With the U.S. having missed the 2018 World Cup, there has been a lot scrutiny and second-guessing over Bruce Arena’s starting lineups and the performances of the players he put on the field. With that in mind, I decided to assemble the most American starting XI there could be, a lineup constructed entirely from former Presidents of the United States.
GK: Andrew Jackson. A goalie needs to be a little bit crazy, and no president was as crazy as Jackson. Also he went 107-0 lifetime in duels, so he will be unphased by penalty kicks.
RB: Dwight Eisenhower. His experience as a general means he knows how to defend. It will also allow the team to have a solidly organized back line
CB: Abraham Lincoln. Our tallest president at 6 foot 4 inches can keep the defense from being exposed by balls over the top.
CB: George Washington. The captain of the squad stands 6 foot 2 inches, meaning the two center backs put forth an imposing back line, ensuring they won’t get out-muscled in the back.
LB: George H.W Bush. Bush is one of our eight lefty presidents, and comes from a sports background as a college baseball player. The elder Bush president rounds out an terrifying back four that should keep scoring low.
RM: John F. Kennedy. He grew up playing all kinds of sports, so soccer shouldn’t be a big adjustment. He was a dynamic president and should provide a spark from the right wing.
CM: Gerald Ford. The former college football player provides a physical presence in support of the already strong back line, while allowing the team to transition to offense.
CM: James Madison. The diminutive father of the Constitution can keep the team organized and distribute the ball well around the field.
LM: Ronald Reagan. As a lefty, he can play well down the left wing. As a trained actor, he can draw fouls with the best of them.
ST: Barack Obama. At 6 foot 1 with a background in basketball, he will provide a good target for crosses from wings Reagan and Kennedy.
ST: Theodore Roosevelt. Providing a spark up front, Roosevelt has a bit of a screw loose, and would be able to provide a Luis Suarez-like presence by being crazy and scoring goals. Roosevelt is great at making mad charges which will translate into creative runs to test a back line.