Previous
Georgia
Switzerland
ESPN3 7:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Gibraltar
Republic of Ireland
ESPN3 10:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Malta
Faroe Islands
ESPN3 10:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Sweden
Romania
ESPN3 10:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Spain
Norway
ESPN3 12:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Armenia
ESPN3 12:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Italy
Finland
12:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Liechtenstein
Greece
ESPN3 12:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Next
By ESPN Staff

The highs and lows of the U.S's 2014: Your voting results revealed

Update: Voting for each category is now closed and ESPN FC thanks everyone who voted. Here are the winners of each category, as picked by our readers.

Highlight of 2014: Getting out of the group of death
Lowlight of 2014: Jurgen Klinsmann cuts Landon Donovan
Surprise of 2014: DeAndre Yedlin's breakout World Cup
Top player of 2014: Tim Howard
Disappointing player of 2014: Michael Bradley
Exciting newcomer of 2014: DeAndre Yedlin
Best goal of 2014: Jermaine Jones' goal vs. Portugal 

World Cup years are usually memorable for the teams involved and the United States national team was no exception. Jurgen Klinsmann's side was considered to be one of the most exciting teams in Brazil. ESPN FC's U.S. writers reflect on the 2014 campaign. 

Getting out of the group of death:

Getting out of a highly difficult group at the World Cup has to top the list. Granted, this achievement was cemented on a day when the U.S. was beaten by Germany in the group stage finale, which took some of the shine off the accomplishment. But looking at the big picture, the fact that the U.S. progressed was more than most even hoped prior to the tournament.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Clint Dempsey's opening goal vs. Ghana

After four years of buildup, the pressure that comes with performing in the tournament, and the added narrative element of facing Ghana in the first group game, Dempsey's goal in the opening minute of the World Cup in Brazil was the highlight of the year. The words "dream start" don't do it justice.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

John Brooks' late goal vs. Ghana

The U.S. looked in trouble when Ghana equalized with less than 10 minutes left in their World Cup opener. Then substitute Brooks got on the end of Graham Zusi's corner kick and nodded home an unlikely winner. Without those three points, the U.S. wouldn't have advanced to the second round in Brazil.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

Brooks goal vs. Ghana

For everything that came before it in that game and Brooks' proper Marco Tardelli-like joy and disbelief, and just the general sense of possibility about the U.S. World Cup campaign that arrived with it.

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Jozy Altidore's hamstring injury vs. Ghana

Altidore's hamstring injury just minutes into the World Cup opener against Ghana will always lend a sense of "What if?" to the U.S. effort, especially in terms of the effectiveness of the team's attack. While manager Jurgen Klinsmann got plenty right at the tournament, losing Altidore exposed his greatest mistake in terms of roster selection, namely that didn't he have more of a like-for-like backup behind the U.S. lead forward.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Belgium's two extra-time goals

From the amazing start to the disappointing end; the lowlight of the USMNT year can only be the two extra-time goals conceded to Belgium in the round of 16. The U.S. showed fight by getting a tally of its own, but it wasn't enough, and worst of all, it was Matt Besler who played the goat on the first goal.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

The 4-1 loss in Ireland

The Yanks' year-ending drubbing by the Irish reserves in Dublin was a dismal way to end an otherwise successful 2014. The ugly, lopsided score line matched the worst loss in the Klinsmann era.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

Jurgen Klinsmann's decision to cut Landon Donovan

The handling of Landon Donovan from being invited into the provisional squad to then being cut from the World Cup squad was avoidable. That decision has set the tone for the factional bickering of the post-competition comedown

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Jermaine Jones' outstanding World Cup

The role reversals experienced by Jones and Michael Bradley. Their respective performances in the World Cup meant that Jones went from the most reviled to one of the most beloved players by fans. Bradley went in the other direction, a stunning turnaround given how generally admired he was for his consistently excellent displays.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

DeAndre Yedlin's breakout World Cup

Among many surprises in 2014, Yedlin stealing the show -- as a midfielder -- was among the biggest this year. Yedlin's future appeared to be pegged to right back, where he'd understudy to Fabian Johnson. Instead, Jurgen Klinsmann gave the kid a chance to show his devastating speed on the biggest possible stage.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

Landon Donovan's U.S. send-off

Donovan's omission from the World Cup roster wasn't a total shock. But after it happened, and after he publicly criticized Klinsmann's decision and then the coach's tactics in Brazil, few could've envisioned a scenario in which Donovan donned the red, white and blue again. But he did.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

Kyle Beckerman's strong play

Kyle Beckerman played in his first World Cup at 32 years old but made a big impact for the U.S.

