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Cobi Jones

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Pledge to Promote Injury Prevention for Chance to Win a Backyard Soccer Clinic from Alex Morgan and Cobi Jones

CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 2013) – Soccer fans of all ages can win a backyard lesson from current and former U.S. National Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan and National Soccer Hall of Famer Cobi Jones as part of a new contest from DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine, a leader in orthopedics sports medicine and a part of the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

From Oct. 21 to Dec. 31, fans can visit the Sports Injury Prevention Program Facebook page and click on the "I Pledge" button to post a sports injury prevention pledge on their Facebook or Twitter feeds. Those who take the pledge can also participate in the rewards contest, also accessible from the Facebook page using the "Share & Win" button. The fans who accumulate the most points through pledging and other social interactions listed on the contest page are eligible for the Grand Prize of a personal backyard soccer clinic with either Morgan or Jones. Other prizes include signed jerseys and other memorabilia.

DePuy Synthes has a passion for education and community outreach for sports injury prevention. This program is designed to raise awareness around sports injury prevention and provide actionable information and tools for active players everywhere. DePuy Synthes is the Official Sports Medicine Partner of U.S. Soccer, and Johnson & Johnson is the Official Healthcare Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup.

The contest kicks off on Oct. 21 from 4-6 p.m. ET with Morgan hosting a Reddit AMA. Visit http://www.reddit.com to register and take part in the online question and answer session.

National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction 2011 Presented by Eurosport to be Held June 4 in Foxborough, Mass.

Former U.S. Men’s National Team Stars Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart and Bruce Murray
Join Former U.S. and MLS Head Coach Bob Gansler in Class of 2011 in 12 p.m. ET Ceremony

CHICAGO (April 27, 2011) — Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart, Bruce Murray and Bob Gansler will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on June 4 in Foxborough, Mass., prior to the U.S. Men’s National Team friendly against Spain at Gillette Stadium.

The Soccer Hall and U.S. Soccer will host Induction 2011 presented by Eurosport at Showcase Live at Patriot Place at 12 p.m. in an invitation-only ceremony that will be followed by a reception for the new inductees, Hall of Famers, and invited guests. Current members of the Hall of Fame as well as the newly inducted class will be recognized on the field.

The trio elected on the player ballot has a wealth of experience with the U.S. Men and noteworthy club careers as well. Jones retired as the U.S. MNT all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Pope was a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and winner of three MLS Cups with D.C. United.  Stewart is a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran.

Joining the players in this year’s class is Murray, a midfielder and forward who was one of the leading stars of the U.S. in the late 1980s and early 1990s who was elected on the Veteran ballot. Gansler, a coach of the U.S. at the 1990 World Cup and coach of the 2000 MLS Cup Champion Kansas City Wizards, was elected on the Builder ballot.

More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s match against reigning FIFA World Cup champion Spain. Kickoff for the match is 4:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and Univision.

Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, and Earnie Stewart Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Bruce Murray Elected on the Veteran Ballot;
Bob Gansler Elected on the Builder Ballot

CHICAGO (March 29, 2011) – Cobi Jones, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the LA Galaxy, Eddie Pope, a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and winner of three MLS Cups with D.C. United, and Earnie Stewart, a three-time World Cup veteran, have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011 on the Player ballot.

Joining the players in this year’s class are Bruce Murray, a midfielder and forward who was one of the leading stars of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the late 1980s and early 1990s who was elected on the Veteran ballot, and former U.S. Men’s National Team and Kansas City Wizards head coach Bob Gansler, who was elected on the Builder ballot.

The Class of 2011 induction ceremony will likely be scheduled for this summer. Details are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Jones, eligible on the Player ballot for the first time, was named on 87 percent of the ballots, while Pope earned a spot on 74 percent of the ballots and Stewart on 71 percent of the ballots. Murray and Gansler were both named on 58 percent of their respective Veteran and Builder ballots.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame as a Player, an individual must have been retired for at least three full calendar years but no more than 10 years, and either 1) Played at least 20 full international games for the United States or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and was selected as a league All-Star at least once.

The selection committee for the player election includes all current and former coaches of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team, active MLS and WPS coaches with a minimum of four years tenure, select soccer administrators, designated members of the media and all Hall of Famers.

Eligibility for the 2011 Veteran ballot was the same as the Player ballot except that a player must have been retired for more than 10 years. The Veteran ballot is voted on only by current Hall of Famers.

