Biography of retired USMNT player John Harkes who set firsts for American field players in England before moving into broadcasting and coaching.
Caps: 90 | Goals: 6
One of the most accomplished American soccer players ever, John Harkes was a fixture in the midfield for the US National Team as captain in the mid 1990s. He led D.C. United to two MLS titles in ’96 and ’97 as well as the 1998 Interamerican Cup championship.
A five-time Major League Soccer All-Star, Harkes is almost as well known on the soccer field in England as he is in the United States. Harkes played six times at England’s famed Wembley Stadium. Joining MLS for the 2006 season, Harkes became an All-Star and MLS Cup winner with DC before moving to New England and then Columbus.
Post-retirement, Harkes has worked as an assistant coach with the New York Red Bulls and as a television commentator. from 2019-23 he was the coach of the Greenville Triumph.
Honored with star at the U.S. Soccer Star Plaza at Home Depot Center.
Was a member of the bronze medal-winning U.S. squad at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Made seven appearances with the national team before getting cut from the squad weeks before the 1998 World Cup.
Led the team in assists with four, including two in the final World Cup qualifier, a 4-2 win over El Salvador.
Recorded a team-leading five assists in 1996, including the game-winning assist in a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on November 24.
Represented the U.S. as a starter with the FIFA Word All-Stars against Brazil on July 14, 1996 at Giants Stadium.
Named the co-Most Valuable Player in the 1995 Copa America after leading the U.S. squad to the semifinals.
Played every minute of all three first round games in the 1994 World Cup. He was suspended for the round-of-16 game against Brazil due to yellow card accumulation in the group phase.
Named MVP of the 1992 U.S. Cup, where he scored two goals and led the team to the championship.
Started all three games for the USA in the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Scored his first full international goal on August 1, 1989 against South Korea.
Made two appearances in 1988 Olympics.
Made his first national team appearance on May 23, 1987 against Canada.
Announced his retirement after a 13-year professional career.
Started seven of 11 games for Crew in injury-plagued season.
Acquired in mid-season trade from the New England Revolution by the Columbus Crew, Harkes registered three assists with the Crew on the way to the playoffs.
Started 27 of 28 games with two goals and six assists to help the Revolution reach the playoffs.
Played on-loan with Nottingham Forest in the English First Division.
After being acquired from D.C. United in the off-season, Harkes had eight assists in 22 games in his first season with the New England Revolution and played in the MLS All-Star Game.
Helped D.C. United to an MLS-best 24-8 record and the club's third straight MLS Cup appearance. He also led the team to the Interamerican Cup championship and was named to the MLS All-Star team.
Battled injuries for much of the season but was instrumental in D.C.'s repeat as MLS Champions, as he had three assists in five playoff games, including the game-winning assist in the 1997 MLS Cup.
Captained D.C. United to the 1996 MLS title and the 1996 U.S. Open Cup, making them the first team in U.S. Soccer history to win both the MLS title and the Open Cup title in the same year.
Played his final full season in England with West Ham United of the English Premier League.
Played two seasons with Derby County of the English First Division.
Became the first American to score in a League Cup Final for Sheffield Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to Arsenal.
Became the first American to play in a UEFA Cup match.
Won the English League Cup and promotion to the English Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday.
Was the first American to appear at Wembley Stadium, a 1-0 League Cup Final victory over Manchester United.
His 35-yard one-timer past former English national team captain Peter Shilton was honored as England's Goal of the Year.
Made 82 appearances and scored seven goals for Sheffield Wednesday between 1990 and 1993.
Youth and College
Harkes won the Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year award in 1987 when he was at the University of Virginia. Harkes was a youth soccer teammate of fellow US international Tab Ramos and a high school teammate of long-time US goalkeeper Tony Meola in the Kearny, NJ area.