USMNT captains

Who is the USMNT captain? List of United States men's team skippers

The USMNT has been one of the most improved national teams in the footballing world. A country not known for achieving iconic laurels in football or soccer, as it is called in their country, USA has finally accumulated a side that can challenge some of the biggest European sharks in world football.

Gregg Berhalter's men left a long-standing impact in the previous year's World Cup contested in Qatar and with the staggering tournament being hosted by the USA in 2026, the 'Golden Generation' can be the dark horses heading into the tournament.

Players like Weston Mckennie, Christian Pulisic, Timothy Weah, and Tyler Adams have brought a new sense of hope and excitement to the hearts of USMNT's faithful who were waiting to see a generation of soccer stars in their country.

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Richards USMNT 2023Getty

While the American players have established their footing in leagues all across Europe be it Pulisic playing in the Serie A, Bundesliga, and the Premier League or Sergino Dest playing in the Eredivisie and La Liga, this generation of American football has the power and potential to leave a long-lasting impact on future generations and become the heroes that pave the way for a scintillating factory of football coming through the ranks.

While the team is full of stars who can turn the tide with individual brilliance, Gregg Berhalter has relied on some specific players to lead the country and keep the team hinged together through the ups and downs. Tyler Adams was appointed the country's captain in 2022 before the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and when the midfielder has been sidelined Christian Pulisic and Matt Turner have deputised for Adams.

GOAL takes a look at all the current USMNT captains and those who led the team in the past.


Tyler Adams was appointed the USMNT captain to lead his side at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 'Golden Generation' of the national side was touted to earn massive experience and produce some inspirational performances with the showpiece event scheduled in their home country in 2026.

The Bournemouth midfielder was central to his side marching into the knockout stages of the tournament where their fairytale was brought to a halt by the Netherlands as the La Oranje beat USMNT 3-1.

But with the WC being hosted by the USA in 2026, Adams would garner massive experience and become a key force in USMNT's engine room. Adams was also voted the 2022 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year after becoming the youngest captain since 1930 to lead the American side into the World Cup.

Tyler Adams USMNT 2022Getty

With Adams currently nursing an injury, Gregg Berhalter has often juggled between two key players as the captain of his national side. Christian Pulisic and Matt Turner are the two names that are often seen wearing the armband for their country.

Pulisic rose to fame during his time in Germany when he thundered goal-scoring records in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund earning him a move to Chelsea. But the USMNT forward couldn't replicate his form in England as he was termed a failed move by numerous pundits and fans.

Frustrated by the growing drama around his presence in the squad and tired of being pushed to the bench by multiple managers who took charge of the English powerhouse, Pulisic made a switch to AC Milan in the summer transfer window of 2023.

Since his arrival in Italy, Pulisic has revived his goal-scoring touch and is helping the Rossoneri fight for domestic and European glory. The American forward has four goals and two assists in the 2023/24 Serie A campaign and all his woes in England could go to bed if he turns with a magnificent goal-scoring campaign for the Italian giants.

With Adams and Pulisic both out injured, Berhalter turned to Turner to lead the USMNT side rewarding him with the captain's armband for his exploits in USMNT's goal.

Matt Turner USMNT 2023Getty

Turner was awarded the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year accolade during his stint with the New England Revolutions as he rose to fame as one of the most heroic shot-stoppers emerging from the country. Turner was rewarded with a contract with English heavyweights Arsenal as he joined the North London outfit in July 2022. Despite the Gunners possessing a strong catalogue of goalkeepers, the American international was given opportunities in the UEFA Europa League and the Premier League.

In August 2023, the experienced campaigner switched ships to join English outfit Nottingham Forest in search of minutes as he became the number.1 custodian of Forest's goal.

After producing some scintillating performances in the MLS and the Premier League Turner earned his national call-up on January 31, 2021, against Trinidad and Tobago where he produced a valiant performance keeping a clean sheet in his maiden fixture and also denying Alvin Jones from the penalty spot. In the 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign, the USMNT goalkeeper kept four clean sheets helping his nation grab entry into the showpiece event touted to be played in Qatar.


Former USMNT defender Carlos Bocanegra is the player with the most games as captain for his country as the iconic defender started in 64 games wearing the nation's armband. The two-time MLS Defender of the Year, Bocanegra captained his country in a friendly encounter against China which his side won 4-1 as he continued to be a wall in USMNT's defensive structure.

Tony Meola was a trusted shot-stopper under the management of Bob Gansler during the 1990 and 1994 World Cups played in Italy and Brazil respectively. The first-choice goalkeeper, Meola earned 100 caps for his national side and was like a brick wall protecting his country's goal as he also captained the nation in 55 games.

Clint Dempsey USMNTGetty

The list also features legendary names like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, players who had established USA on the footballing map and players who had a special place in the hearts of the previous generations of USMNT's faithful.

Christian Pulisic USMNT 2023Getty

When Christian Pulisic donned the armband in the USA's routing of Trinidad and Tobago, the former Chelsea forward walked into an esteemed list as he tied places with Landon Donovan and Marcelo Balboa in the 10th place in the all-time USMNT captain's list. The AC Milan forward has 28 goals in 64 appearances for his national side and is an influential cog in an iconic forward battery for the USMNT and could be responsible for his country scaling heights in the coming future.

NameGames CaptainedYear
Carlos Bocanegra642001-2012
Tony Meola551988-2002
Michael Bradley 482006-2019
Claudio Reyna461994-2006
Mike Windischmann401984-1990
John Harkes301987-2000
Kasey Keller251990-2007
Thomas Dooley231992-1999
Clint Dempsey 202004-2017
Landon Donovan192000-2014
Marcelo Balboa191988-2000
Christian Pulisic192016-