World Cup Team USA 1994 – Where Are They Now?

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Eric Wynalda – Then

Before the likes of Brian McBride, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey led the line for the US, it was Eric Wynalda who was banging in the goals. In ’94, the exciting talent started three games and with a reputation as something of a sharpshooter, Wynalda scored against Switzerland. For many, Wynalda had proven that he had what it took to score goals on the biggest stage in world soccer. The question remains: what is the forward doing nowadays?

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Eric Wynalda – Now

Just like Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda made a smooth transition into soccer management, working for the likes of Cal FC, Atlanta Silverbacks, and L.A. Wolves. The former striker has had much success working as an analyst for ESPN as well as a columnist for Major League Soccer Magazine. He has worked on many other soccer shows since then. In 2014, Wynalda married Amanda Fletcher and the couple lives with their three children and Wynalda’s three children from his previous marriage.

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Tab Ramos – Then

There is no denying that Tab Ramos had quite a mixed time playing for Team USA at the World Cup in ’94. On the plus side, the defensive midfielder was a mainstay in the starting lineup, starting every single game. However, his world would come crashing down on him when the red, white and blue bowed out of the competition. In the 1-0 defeat to Brazil, after colliding with Leonardo, Ramos fractured his skull, meaning that he couldn’t even watch the rest of the game.

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Tab Ramos – Now

Ramos was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005. However, the former midfielder has done so much since hanging up his boots at the turn of the Millenium. Since 2011, Ramos has been the head coach of the United States under-20 national team, leading them to the final of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Then, just four years later, the team won the 2017 edition, beating Honduras in the final. Ramos lives in New Jersey with his girlfriend Tracey and his three kids.

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Tony Meola – Then

The World Cup has been blessed with numerous goalkeeping legends such as Dino Zoff, Harold Schumacher, and Rene Higuita, to name a few. One of the lesser-known names in the goalkeeping department is that of Tony Meola, who was between the sticks for the US in the ’90, ’94,  and ’02 editions of the World Cup. On home soil, Meola wore the captain’s armband and made numerous showstopping saves. Despite letting in only one goal against Brazil, this wouldn’t stop his team from narrowly missing out on the quarter-finals.

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Tony Meola – Now

Unlike other teammates from the US ’94 team, Tony Meola didn’t achieve the same level of success in the managerial aspect of the game. He briefly managed Jacksonville Armada FC in the 2015-16 season, with little fortune. However, Meola has added many strings to his bow, having run his own mortgage company, starring in off-Broadway shows, and even playing American football at one point. The former US goalkeeper spends most of his time working as a radio host for SiriusXM FC.

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Earnie Stewart – Then

Team USA’s other goalscorer in World Cup ’94 was striker Earnie Stewart, who started every single game. In fact, it was his goal against Colombia that would prove to be the winner in that particular game. It helped the US move onto the knockout round. However, Stewart’s heroic moment was ultimately overshadowed by the goal that preceded it; an own goal scored by the opposition’s Andres Escobar, who was tragically shot dead after his team bowed out of the competition.

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Earnie Stewart – Now

After World Cup ’94, Earnie Stewart had a fairly fruitful career in Europe, playing solely in the Dutch Eredivisie for teams such as VVV, Willem II, and NAC. It seems like the former striker’s love for Dutch soccer is still alive to this very day as Stewart was the technical director of both NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar. However, he soon resumed that very role at a different club, going back to the States and working for Philadelphia Union.

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Marcelo Balboa – Then

One player who epitomized the term “longevity” in the ’94 World Cup was Team USA’s defensive talisman Marcelo Balboa. Alexi Lalas may have stolen the headlines for other reasons, but it was Balboa’s ever-presence leading the line that gave the host nation some much-needed stability. Balboa played every single second of that particular tournament. Ultimately, Balboa couldn’t stop the eventual winners Brazil from putting a goal past his defense in the last-16 game. However, he remains a national hero.