The 2011 Builder ballot includes seven individuals selected by a screening committee of select soccer administrators and Hall of Famers and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot. Only one Builder can be elected each year and must have appeared on at least 50 percent of the ballots.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame as a Builder, an individual in a non-playing capacity must have demonstrated a major, sustained and positive impact on U.S. soccer on a national or first division professional level for a minimum of 10 years.

2011 Player Ballot Results

Cobi Jones               87.13 %
Eddie Pope               74.26
Earnie Stewart          71.29
Marco Etcheverry      56.44
Shannon MacMillan   54.46
Joe-Max Moore         51.49
Cindy Parlow            43.56
Carlos Valderrama     42.57
Peter Vermes            38.61
Chris Armas              32.67

2011 Veteran Ballot Results

Bruce Murray              58.14 %
Desmond Armstrong   48.84
John Doyle                 48.84
Linda Hamilton            46.51
Teofilo Cubillas           44.19
Shep Messing              41.86
Glenn Myernick            41.86
George Best                39.53
Bill McPherson             18.6
Julio Cantillo                4.65

2011 Builder Ballot Results

Bob Gansler               58.49 %
Tony DiCicco              56.60
Chuck Blazer               52.83
Sigi Schmid                50.94
Bob Contiguglia           49.06
Francisco Marcos         41.51
Fritz Marth                  26.42

Recollecting the Draw

Along with the pride of qualifying for the seventh straight FIFA World Cup, many U.S. fans also remember there was a gap of 40 years between appearances from 1950-1990. Thus for many Americans, the 1990 draw in Italy was the start of a learning process that has continued even today, when fans, players and pundits alike discuss with increasing regularity the merits of drawing your World Cup group.

Former U.S. Men’s National Team player Peter Vermes was part of the team that qualified for the first World Cup in 40 years in 1989 and remembers finding out about the U.S.’ group while on television, as well as the awkward coincidence of finding himself sitting right next to one of his future opponents.

“I was playing club soccer for FC Volendam in Holland and was invited onto a sports show, similar to something you’d find on ESPN here, along with several other international players who played on Dutch club teams,” said Vermes. “They were showing the draw live, and U.S. and Czechoslovakia were drawn into the same group. Of course, the player sitting next to me had to be Czech. It was pretty funny, and we ended up making a friendly wager on the show.

“That obviously didn’t work out too well for me after they beat us 5-1.”

Drawn into a now-impossible three European team group, including hosts Italy and Austria, the U.S. certainly had rough luck with the balls. But Vermes doesn’t look back on it in quite the negative light. “It wasn’t as if we’d ever been part of it before, at least the guys in my generation. We were so happy just being in the World Cup, that it didn’t really matter which group we were thrown into.”

Even if American sports fans hadn’t really known about the draw in 1989, they got an up close look at the process in December of 1993 when the U.S. hosted it in Las Vegas, Nev. The use of one of America’s brightest cities to shine on a worldwide event seemed fitting for a country preparing to host its first World Cup and increased the spectacle of the ceremony, from a simple logistics process into a show for the world to see.

“For the ’94 draw in Vegas, you could not have picked a better place to have the draw than Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas,” said journalist Michael Lewis, who has covered every draw since 1986 in Mexico.

“You’re talking about a worldwide audience of over 1 billion people watching it. It’s like one big giant media day, and you get the chance to talk with various national team coaches before the draw, FIFA officials, maybe a couple celebrities like Pele or Franz Beckenbauer. For a sportswriter or anyone in the media, it’s a goldmine. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to write everything you want to at the draw.”

One little known fact about the draw is that there is a dress rehearsal for the proceedings. “Sometimes you hear about the dress rehearsal results and you hear that ‘The United States has been put in with so and so teams,’ said Lewis. You think ‘Wow, that’s a great draw for the U.S.’, but you know you’re not going to get the same exact draw again.”

As U.S. Soccer has improved over the years, the importance of the draw has grown. No longer happy just to see our name on the board, players, coaches and fans began to understand the strategy and value in getting thrown into a group with specific teams by France ’98 and Korea/Japan ’02.

“There were so many things that we were so naïve to in the Italy draw,” said Vermes. “The strategy for your group, preparing for not just the teams but the order of matches, even what it meant be in the same group as the hosts.

