Eddie Pope’s successful career for the United States Men’s National Team includes nine World Cup matches played since 1998 and 82 appearances overall. His first appearance for the MNT came against Trinidad in November 1996 and the last was against Italy in June of 2006. Pope ended his eleven-year international career for the U.S. tied with Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna for the most ever World Cup qualifying appearances in U.S. history, playing in 31 matches during three qualifying campaigns. He turned in one of the standout performances for the U.S. defense at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starting all five matches. He also played two games each at the 1998 and 2006 World Cups.
Pope recorded eight goals for the United States, none bigger than his strike in the USA’s 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Mexico on April 20, 1997. Also scoring the game-winner against Mexico on April 28, 2004 in Dallas, he added two goals to his account in 2006, netting in back-to-back games against Norway and Japan. Pope also collected a Gold Cup championship medal in 2005.
In addition to his many accolades for the United States National Team, Pope is the first three-time World Cup veteran to play his entire professional career in Major League Soccer. Pope spent his entire 11-year professional career in Major League Soccer, beginning with D.C. United in 1996. A three-time MLS champion, his greatest professional moment came when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give D.C. United the inaugural MLS Cup title in 1996. Selected for the All-Star game in each of his 11 seasons, the Real Salt Lake defender was named to the league’s All-Time Best XI last in 2005. He was named an MLS all-star four times, 1997 (a season in which he also was a MLS defender of the year), 1998, 2003 and 2004. During his 12 MLS seasons, he played 254 regular-season games and 27 playoff games.