On Tuesday night, teen Borussia Dortmund talent Gio Reyna bagged arguably one of the snazziest goals ever scored in Europe by an American, curling home a spectacular solo effort.
We're here to stoke that exact debate by listing our version of the best strikes by an American export after MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle started it.
That’s maybe a top 10 goal from an American in Europe all-time, right?— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) February 4, 2020
Show-stopping skill was the primary basis for ranking these memorable bell-ringers, but a few of them got ties broken in their favor due to an added gloss of high-occasion importance.
There were numerous highlight reel strikes close enough in quality to the top 10 to merit honorable mentions: Jozy Altidore vs. Ajax (2012), Jozy Altidore vs. RKC Waalwijk (2013), DaMarcus Beasley v. Rosenborg (2004), Clint Dempsey v. Sunderland (2012), Brad Friedel v. Charlton (2004), Julian Green v. Fortuna Duesseldorf (2016), Clint Mathis v. Hamburg (2004), Josh Sargent v. Augsburg (2019) and Bobby Wood v. Karlsruhe (2015).
No. 10: Eddie Lewis vs Preston North End (2006)
Time to rally from a 1-0 deficit was running out for Leeds United in the home opener of their Championship promotion semifinal tie, when Lewis stepped up to a free kick against his former teammates. It's no small feat to get a dead ball up and over the wall on the short side, but Lewis got enough mustard on it to freeze the 'keeper and find the top corner.
No. 9: Brian McBride vs. West Ham (2007)
The Fulham striker was most admired for his aerial game, but he was also nimble. Early in the first half of a deadlocked derby match, McBride chested down a Carlos Bocanegra long ball to tee himself up for a twisting half-volley missile that left West Ham goalkeeper Roy Carroll with no chance.
No. 8: DaMarcus Beasley vs. Feyenoord (2005)
I could not find a clip for this doozy, so we'll just have to paint the picture. With just over a minute left in the Amstel Cup semifinal, PSV were trailing 1-0. Beasley received the ball at the far right corner and stopped to survey the scene. He checked a few runners, but couldn't make a decision. Feyenoord were too slow to close Beasley down, so he simply tucked a pillow soft lob into the far-side netting. PSV took the game on spot kicks and then won the final to snap a 19-year Dutch Cup drought.
No. 7: Giovanni Reyna vs. Werder Bremen (2020)
You know when a young prodigy gets called up to the first team and soon after scores a goal that has everyone salivating over his potential ceiling? We got one of those on Tuesday night. It was only a consolation tally in a 3-2 defeat, but Reyna gave Borussia Dortmund late hope against DfB-Pokal third-round hosts Werder Bremen. The 17-year-old attacker got loose from a few defenders to bury a picturesque far-corner curler.
No. 6: John O'Brien vs. Vitesse (2001)
The Los Angeles native didn't score many goals during his Ajax tenure, but one of them was worthy of acclaim. As the Amsterdammers made their way to the Eredivisie title, O'Brien swooped onto the scene to net the primary insurance goal in a 5-1 rout of Vitesse. He flew onto a knocked-down cross and lashed home an unstoppable, arcing shot.
No. 5: Mix Diskerud vs. Legia Warsaw (2012)
Rosenborg's gripping Europa League playoff round tussle with Legia Warsaw looked as if it was headed to extratime with the teams deadlocked at 2-2 on aggregate. Then, the hosts sent a long ball toward the Legia area that resulted in a weak looping clearance. Diskerud raced in to rocket a confident volley into the near side and earn a big continental win.
No. 4: Fabian Johnson vs. Hannover 96 (2012)
In some American-on-American crime, the then-Hoffenheim winger used his wheels and his wits to make good ol' Steve Cherundolo suffer. Johnson cushioned a long serve and executed a Dennis Bergkamp-esque over-the-top backheel flick to jet past the Mayor of Hannover into the box. His slicing finish was also top-notch, but it pales in comparison to the way he got into shooting position.
No. 3: John Harkes vs. Derby County (1990)
Everyone bust out your best Dr. Evil voice, because this Harkes strike was a shark with a frickin' laser beam on its head. The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder collected out in space on the right, took one dribble to build up speed and uncorked a shot from nearly 40 yards that bested England goalkeeping legend Peter Shilton. The blast even earned Harkes the Goal of the Season.
No. 2: Roy Wegerle vs. Leeds United (1990)
Wegerle garnered the Goal of the Season prize from broadcast partner ITV for this highlight-reel job during his magical season for QPR. The American forward scored 17 times that term to finish third in the top-flight goal chart, but none was as entertaining as the Leeds humiliation job you see below.
No. 1: Clint Dempsey vs. Juventus (2010)
Things appeared grim for Fulham in their Europa League Round of 16 tie capper, since Juventus held a 4-1 aggregate lead. However, the gutsy hosts clawed back to level with three goals, setting the stage for Deuce to cut loose late. With eight minutes left, Dempsey conjured a magical goal out of nothing, perfectly chipping across his body on the diagonal to put Fulham firmly on the road to their first continental final.