His career began in the U.S. in the Major Indoor Soccer League and by the end of his professional career in the U.S., Radosavljevic would be a four-time MVP and 16-time All-Star in three different leagues and retired with 28 caps and four goals for the U.S. National Team.
Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1963, Radosavljevic’s professional career began at Red Star Belgrade in 1983 where he played for two years, winning a championship in 1984 prior to being recruited to join the Tacoma Stars of the MISL in 1985 by head coach Bob McNab. In Tacoma he averaged 44 goals and 45 assists in five seasons, winning the MISL MVP Award after a 104 point 1988-1989 season. Radosavljevic’s next stop was with the St. Louis Storm as the MISL was renamed the Major Soccer League, where he played two seasons including a career-high 121 points (68 goals) in 1991-92.
Following this indoor success, Radosavljevic’s career took him to England where he joined Everton on a 100,000-pound transfer as the English Premier League was launched for the 1992-93 season. With the Toffees, Radosavljevic recorded four goals in 46 appearances. He returned to the U.S. in the summer of 1994 where he made eight appearances for McNab’s San Jose Grizzlies of the Continental Indoor Soccer League before returning to England for the 1994-95 season where he scored five league goals and two FA Cup goals for first-division Portsmouth before a return to the Grizzles in 1995. There, Radosavljevic earned his second indoor league MVP award with 51 goals and 38 assists in 24 games.
His indoor career closed with eight total All-Star appearances and 399 goals and 384 assists in 370 games, but another chapter of his career began with the launch of MLS in 1996.
Radosavljevic went on to play nine of the first 10 MLS seasons with Kansas City Wizards earning both the MLS MVP and MLS Scoring Champion honors in 1997 and 2003, and as of his induction to the Hall of Fame remains the only player to do so twice. After winning MLS Cup with the Wizards in 2000, he moved to the Miami Fusion in the offseason, only to return to the Wizards one year later when the Fusion ceased operations.
From 1996-2003, Radosavljevic started each MLS All-Star game – the only player to do so – and was one of just three players along with Jeff Agoos and Cobi Jones to be selected to those first eight teams. He was a four-time member of the annual Best XI (1996, 1997, 2001, 2003), earning the honor for the last time in his fourth-career MVP season at the age of 40. In 2004, his Wizards won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with Radosavljevic appearing in just a semifinal after missing much of the year due to injury. After the 2005 season, he retired as the all-time MLS points leader and the only player with five 10 goal, 10 assist seasons (although Jaime Moreno has broken and tied those records, respectively).
All told, during his MLS career he tallied 79 goals and 112 assists in the regular season, while adding another 10 goals and five assists in the playoffs.
Radosavljevic gained U.S. citizenship on Oct. 25, 1996, and nine days later made the first of his 28 U.S. Men’s National Team appearances on Nov. 3 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala. Immediately thrust into the U.S. qualifying campaign under Steve Sampson, he would make seven appearances overall in qualifying, recording his first international goal in a 2-2 tie with Guatemala on Dec. 21 of that year and in 1997 starting in the 3-0 win against Canada that clinched a berth to France 1998.
At France 1998, Radosavljevic made two appearances, including playing against his native Yugoslavia in the final group match. Of his four career goals, the most memorable is surely the game-winner against Brazil in the 1998 Gold Cup semifinal match that earned the U.S. its only win against Brazil.
Late in a game that the Brazilians had been controlling, the United States were doing all they could to relieve the pressure on Kasey Keller and the defense that had stood tall so far. In the 65th minute, the U.S. gained possession with a counterattack that soon found Eric Wynalda with the ball on the left side. Laying it off to Radosavljevic in the middle, the midfielder received the pass with a defender closing him down. Faking to the right and pulling it back onto his patented left foot, he took one step forward and fired past the goalkeeper to the left post.
Following retirement, Radosavljevic became an assistant coach under current Men’s National Team coach Bob Bradley at Chivas USA, taking the reins full-time in 2007 when Bradley departed to the U.S. post. A successful debut season for the club earned him Coach of the Year honors. After taking Chivas USA to the playoffs in each of his three years in charge, Radosavljevic took a position as the head coach at Toronto FC prior to the 2010 season.
Awards and Honors
• 1998 U.S. FIFA World Cup Team
• MLS Cup Champion, 2000
• Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion, 2004
• MLS MVP, 1997 & 2003
• MLS Scoring Champion, 1997 & 2003
• Eight-Time MLS All-Star
• 1999 MLS All-Star Game MVP
• MISL MVP, 1989
• CISL MVP, 1995
• Seven-Time MISL/ MSL All-Star
• One-Time CISL All-Star