Cobi Jones, a midfielder who starred for the U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS for nearly two decades, played 164 international games for the United States, a record that holds today, and tallied 15 goals and 22 assists. Jones represented the U.S. in 30 World Cup qualifiers in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2004 and played in 11 World Cup games in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
In 1998, he was one of the outstanding American players at the World Cup and was selected as the Honda Award winner and the USSF Men’s Athlete of the Year. In addition to his frequent appearances for the U.S. in World Cup matches, Jones also played in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. He also appeared in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1999 and wore the captain’s armband as the U.S. defeated Costa Rica in the 2002 Gold Cup final. In 2000, Jones had six goals and nine assists for 21 points in 16 National Team matches, setting a record for the most points in a year by a National Team player, a record that stood until 2007.
In addition to his distinguished U.S. Men’s National Team career, Jones also excelled in MLS. Jones is the only player in MLS history to have played each of the first 12 seasons of the league’s history with the same team, having joined the LA Galaxy in March 1996. Jones scored 70 goals and added 91 assists in 306 career regular season games. Jones is one of just five players in league history to record 70 goals and 90 assists during his MLS career.
His best season in MLS came in 1998 when he set career highs for goals (19) and assists (13), despite missing nearly two months of play while with the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Jones tallied either a goal or an assist in 18 of the 24 games that he played that season and was named the Galaxy’s MVP and a finalist for MLS MVP as the Galaxy set a league record for goals scored that still stands today.
Jones won his first league championship when he captained the Galaxy to the club’s first MLS Cup title in 2002. Jones also captained the Galaxy to their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship in 2001 and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup. In 2005 he was part of the Galaxy’s “double” winning team that won both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup, giving him five championships during his time with the club.
Jones played his last game with the Galaxy on Oct. 21, 2007. The club retired his number 13 making it the first number retired in MLS history. In 2007, Jones was named an assistant coach with the Galaxy and also briefly served as the club’s interim head coach in 2008. Jones is currently the Associate Director of Soccer for the New York Cosmos.