“Now, with this being our sixth consecutive draw, the expectations are higher because we expect to make it into the next round. It just goes to illustrate how quickly the U.S. has grown in the world of soccer.”

After the success of the 2002 World Cup, where the U.S. reached the quarterfinals after knocking off regional rival Mexico in the round of 16 before falling 1-0 to Germany, U.S. Men’s National Team all-time caps leader Cobi Jones was back in the draw arena for 2006 representing the United States. But this time, he wasn’t waiting to hear his group as a player—he was helping to pick the groups for every other nation.

“In 2005, I got a call from our press officer and he told me that I had been chosen by FIFA to draw balls, and of course it was a great honor but a definite surprise,” said Jones. “I had no clue that I was in consideration for it, but once I got the invitation, everything else went to the side and I made myself available and was ready to go.

“It was a great honor just to be there. I mean, talking about the hoopla in Vegas at the draw for 1994, it was nothing compared to what was going on in Germany. The whole country stopped. To be a part of that and to see the festivities with people like Johann Cruyff, Pele, and the Prime Minister of Germany, Angela Merkel…it was just special to be up there representing the United States and to be pulling out the balls and picking teams’ destinies.”

Comparing the 1994 draw (which he attended as a player) and the 2006 draw (where he helped pick the groups), Jones considered which one had more pressure.

“I would say, to be honest, it was more nerve wracking doing the balls and everything,” he said. “When you’re a player you’re just excited and ready to play. You’re not too concerned about the actual function, you just want to see who you’re playing, where and when and get ready to go.”

Friday, Dec. 4, will no doubt be a big day not just for the U.S. but around the world as well. Three years of matches and almost two months of anticipation will finally come to fruition as the U.S. Men’s National Team finds out where, when and who they’ll face in South Africa next summer. As the history shows, there is more pressure on the draw results now then there was in 1989. But with that pressure comes the pride of knowing that the United States no longer shows up just to participate—we’ve got as much of a right to the trophy as any nation.

You Don't Know Jack (Marshall): CONCACAF Gold Cup Trivia

As the ninth edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup approaches, You Don't Know Jack (Marshall) takes the chance to to test your knowledge of the regional championship with this double dose of questions.

Q1. Three players have appeared in five of the Gold Cups for the U.S. - who are they, and who is the only one that will get a chance for a sixth in 2007?

Q2. Who is the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. in the Gold Cup with nine goals?

Q3. The U.S. has three Gold Cup championships. Which of the following teams has the U.S. not beaten (in regulation or penalties) in a Gold Cup final: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico or Panama?

Q4. The U.S. won the Gold Cup final three times in five appearances, but has only scored two goals -- both in the 2002 final. Who are the two U.S. players to score in that victory?

Q5. The U.S. had won every match they ever appeared in during the group stage of the Gold Cup, until a 0-0 tie last year in Foxborough in the final group game. Which opponent stopped the U.S. streak? Hint: It's the opponent the U.S. has six times, more than any other team.

Q6. Only four goalkeepers have ever played a match for the U.S. at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Name them.

Q7. Which three players converted penalty kicks in the 3-1 victory by the U.S. in the 2005 Gold Cup Final shootout?

Q8. Which player has the most total U.S. Men's National Team caps, without a single game played in the Gold Cup?

Hall of Fame Bonus. On July 5, 1991, the U.S. MNT beat Mexico for the only time in their three Gold Cup meetings. How many members of the National Soccer Hall of Fame played that day for the U.S.?

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A1. Cobi Jones and Eric Wynalda each played in five tournaments, while Kasey Keller could appear in his sixth this summer.

A2. Eric Wynalda

A3. Mexico. The U.S. has lost to Mexico both times the teams played in the final.

A4. Josh Wolff & Jeff Agoos

A5. Costa Rica, on July 12

A6. Tony Meola, Brad Friedel, Marcus Hahnemann, Kasey Keller

A7. Santino Quaranta, Landon Donovan, Brad Davis

A8. Mike Windishchmann, 50

Hall of Fame Bonus. 4 - Marcelo Balboa, Paul Caligiuri, Fernando Clavijo, Eric Wynalda (Also playing for the U.S.: Tony Meola, John Doyle-1, Desmond Armstrong, Brian Quinn, Chris Henderson, Bruce Merray, Hugo Perez, Peter Vermes-1, Ted Eck)

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.

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