The club season is just about over for all of our Yanks abroad (only Omar Gonzalez, William Yarbrough, Edgar Castillo, and Miguel Ibarra remain in Liguilla), and while we wait for the Copa America to ramp up, it seems appropriate for a bit of a retrospective on the season. And besides, who doesn't like seeing goals?
Below are our top ten goals scored by Yanks abroad for the 2015-2016 season. Goals are ranked on quality and any other extenuating circumstances surrounding the goal (birthdays, staving off relegation, first club goals and first goals in years are all represented here). In addition, we decided to take only goals from 1st team league and cup play, even though there may have been some better goals here and there at the youth level. Behold the glory of the Stars and Stripes around the world.
1. Danny Williams' volley vs. Blackburn
The top goal of the season really shouldn't come as a surprise. Danny Williams absolutely lights into a volley at an insane angle and puts it into the top corner for Reading. Far and away the best goal scored by any American abroad.
2. Fabian Johnson's curler vs. Sevilla
GOAL, Gladbach! #USMNT defender Fabian Johnson curls in a beauty for his second career #UCLonFOX goal. https://t.co/f3HpXRhmCh— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 25, 2015
A great finish on Europe's brightest stage, Fabian Johnson's goal against Sevilla grabs the second spot. The real beauty of this goal is how simple Johnson makes it look. One touch inside is all it takes.
3. Christian Pulisic's first career goal vs. Hamburg
Pulisic is obviously one of the most important stories of this year, and it's easy to let his age and situation take away from the quality of this goal. His incisive run opens up Hamburg, and his near-post finish in extremely tight quarters showed his ability that runs far beyond his age.
4. Bobby Wood's amazing run and finish vs. Kaiserslautern
Is the finish here lucky, and the goalkeeper cheating to the middle? Absolutely. But the move to go between two defenders and then blow by a third and fourth on the way to the byline was sublime, and besides, with 17 goals on the season, Bobby was making all of his own luck himself.
5. Miguel Ibarra's first Liga MX goal vs. Atlas
Miguel Ibarra's move to León was met with fanfare and surprise, as the former NASL man was never overly-impressive with the USMNT. Ibarra has only logged seven appearances Liga MX, but he still managed to open his account with this strike.
6. Eric Lichaj's left-footed blast vs. Burnley
@EricLichaj nice one Eric nice one son pic.twitter.com/1LSKWvaUrh— lee hackett (@reddoglee) October 20, 2015
Lichaj has toiled fairly successfully in England's second division with Nottingham Forest, and was rewarded this season with his first professional goal in over three years. The strike isn't half-bad, either.
7. Emerson Hyndman's memorable birthday present vs. Cardiff City
On his twentieth birthday, Emerson Hyndman gave the Cottagers a present when his stoppage time goal beat Cardiff City. Not only was it Hyndman's first professional goal, but it also helped Fulham achieve safety in the Championship. Not bad for twenty.
8. Fafa Picault's speedy run and finish vs. Bochum
Fafa Picault has shot into the USMNT conversation over the past few seasons, rising from the Czech First Division to St. Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga. This neat combo and tidy finish against Bochum shows why.
9. Aron Johannsson's diving header vs. Darmstadt
It was a rather depressing season for Aron Johannsson, marred by injury that kept him out the majority of the year. Werder fans will be hoping they'll see more of this next season, with his excellent movement in the box freeing him up for the headed finish.
10. John Anthony Brooks upstages Chicharito vs. Bayer Leverkusen
This is good, old-fashioned American soccer by the German-American center back. A bullet header off of the corner kick does the job just as well as a 30-yard volley.
Honorable Mention: Bjorn Maars Johnsen's rocket from distance
This one loses some points for video quality and, you know, being in the Bulgarian league. If you've heard Bjorn Maars Johnsen's name before, you probably know he's a big target forward that's made a name for himself in Europe's lower divisions, but this goal is a real show of versatility to his game.
Did we miss any goals you thought would make the top ten? Let us know in the comments section below!