Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MLS Players In International Tournaments

The African Nations Cup is going on right now, without a single MLS player involved. Former Dallas forward Toni Nhleko was South Africa's squad, but didn't play in any of their three games. He did get into a game at the 2004 version as a Dallas player though. It's always cool to see MLS guys representing overseas.

Last year, I became interested in all these soccer statistics, and one of the things I tried to compile was a list of all the MLS players who have taken part in international tournaments. Especially the guys who play for other countries. It's not complete, but there's a lot of cool stuff. Like for example, Dallas is the only MLS team, other than RSL, Chivas and Houston, who haven't had a player make a World Cup squad.

Let's start with the big one, the World Cup. In 1998 there were 21 MLS players there, but that number shrunk to 11 in 2002. That's partially because in 1998, five players were on other countries' squads, versus none in 2002. We should be up a little this year, because there will be a couple of foreigners making it (thanks Trinidad).

Here's a list of MLS World Cup players:

(Those in italics did not play)


1998-Jorge Campos (MEX)
2002-DaMarcus Beasley, Josh Wolff

Chivas USA



1998-Marcelo Balboa
2002-Pablo Mastroeni


1998-Thomas Dooley, Brian Maisonneuve, Brian McBride, Jurgen Sommer; Andy Williams (JAM)
2002-Brian McBride



D.C. United

1998-Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope
2002-Eddie Pope



Kansas City

1998-Preki; Uche Okafor (NIG)
2002-Tony Meola

Los Angeles

1998-Cobi Jones
2002-Cobi Jones


1998-Alexi Lalas, Tab Ramos; Marcelo Vega (CHI)
2002-Clint Mathis


1998-Carlos Valderrama (COL)

New England

1998-Mike Burns, Joe-Max Moore
2002-Carlos Llamosa

Real Salt Lake


San Jose

1998-Eric Wynalda
2002-Jeff Agoos, Landon Donovan

Tampa Bay

1998-Frankie Hejduk, Roy Wegerle

All five of the 1998 foreigners got playing time, which is pretty good. Columbus sent five players in 1998, a record which probably won't be broken for a while. The Revs will probably send at least three this time and will likely lead all teams. They have five guys who could conceivably go (John, Dempsey, Noonan, Ralston, Twellman), but that's very unlikely.

I'm not going to list every American MLS player who has played in the Gold Cup (and Confederations Cup). It would be neater and easier just to focus on the foreigners who have played in other continental tournaments because it's happened very sparingly so far. No Gold Cup, because there's a million guys to list there (and I'm not completely sure of some of the squads).

Copa America

1997-Marco Etcheverry (D.C. United-BOL), Jaime Moreno (D.C. United-BOL); Eduardo Hurtado (Los Angeles-ECU)
1999-Marco Etcheverry(D.C. United-BOL), Jaime Moreno (D.C. United-BOL)

In 1997, Etcheverry scored 1 goal, while Moreno scored 2; I believe Moreno's total was the most by a foreign MLS player in a continental championship until Carlos Ruiz's 3 in the Gold Cup last year. How's that for a obscure stat?

African Nations Cup

1998-Chiquinho Conde (Tampa Bay-MOZ)
2002-Nkosinathi Nhleko (Dallas-SAF)

Confederations Cup

1997-Doctor Khumalo (Columbus-SAF)
1999-Marco Etcheverry(D.C. United-BOL), Jaime Moreno (D.C. United-BOL)
2001-Dwayne DeRosario (San Jose-Canada), Mark Watson (D.C. United-Canada)
2003-Simon Elliot (Columbus-NZ), Ryan Nelsen (D.C. United-NZ), Duncan Oughton (Columbus-NZ)

Not sure if Canada's Jason Bent was with the Rapids during the 2001 tournament.

European Championship

1996-Roberto Donadoni (Metrostars-ITA)
2000-Lothar Matthaus (Metrostars-GER); Miklos Molnar (Kansas City-DEN)

Everyone of these guys in these four tournaments played at least one game. Also, one final thing: Last year, I believe W.Johnson, Gallardo, and Nunez were the first foreign MLS players to take part in an international youth tournament.

Comments on "MLS Players In International Tournaments"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:55 PM, February 01, 2006) : 

Agoos 2002 with San Jose?


Blogger scaryice said ... (5:12 AM, February 02, 2006) : 

Thanks. I left out Agoos and Donovan for SJ.


Blogger The Metrologist said ... (1:42 PM, February 05, 2006) : 

I believe in Abbe Ibrahim. 7 goals by May and Togo's gotta take him to Deutschland.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:12 AM, February 08, 2006) : 

Chad Deering, 1998.


Blogger scaryice said ... (10:58 AM, February 08, 2006) : 

Deering didn't join the Burn until after the World Cup:


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