from any country have been able to hold a role with one club like Friedel has as goalkeeper with English side Blackburn since 2000. Friedel was part of three World Cup teams and was named the top keeper in the EPL for the 2002-03 season.

5. Kasey Keller - Keller was a world-class goalkeeper from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s with several English sides and Spanish club Rayo Vallecano. Along with Renya, Keller is the only American to be named to four World Cup teams.

Honorable mentions - Brian McBride, Eric Wynalda, Landon Donovan, Ricky Davis, Marcelo Balboa

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