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Marcelo Balboa – Now

Another player from Team USA ’94 to move into the world of broadcasting, Marcelo Balboa has commentated for the likes of ESPN and ABC. He has covered both MLS games and the World Cup. Before that, Balboa had carried on playing for many years in the MLS for teams such as Colorado Rapids and MetroStars. However, he has since moved onto the lower profile role, working as the head coach of the boys’ soccer team at Monarch High School in Colorado.

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Paul Caligiuri – Then

Another player who played every single minute of Team USA’s World Cup campaign in ’94 was the ever-dependable Paul Caligiuri. Despite their premature exit from the competition in the round of 16, Caligiuri was in for some truly great moments in his career. However, the midfielder will be remembered best for his heroics that helped Team USA qualify for their first World Cup in 36 years. He scored what would go down in history as the “shot heard around the world,” which helped the US qualify for World Cup ’90.

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Paul Caligiuri – Now

Paul Caligiuri’s contribution to Team US’s ’94 World Cup effort only helped him in terms of finding work afterward. The player spent most of the rest of his playing career in the MLS, playing for clubs such as Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy. Importantly though, Caligiuri hasn’t turned away from his soccer roots, even after retiring as a player. The former defensive midfielder has coached both the boys and girls teams at Cal Poly, as well as a youth team in southern California.

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Brad Friedel – Then

Brad Friedel is a perfect example of a player who didn’t play one single minute of the ’94 World Cup. Yet, in spite of this, he has gone on to become one of the most recognizable names of the entire roster. He may have been a young backup for the much more experienced Tony Meola. However, Friedel was destined for so much more beyond his early World Cup involvement and eventually took over the ranks as the US number one.

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Brad Friedel – Now

20-plus years later, and Brad Friedel has finally retired from his professional playing career. Now approaching 50, Friedel was still on the roster of Tottenham Hotspur in 2015 before finally hanging up his boots. In his heyday, the seasoned goalie was Team USA’s No. 1 and “The Human Wall,” as he is colloquially known, was a longstanding servant to clubs such as Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa. He is officially the Premier League player with the most consecutive appearances under his belt.

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Mike Sorber – Then

With so many high-profile names in the ’94 US roster such as Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, and Cobi Jones, it is easy to forget some of the less recognizable names in there. Take Mike Sorber, for example. Despite being lesser known than the aforementioned players, he was just as integral, having started all four games for Team US. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a household name in order to make a huge impact.

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Mike Sorber – Now

Although Mike Sorber still remains pretty lowkey, he is still a busy individual in the world of soccer and beyond. The former midfielder has a lot of experience at managerial level, having coached teams at colleges, on the international scene, and professionally. From 2014 to 2017, Sorber worked as the assistant coach for the Philadelphia Union. Before that, he had worked as an assistant coach for Saint Louis University, the US national team (on two separate occasions), and Montreal Impact.

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Claudio Reyna – Then

Another fine example of a player in Team US whose best years were still ahead of him is Claudio Reyna. Having not even begun his professional career, the man whose family hails from Argentina impressed at college level played for the Virginia Cavaliers from 1991 to 1993. Despite the exciting the prospect of making his competitive debut at the biggest soccer tournament in the world (he made his debut against Norway a few months prior), Reyna was unable to play a single minute due to injury.

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Claudio Reyna – Now

Despite failing to play for his country at the ’94 World Cup, Claudio Reyna has gone on to become one of the most iconic players in the history of US soccer. One of the most successful American players to play overseas, Reyna’s most successful spell came during his time at Manchester City, where he became an influential part of the team. Reyna runs the Claudio Reyna Foundation and he was elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Roy Wegerle – Then

When it comes to “super-subs,” Team USA didn’t really have one at World Cup ’94. However, they did have a dependable substitute in the form of Roy Wegerle. The talented midfielder came off the bench in all four of the team’s games in that competition and did a fairly good job during the time that he was on the pitch. Wegerle was glad that he didn’t miss the World Cup, especially after getting a knee injury a few months prior.

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Roy Wegerle – Now

Roy Wegerle carried on a fruitful career in the MLS after developing a reputation as a useful substitute for Team US. He played for numerous teams such as Colorado Rapids, DC United, and Tampa Bay Mutiny, to name a few. He also had a brief spell as interim manager of the former. However, the most surprising thing about Wegerle’s career post-World Cup was his attempt to make it as a professional golfer. He is working hard to make his dream come true.

