International Football

World Cup USA 1994: Where Are USMNT Players 20 Years Later?

John D. HalloranContributor IIApril 15, 2014

World Cup USA 1994: Where Are USMNT Players 20 Years Later?

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The run of the United States men's national team in the 1994 World Cup was a magical one, as the relatively unknown squad advanced to the round of 16 on home soil. In the early 1990s, the game was still in its infant stages in the United States and most Americans, even the few who were soccer fans, knew little of the sport, including their own team.

    The 1994 squad helped establish a small measure of credibility for the U.S. on the world stage, and has been the standard-bearer for the USMNT in the modern era.

    Here's where the players are, 20 years later.

Tony Meola

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    After the 1994 World Cup, during which he became a national hero, Tony Meola played 10 years in Major League Soccer and went on to try out out for the New York Jets as a place-kicker.

    Today, Meola is a soccer pundit and hosts a soccer show on Sirius XM with 1994 World Cup teammate John Harkes.

Mike Lapper

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    Mike Lapper didn't get on the field in the 1994 World Cup, but he enjoyed a long playing career after the tournament, playing in Europe for several years before returning to MLS with the Columbus Crew. He eventually joined the Crew's front office and coaching staff and today works as an assistant for the West Virginia University men's team.

Mike Burns

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    Mike Burns is another player from the 1994 roster who didn't get any playing time in the tournament. After the World Cup, Burns played for several years in Major League Soccer with the New England Revolution, the San Jose Earthquakes and the Kansas City Wizards. Today, he is the general manager of the New England Revolution.

Cle Kooiman

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    Cle Kooiman only saw action in one game in the 1994 tournament—the oft-forgotten 1-1 draw with Switzerland. After the tournament, Kooiman played several seasons in Liga MX before returning to MLS with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Miami Fusion. Today, he is the technical director for the Inland Empire Surf Soccer Club in California.

Thomas Dooley

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    Thomas Dooley played every single minute of the 1994 World Cup for the U.S. After the tournament, he returned to Germany for several more years before coming to MLS to finish his career.

    After his playing days were over, he turned to coaching and is currently the head coach of the Philippines national team.

John Harkes

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    John Harkes started three games for the USMNT in the 1994 World Cup. After the tournament, he returned to England for a short time before coming to MLS in 1996.

    He has spent much of his post-playing career as an MLS color commentator and currently serves as a soccer pundit alongside Tony Meola on Sirius XM.

Hugo Perez

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    Hugo Perez was near the end of his playing career in 1994 and only played one match during the World Cup—the round-of-16 loss to Brazil.

    Today, he is a youth coach with U.S. Soccer.

Earnie Stewart

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    Earnie Stewart started every game for the U.S. in 1994 and scored the game-winning goal against Colombia. After the tournament, he continued to play for another decade in Europe.

    Today, he is the technical director of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands—the current home of U.S. international Aron Johannsson.

Tab Ramos

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    David Cannon/Getty Images

    Tab Ramos started every game in the 1994 World Cup for the United States, and he infamously suffered a skull fracture in the loss to Brazil after catching an intentional elbow from Leonardo.

    After the '94 World Cup, Ramos continued playing in Spain and later Mexico before returning to MLS.

    Today, he is the assistant coach of the USMNT.

Roy Wegerle

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    David Cannon/Getty Images

    In the 1994 World Cup, Roy Wegerle was the U.S.'s regular man off the bench, appearing in all four matches as a substitute. After the tournament, he continued playing in England before returning to MLS with the Colorado Rapids, DC United and the Tampa Bay Mutiny.

    Following his retirement, Wegerle made an attempt to become a professional golfer.

Eric Wynalda

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Eric Wynalda started three games for the U.S. in the 1994 World Cup and scored the team's only goal in the tie against Switzerland. After the tournament, he played several more years in Europe before returning home to MLS.

    Wynalda has spent much of his post-playing career as a television analyst and is currently the technical director of the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Juergen Sommer

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    After the 1994 World Cup, in which he served as a backup to Tony Meola, Juergen Sommer returned to England for several more years before coming to MLS with the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution.

    He is now the head coach of NASL side, Indy Eleven.

Cobi Jones

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    After playing in every single game of the 1994 World Cup, Cobi Jones spent one season in England before coming back to MLS and spending the next decade with the LA Galaxy.

    Today, Jones serves as a soccer analyst.

Frank Klopas

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    After the 1994 World Cup, in which he didn't play, Frank Klopas returned to Greece for one season before joining MLS with the Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire.

    After his playing days were over, he moved onto the Fire's coaching staff, where he served for many years before stepping down last season. He now serves as the head coach of the Montreal Impact.

Joe-Max Moore

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    After the 1994 World Cup, Joe-Max Moore split his playing career between England, Germany and the U.S.

    Though he has largely stayed out of the public eye since his playing days, he was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013.

Mike Sorber

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Despite his teammates' assertions of how valuable he was to the squad, Mike Sorber is a forgotten man from the 1994 squad, and most USMNT fans today wouldn't know that he started all four games for the squad in the tournament.

    After playing in MLS for several years, Sorber became a coach working at collegiate level, international level and professional level. He is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union.

Marcelo Balboa

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    Marcelo Balboa played every single minute of the 1994 World Cup for the United States. After the tournament, he played for many years in MLS and served as a color commentator following retirement.

    He has spent the last several years as a high school coach in Colorado.

Brad Friedel

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Brad Friedel was Tony Meola's back-up in 1994, and, amazingly, is still playing today. At the age of 42, Friedel still gets the occasional game for Tottenham Hotspur.

    Friedel served as the U.S.'s No. 1 in the net in 2002, earning the nickname "The Human Wall," and he holds the EPL record for consecutive appearances.

Claudio Reyna

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Claudio Reyna didn't get to play in the 1994 World Cup, but had an extensive career—both professionally and internationally—in the years afterward. He played in England, Scotland and Germany before returning to MLS to finish his career.

    He's currently the sporting director for New York City FC.

Paul Caligiuri

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    Michael Caulfield

    Paul Caligiuri started and played every minute for the USMNT in the 1994 World Cup. After the tournament, he played for several years in MLS for the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy.

    After his playing career, he coached the Cal Poly men's and women's teams and, most recently, was coaching youth soccer in southern California.

Fernando Clavijo

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    Fernando Clavijo was at the end of his playing career when he represented the United States at the 1994 World Cup. Still, he started three games for the U.S. in the tournament, and afterwards continued a coaching career that had actually begun in 1991.

    He now works as the technical director for FC Dallas.

Alexi Lalas

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    Chris Cole/Getty Images

    Perhaps the most iconic player from the 1994 squad, Alexi Lalas continued his career for another decade in MLS. Since his playing days, he has been involved in the front offices of several MLS teams and continues his work in the game today as a pundit and commentator, most notably for ESPN.

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