|Player||Club at the time||League at the time|
|Balboa, Marcelo||San Diego||APSL|
|Covone, Neil||Wake Forest||NCAA|
|Doyle, Paul||San Francisco||APSL|
|Eichmann, Eric||Fort Lauderdale||APSL|
|Krumpe, Paul||Real Santa Barbara||APSL|
|Ramos, Tab||Figueres||Segunda Division|
|Trittschuh, Steve||Tampa Bay||APSL|
|Vanole, David||LA Heat||APSL|
|Wynalda, Eric||San Francisco||APSL|
REMEMBERING THE USA IN 1990 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (April 15, 2013) US Soccer Players – 1989 stands out as an important year, if not the most important for US Soccer in its 100-year history. It was when the USA put 40 years of frustration to an end by qualifying for the World Cup finals.
Although it was a team effort, a defensive midfielder named Paul Caligiuri – and his lone goal against Trinidad & Tobago – gave the United States the win, officially stamping its passport to Italia ’90. The goal, later dubbed “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” may be the most famous strike in American soccer history.
Caligiuri’s looping left-footed volley from 30 yards out silenced the home crowd in the 30th minute. It was a goal that forever changed the history of American soccer, setting it on a path where it has now qualified for six straight World Cups. The goal did what the North American Soccer League, the experiment of Team America, and the failed bid to host the 1986 World Cup couldn’t accomplish – get the United States into the finals.
“It’s been a long time but it seems like yesterday,” Caligiuri said in a 2005 interview with USSoccer.com. “I can literally still see the play and still feel the moment. I’m fortunate enough to still keep in touch with the guys on that team on a regular basis. It’s been a fun ride.” Read More
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? THE 1990 USMNT WORLD CUP SQUAD
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jun 1, 2020) US Soccer Players – It was 30 years ago that the United States was preparing to play in its first World Cup since 1950. Qualifying for Italia ‘90 in November 1989 had been a history-making feat for a nation that had been in the international soccer wilderness for so long.
The team, made up largely of recent college grads and a mix of semi-pro and indoor players, faced a tough Group A. Drawn with hosts Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Austria, the USMNT would exit without a point. Bob Gansler’s team set the foundation for what would come four years later when the USMNT upset pre-tournament favorites Colombia to reach the Round of 16. With no pro league in the US at the time, most of the players on the 1990 and ’94 teams were put under contract by US Soccer and paid a salary.
After losing the opener 5-1 to Czechoslovakia on June 10 in Florence, the Americans pulled off a shocker against Italy in Rome just four days later. The hosts could only manage a 1-0 win, prompting Italy manager Azeglio Vicini to say, “The Americans proved they are an excellent team, nothing like the team that lost 5-1.” The US closed out the tournament on June 19, losing 2-1 to Austria in Florence.
Only four players on that 1990 World Cup squad had European experience. After the tournament, 12 members of that team who had played at least one game would sign with European clubs. Considering the situation for American soccer players following the collapse of the NASL, that made the World Cup a success. Read More
ITALIA 90 MEMORIES
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (July 8, 2015) US Soccer Players – This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the 1990 World Cup final between West Germany and Argentina. The 1-0 win unleashed jubilation among the German players and left Diego Maradona in tears. Although that game, and the tournament as a whole, is widely maligned for its lack of scoring, what Italia ’90 really meant was the end of an era in world soccer.
That July 8 evening at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, West Germany won its third World Cup, its last before unification. It was also the last time that several European nations would play under one flag. Germany unified the following year and fellow participant Czechoslovakia amicably split soon after. Two others, the USSR and Yugoslavia, also splintered apart into a myriad of republics, not always peacefully, and gave rise to new teams.
On the field, things also changed. By the next World Cup, names appeared on the backs of shirts for the first time. The back pass rule limited how goalkeepers could control the flow of the game. That reinvented tactics across world soccer, drawing a line between what happened in Italy in 1990 and the future of the game. That also makes it easier to overlook the positives from Italia 90.
Cameroon dazzled fans with its joyous play. Costa Rica, coached by Bora Milutinovic, brought pride to CONCACAF. The tiny United Arab Emirates brought attention to Middle Eastern soccer decades before Qatar’s controversial World Cup bid. The USMNT reemerged at World Cup level. Read More