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John Harkes – Then

Although he didn’t have a major impact on Team USA during the World Cup, John Harkes did start three out of the four games. However, one person who Harkes made a huge impression on during that tournament was head coach Steve Sampson. So impressed with Harkes’ performances, he named him the “Captain for life.” That title though was stripped away from him when the next World Cup came around. Harkes managed to get 90 caps and scored nine goals during that time.

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John Harkes – Now

Most of John Harkes’ remaining years as a player were spent in England, with the former midfielder playing for teams such as Derby County, West Ham United, and Nottingham Forest. However, Harkes ended up spending his last season as a professional player with Columbus Crew. Soon after his playing career, Harkes moved into management and coached FC Cincinnati for a season. He has also worked in broadcasting and has recently been working with former teammate Tony Meola on his radio show.

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Fernando Clavijo – Then

Even while he represented Team US at World Cup ’94, Fernando Clavijo was pretty much in the twilight of his playing career and had already been coaching for three years, having worked with St. Louis Storm. Therefore, he brought some much-needed experience to the team and started three out of the four games in the process. He couldn’t help his team get past the last-16 round. However, he took a bow from his international career and received a standing ovation for it.

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Fernando Clavijo – Now

For Fernando Clavijo, it was strictly business following his retirement from playing soccer. He simply wanted to carry on his coaching career, which he did with aplomb. For the next 15 years, Clavijo managed the likes of Seattle SeaDogs, New England Revolution, the Haiti national team, and Colorado Rapids, to name a few. Clavijo also had a respectable career in both Indoor soccer and futsal. He is one of the rare players to have been inducted into both the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame.

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Thomas Dooley – Then

Another player who took part in every single minute of Team USA’s World Cup ’94 campaign was the talented defensive midfielder, Thomas Dooley. Having already built up a lot of experience from his time spent playing at German clubs such as FC Hornburg and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, German-born Dooley was ready to help be one of the leaders of this team. He had been named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1993 and if it wasn’t for him, Team USA may not have even got past the group stage.

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Thomas Dooley – Now

Dooley’s performances at the World Cup only raised his profile. As a result, he ended up playing for even bigger German teams such as Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 before moving to the US to play for Columbus Crew. Naturally, the former midfielder wanted to pursue a career in management after his playing career was over. Thankfully for him, Dooley managed to make that dream come true and managed 1. FC Saarbrucken. He was also the head coach of the Philippines national team for four years.

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Hugo Perez – Then

Having already played in three previous tournaments for his country, Hugo Perez was in the twilight of his career and the World Cup in America was his international swansong. In spite of this, the midfielder would only play one game in the competition. However, it would be a big one, playing against the eventual winners Brazil. Although he couldn’t help his team carry on into the quarter-finals, Hugo Perez could hold his head up high, knowing that he had gone out against the very best.

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Hugo Perez – Now

For the remainder of his playing career, Hugo Perez played for FAS, also known as Club Deportivo Futbolistas Asociados Santanecos, a soccer club based in El Salvador. Since then, the former midfielder has been inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and has managed a number of teams, mainly working as an assistant, for the likes of the University of San Francisco, as well as the national team of El Salvador. His nephew, Joshua Perez, currently plays for Italian club Fiorentina’s youth team.

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Mike Burns – Then

He did end up playing at the World Cup in 1998, but Mike Burns was forced to warm the bench for Team USA four years prior to that. The defender hadn’t even played professionally at that stage but was considered a worthy addition to the roster. He had already built up some international experience, having represented the U-16 and U-20 national teams at the 1987 U16 FIFA World Cup and 1989 U-20 World Cup respectively. This is ultimately what earned Burns his place in ’94.

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Mike Burns – Now

Since his uneventful time at the World Cup that was hosted by the US, Mike Burns has spent his entire playing career in the MLS, playing for teams such as New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, and Kansas City Wizards. Nowadays, Burns remains heavily involved with the former, working as the club’s Director of Soccer. He was eventually promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel and went one step further three years later, becoming the General Manager.