The Donovan decision was surprising, obviously. But I think Beckerman surprised a lot of people with how effective he was as a fulcrum for the U.S. midfield, and what he allowed Jones and, notionally at least, Bradley, to do further up the field.

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Tim Howard

Howard, no question. Jones will get some votes, but the reality is that the midfielder's play started to erode a bit toward the end of the World Cup. Howard was the most consistent U.S. player at the tournament, and his performance against Belgium is already the stuff of legend.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Jermaine Jones

With all respect to Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones had the single biggest impact on the USMNT in 2014. With Michael Bradley laboring in Brazil, Jones lifted the team through his ceaseless work on and off the ball. It took some time for Klinsmann to figure out how to best use him, but when he did, Jones was the best American player.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

Tim Howard

Who could forget Tim Howard's U.S. heroics vs. Belgium in the 2-1 extra-time loss.

The veteran keeper deserves the nod for his otherworldly performance against Belgium alone. But Howard was a model of consistency for the U.S. all year, and the Americans' World Cup could have been very different without Howard's sometimes underappreciated leadership and his ability to organize a rotating cast of defenders.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

Kyle Beckerman

It is easy to take Tim Howard for granted, but obviously against Belgium his worth was apparent and he could have earned the nod on that performance alone. I think I am going to say Beckerman though, for just playing at his absolute capacity in every game that mattered.

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Michael Bradley

When set against his usual standard, Bradley is the choice. To be fair, the fact that he recently underwent his second foot operation of the year puts some of his struggles in greater context. U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann also did Bradley no favors by playing him as an attacking midfielder as opposed to his usual box-to-box role. But the consistency the viewing public had come to expect from the former Roma midfielder wasn't evident at the World Cup.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Chris Wondolowski's miss vs. Belgium

As harsh as it is, Wondolowski's miss against Belgium, a goal that could have put the U.S. through to the quarterfinals, is the most disappointing moment of the year. Worse, because the Americans lost that game, Tim Howard's superhuman performance in goal may not get the historical recognition it deserves.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

Timothy Chandler

After an 18-month absence, Chandler returned to the national team in May and made the World Cup roster. But he was beaten out for the left back job by converted midfielder DaMarcus Beasley and was one of just two U.S. field players (the other being Mix Diskerud) not to see action in Brazil.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

DeAndre Yedlin

The decision to include Yedlin on the World Cup roster was one of the more controversial decisions given his youth and form leading into the tournament. But the Seattle Sounders defender provided a spark off the bench in every one of his World Cup appearances, whether it was in midfield or at right back. Now the key is to build on that success.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Julian Green

Green's strange trip from Bayern Munich trainee to World Cup roster didn't quite measure up to the hype. Still, Green -- who started just one game in 2014 for the USMNT -- made a mark with his extra-time goal against Belgium in Brazil. In that moment, USMNT fans got a glimpse of the talent Klinsmann saw in Green.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

DeAndre Yedlin

A surprise inclusion on the U.S. World Cup roster, not much was expected from Yedlin in Brazil. Not only did the then-20-year-old play, he was a revelation off the bench in all three games he appeared in, earning the speedster a post-Cup transfer to Premier League side Tottenham.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

DeAndre Yedlin

Very raw, could still go either way, but there were signs toward the end of the year that Yedlin's defensive brain was developing alongside his undoubted pace.

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Clint Dempsey's goal vs. Ghana

There might have been better team goals over the course of the year, but Clint Dempsey's slalom through Ghana's defense is tough to top. Not only was it a great individual effort, full of attacking skill, but it got the Americans' World Cup effort off to a roaring start.

-- Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle)

Jermaine Jones' goal vs. Portugal

Jones' goal against Portugal at the World Cup not only leveled a game the United States needed something from to have a chance of getting out of their group, it was a 30-yard lightning bolt as sweetly struck as any goal any American has ever scored.

-- Jason Davis (@davisjsn)

Jermaine Jones' goal  vs. Portugal

Jones' curling long-range bomb against Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. was as important as it was beautiful: His second-half strike got the U.S. back on even terms and gave the Americans a crucial jolt of confidence during a match in which they'd fallen behind early.

-- Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN)

Fabian Johnson's goal vs. Turkey

Johnson's pace, Bradley's vision and delivery, the mutual timing and then the finish -- it was a perfect sequence that hinted at dimensions of the U.S. attack we'd seen only in glimpses

-- Graham Parker (@KidWeil)

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.