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Your Picks for Top U.S. Scorers at '06 World Cup

We provided our theory and then asked for your opinions on who would be crowned the top scorer for the U.S. during the 2006 World Cup. Here’s what you told us:

Peter Le

I think Onyewu should be higher on your list for the U.S. Soccer golden boot. He can score off headers since he is the tallest on the team. He might not have much experience, but he is skilled in the air. Onyewu is an outstanding defender, who is also very dangerous on corner kicks.

You guys have it perfect for Dempsey. Whether or not Bruce lets him play a lot will determine his outcome. Dempsey might not have much experience, but he is still an outstanding player!!!

Peter, good point on Gooch. He does have the ability to “get in the box!” as Bruce roared before his winning header against Honduras during the Gold Cup last year (see it here). And we thank you for saying we had it perfect – even if it was just about one player – because you were definitely the only one that wrote in to say that. 

Michael Leonnig

I think the leading scorer will be DaMarcus Beasley. I also think O'Brien will be assisting McBride and Donovan on some awesome goals too. 

Short and to the point. We like it Michael, and Beas isn’t a bad choice if he gets on a tear. 


If the USA scores a goal or more, here are my guesses at where they will come from:

1) Brian McBride, because he has been the one to score the most important goals, and nobody has been able to replace him at that.

2) Eddie Johnson, because he has tremendous talent and scoring ability! He's also overdue for goals.

3) Landon Donovan, because he's also overdue. Hopefully he doesn't fix that (in a game before the World Cup). Glad to see him taking shots near the penalty area instead of always passing.

4) Brian Ching, because he's better than a lot of fans give him credit for. I saw all I needed to in the match against Germany this year to know what he's capable of. He confirmed it with his beautiful goal against Venezuela, which is a page right out of Ronaldo's book.

5) DaMarcus Beasley. If he finds his motivation, few players are going to stop him from constantly driving to the goal and sneaking the ball past the 'keeper.

6) Clint Dempsey, because he likes to show up where he isn't expected to be and bury the ball in the back off the net!!

7) Josh Wolff, because in spite of being a prolific MLS scorer, those shots don't seem to go in at international level. Every once in a while, though, his shots that are "just wide" and "just over" are "just inside" and "just under".

Eddie Lewis does not rank because he's playing out of position. John O'Brien or Claudio Reyna might get lucky and find themselves in good goal-scoring positions, but more likely they will be the servers for some potentially wonderful goals and are therefore not ranked. The rest of the players also fall into the unranked category. 

Jamezinho? Are you Brazilian? Sounds Brazilian. If so, we’re glad to know a Brazilian agrees that McBride has the best chance to finish with the most goals. And we like the Ching-Ronaldo comparison, as well. 

Stephen Armstrong

Landon Donovan 2-1
Landon will score when needed. He is driven to make the USA all that it can be.

Clint Dempsey 3-1
Clint will do what ever it takes to help the USA cause. He is a dangerous player and will wreak havoc on the opposition’s back line.

Brian McBride 4-1
Brian is an opportunistic type forward. He never really creates great goals but just happens on them from time to time. Amazingly, he was chosen as Fulham's player of the year. I hope he will mean that much to the USA during the cup.

DaMarcus Beasley 5-1
Of late, he is not attacking the opposition. I have seen him turn from goal too many times one on one when his alleged speed and quickness should allow him to beat players one on one. If he puts his head down and attacks the goal he can be a factor, if not then he is still a hustler and will help the USA cause.

Eddie Johnson 6-1
Oh where oh where is the old Eddie? Does he really know what offsides is? Come on Bruce show him the films. I like his size and speed but he needs to play smarter.

Josh Wolff 15-1
Josh gets eaten up by good defenders. He really plays better in front of the goal than on the wing. He, like McBride, is an opportunistic forward. If he gets more aggressive he will be a factor.

Brian Ching 20-1
I think Brian is showing more confidence and really playing better than most of the other forwards. He needs to put himself in better position to score goals. His movement off the ball needs to be better. Anticipation of the ball is not his forte' but he is getting better all the time. I could be a fan if he goes all out at the tourney.

Bobby Convey 22-1
Bobby does not need to score, he just needs to attack the defense and make the plays he is capable of making. He will make or break the USA attack based on his play along with Donovan.

Claudio Reyna 25-1
Reyna knows the game but I really believe the USA would be better served by his coming off the bench when they have a lead. He, in my opinion is simply not fast enough and does not hold the ball well enough for what the USA needs. He has been wonderful for the USA over the years but sentimentality will not take you anywhere. I would be shocked if he scores.

Eddie Pope 30-1
We need Eddie Pope to score on corners. The USA needs someone to score on set pieces and corners! I hope this is the man. I love his defending, he is our brightest player.

Like it might happen??

Keepers.....NO WAY

GOOOOOOOOOOOOO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clint at 3-1…now that’s what I call an interesting pick. Stephen, you’ve got him above all four forwards. We’re thinking our forwards will get some goals, so if Clint does end up with more, I’m thinking that will definitely be a good thing. 

Kyle Ingham
Amarillo, TX

Just wanted to chime in with a thought that should move Brian Ching into at least the 20-1 range…

A: As you stated he scores in big games.

B: Arena will likely use him around the 60th minute in matches as a substitute spark if the U.S. is down or pushing for a go-ahead. A fresh and dangerous player coming in around the point of fatigue for other players has a good shot a scoring.

C: If anything happens (God forbid) to McBride, Ching is the obvious replacement.

D: Against the two teams in the group with small back lines, a combination of McBride and Ching (both big guys) would be very difficult to defend with solid crossing coming from Convey (left) and Beasley (right). If they could put four balls high into the box, those tall heads and strong bodies will stick one of them into the net.

I will be surprised if Ching logs fewer than 150 minutes in the first 3 games.

Let’s see…you’re a Dynamo fan, right? How did I guess. If Ching gets 150 minutes in the first three games that would be pretty good for him, and if he can pop a few in the net, even better. 

Arlington, VA

500 to 1! Are you crazy? EDDIE POPE and OGUCHI ONYEWU have a better chance than that. For the most part I agree about the others but come on don't you remember the goals by Pope (2 in 2006) and Oguchi is a very similar threat and in addition they are starters on the field the entire 90 minutes. If you are serious then take my 10 dollars for each of these players and if they score you owe me $5000 each. I am not kidding I will send you the money with those odds. 

Craig, while 500-to-1 might be a bit high for these guys, we're still sticking with the theory that their chances of finishing at the top is pretty low. Remember, they don't just need to score, they need to score enough to become the leading goal scorer on the team, so one goal might not get you that $5,000 pay day. Truthfully, if either of them ended up the top goal scorers it might not be a good thing because most likely they're only getting one at the most.

But, why don't you send in that $10. We'll pay you if they win…we swear.*

*Our legal office told us we had to add this: We are not taking bets on games, nor shall we be taking anyone's money if they send it in. The above reference was a joke. Chris, keep you cash.