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Juergen Sommer – Then

His name might sound pretty German, but Juergen Sommer was prouder than anyone to wear the red, white, and blue when the World Cup came around. He might not have been the regular number one for his country at any particular point in his career, but Sommer was always happy to be on standby just in case. The harsh reality was that there were many talented American goalkeepers who played at the same time, including Brad Friedel, Tony Meola, and Kasey Keller.

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Juergen Sommer – Now

Juergen Sommer had earned himself a place in the US roster after making a name for himself in British football, playing for the likes of Luton Town, Bright & Hove Albion, and Torquay, to name a few. After the World Cup was over, the goalkeeper moved to Queens Park Rangers, where he spent three seasons. At one point, he worked as the goalkeeping coach of the U.S. national team and even briefly managed Indy Eleven in the 2014-15 season.

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Frank Klopas – Then

There were two very good reasons why Frank Klopas didn’t get a chance to play in any of Team US’s four games at the World Cup in 1994. One of those reasons was Eric Wynalda, and the other was Earnie Stewart. These two forwards were simply in better form that Klopas going into the tournament. The striker’s semi-successful time spent at AEK Athens wasn’t enough to push him into the starting lineup. However, he did go on to score against Argentina in the 1995 Copa America.

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Frank Klopas – Now

After getting one more season in the Greek league under his belt, Fran Klopas decided to head back to the States and played for teams such as Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire. A few years after hanging up his boots, the former forward enjoyed a fruitful career in management, coaching teams such as Chicago Storm, Chicago Fire, and Montreal Impact. However, things didn’t work out in the long run, and after a few poor performances, Klopas was replaced by Mauro Biello.

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Cle Kooiman – Then

If you were on the US national team at World Cup ’94, then you were probably in one of two situations. Either, you played every game, or you didn’t play at all. This applied to most of the roster. However, there were a couple of exceptions to the rule. Cle Kooiman was one of those exceptions as he only played one game for the red, white, and blue. However, the defender made the most of his only appearance, playing the entire 90 minutes against Switzerland.

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Cle Kooiman – Now

After his World Cup appearance, Cle Kooiman had successful spells in both the Mexican league and the MLS, playing for teams such as Cruz Azul, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and Miami Fusion. At a managerial level, the former defender has worked as an assistant manager for the U.S. U-20 national team and is currently the technical director at the Inland Empire Surg Soccer Club in California. He works with many young, talented players of Latino background, ushering in the next generation of US soccer.

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Cobi Jones – Then

If there is one player on Team USA who benefitted greatly from his World Cup antics, then it has to be Cobi Jones. After playing in every single game of his country’s ’94 campaign, Jones was firmly put on the soccer map and joined Coventry City, spending a season there. Shortly after, Jones flew across the Atlantic, but not back to the States. He spent a season in the Brazilian league, playing for Vasco de Gama before finally settling at LA Galaxy for the rest of his playing days.

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Cobi Jones – Now

Since his playing career came to an end, Cobi Jones has, like many of his high profile contemporaries, worked as a soccer analyst. That’s not all though. After he ended his 11 years as a player at LA Galaxy (with 306 appearances and 70 goals to his name), Jones worked as both an interim manager and as an assistant manager for a couple of seasons. The former midfielder received the highest honor in American soccer, being inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

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Alexi Lalas – Then

Whether it was his long ginger locks or his larger than life personality, Alexi Lalas was the standout performer for Team US. It was the defender’s awesome displays in that the tournament that saw his team concede only four goals before being knocked out by eventual champions Brazil.

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Alexi Lalas – Now

The crazy hairstyle and ginger beard might be long gone, but Alexi Lalas is as passionate as ever about soccer. After his playing career came to an end, the former defender had a fruitful managerial career, coaching MLS teams such as San Jose Earthquakes, New York Red Bulls, and L.A. Galaxy, to name a few. In 2006, Lalas was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and in recent times, has worked as an analyst for Fox Sports. Lalas also has a career in music.

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