40 in 40: San Jose historically represented well at the World Cup
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil underway, it is a great time to look back at the former and current Earthquakes players that have featured in the beautiful game’s biggest tournament. So, without further ado, here are those 26 players that have represented their nations and San Jose throughout the years.
Richard Gough (Scotland) 1986, 1990 -- The Rangers legend played one season in San Jose, scoring two goals for the 1998 Clash. In addition to his two World Cup appearances, Gough captained Scotland in the 1992 European Championships.
John Doyle (USA) 1990 -- The only player in club history to play with both the pre-MLS and MLS teams, Doyle had a Hall-of-Fame career in San Jose and was the Defender of the Year in the inaugural season of MLS. After starting two games in Italy in 1990, Doyle was a mainstay during the USA’s qualification campaign over the next four years, but he was a late cut by coach Bora Milutinovic for the 1994 World Cup finals.
Christopher Sullivan (USA) 1990 -- A super-sub on the 1997 Clash, Sullivan scored two goals for San Jose. He made two substitute appearances for the USA in the 1990 World Cup.
Eric Wynalda (USA) 1990, ‘94, ‘98 -- The greatest goal scorer of his generation, Wynalda featured for the USA in three straight World Cups and scored a famous free kick goal on home soil against Switzerland in 1994. The first signing of the San Jose Clash, Wynalda netted 21 times over four seasons for the club.
Michael Emenalo (Nigeria) 1994 -- The World Cup veteran joined San Jose ahead of the club’s inaugural MLS season and was a fixture in the defensive back four over two seasons, scoring his lone goal for the Clash in 1997.
Missael Espinoza (Mexico) 1994 -- The Mexican midfielder made the roster for the 1994 World Cup after his strong contributions during qualifying, but he did not make an appearance in the finals. On loan from Chivas de Guadalajara, Espinoza scored 10 goals for the 1996 Clash and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Mike Burns (USA) 1994, ‘98 -- Though he did not play in the 1994 tournament, Burns made two starts for the USA in France four years later. His seven year MLS career included one season with San Jose in which the defender chipped in two assists for the 2000 Earthquakes.
Ben Iroha (Nigeria) 1994, ‘98 -- A veteran of two World Cups with the Super Eagles, Iroha played two seasons in San Jose between those appearances, scoring twice in 1996 for the Clash.
Khodadad Azizi (Iran) 1998 -- After scoring the goal that earned Iran a berth in the 1998 World Cup finals, Azizi started for Team Melli in its famous 2-1 victory over the USA in the group stage. He played one season in San Jose, scoring three goals and notching four assists for the 2000 Quakes.
Jeff Agoos (USA) 1998, 2002 -- The third most capped player in U.S. men’s national team history with 134 earned from 1988 to 2003, the five-time MLS Cup winner spent four memorable seasons with the Earthquakes. The 2001 MLS defender of the year has remained active in his service to the league and currently serves as its Technical Director of Competition.
Mauricio Wright (Costa Rica) 2002 -- In his first season with San Jose, Wright was named the team’s Defender of the Year in 1999, chipping in three goals to add to his impressive campaign. The Ticos defensive stalwart was an important starter for Costa Rica in the 2002 World Cup.
Eddie Lewis (USA) 2002, ‘06 -- The left-sided midfielder/defender got his professional start with San Jose when he was drafted by the Clash in the third round of the 1996 MLS Draft. Lewis was named to the MLS Best-XI in his last season with San Jose before embarking on a successful career in England. In the 2002 World Cup, Lewis provided an assist in the USA’s 2-0 victory over Mexico in the knockout round of the tournament.
Mauricio Solis (Costa Rica) 2002, ‘06 -- An important member of the Ticos squad in two World Cup finals, Solis had a solid stay in MLS, scoring two goals in each of his two seasons in San Jose.
Landon Donovan (USA) 2002, ‘06, ‘10 -- The most decorated player in U.S. Soccer history was also a four-time MLS All-Star in four seasons with the Earthquakes. The team’s MVP in 2003, Donovan won two MLS Cups with San Jose and sits third on the goal scoring list with 32. He scored the most famous goal in U.S. men’s national team history when he found the back of the net against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup, winning the group for the USA.
Jimmy Conrad (USA) 2006 -- The now legendary personality made his MLS debut with San Jose and had a successful four season stay before being traded to Kansas City in 2003. In Germany, Conrad started against Ghana in a crucial group stage match, but his perseverance and tenacity was not enough to help the US advance in the tournament.
Bobby Convey (USA) 2006 -- The speedy midfielder played all three games for the USA in Germany, but injuries limited his selection to the national team in subsequent years. Convey returned to MLS in 2009 after playing five seasons in England and helped the Earthquakes reach the 2010 MLS playoffs, scoring two goals in a first round victory over the New York Red Bulls.
Brian Ching (USA) 2006 -- The Hawaiian striker scored 25 goals in three seasons for the Quakes and parlayed that success into a place on the US roster for the 2006 World Cup. Though a successful member of the squad through qualifying, Ching was a late cut by coach Bob Bradley ahead of the 2010 tournament.
Cornell Glen (Trinidad and Tobago) 2006 -- Part of the Earthquakes for two seasons following his country’s historic appearance in the 2006 World Cup, Glen scored six goals for San Jose.
Victor Bernardez (Honduras) 2010, ‘14 -- A part of Los Catrachos going on a decade, the man they call Muma has marshalled the back line for San Jose since arriving in 2012. Set to make his second World Cup finals appearance, Bernardez will help navigate Honduras through a very difficult Group E in Brazil.
Ricardo Clark (USA) 2010 -- Better known for his exploits with the Houston Dynamo, Clark spent one year in San Jose before the team moved to Texas following the 2005 MLS season. In South Africa, Clark started in the midfield for the US in the team’s Round of 16 loss to Ghana.
Simon Elliott (New Zealand) 2010 -- Master of the back-pass, Elliott spent the majority of his career in MLS, including one season with San Jose. In 17 years with the New Zealand national team, Elliott scored six goals and helped lead the All Whites to the nation’s first ever World Cup finals appearance in 2010.
Clarence Goodson (USA) 2010 -- A regular for the national team through two qualifying campaigns, Goodson made the roster for South Africa, though he did not make an appearance, and was a late cut for Brazil. Since joining the Earthquakes midway through the 2013 season, Goodson has anchored a defense that has been one of the best in MLS.
Walter Martinez (Honduras) 2010 -- The diminutive playmaker featured for Los Catrachos in all three of the nations games in South Africa, though, like his team, he failed to find the back of the net. Martinez spent one season with the Earthquakes and scored two goals.
Steven Beitashour (Iran) 2014 -- An unheralded draft pick in 2010, the San Jose born defender had a spectacular stay with the Earthquakes, leading the team in assists with 7 in 2011. When his prospects of playing for the USA diminished, Beitashour joined Team Melli in 2013 and will represent the country of his parents in Brazil.
Marvin Chavez (Honduras) 2014 -- The mercurial winger had a memorable 2012 season in San Jose, assisting on 13 goals and helping the Quakes to their second Supporters’ Shield. Chavez has parlayed his MLS success into a place on the Honduran roster for Brazil.
Chris Wondolowski (USA) 2014 -- The Earthquakes all-time leading goal scoring, the 2012 MLS MVP, the man known simply as Wondo will make his first World Cup appearance this summer. A tenacious striker, Wondolowski has scored nine goals for the USA in the last year and with Donovan shared the Golden Boot award at last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. A poacher in front of goal, much like his legendary coach Jurgen Klinsmann was back in the day, Wondo could play the role of super-sub for the USA in Brazil.