This is the Starting XI of the USMNT that competed in the 1990 World Cup. (Photo courtesy of United Soccer Coaches)
The 1990 U.S. men’s national team that became the first American team to qualify for a World Cup in 40 years will be honored with the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Honorary All-America Award, the organization announced on Thursday.
The association had planned to honor the team in 2020 during the 30th anniversary of that team’s qualification but the COVID-19 pandemic precluded those plans.
Ralph Perez, an assistant coach from that team will, accept the award at the annual All-America ceremony, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
A goal by midfielder Paul Caligiuri on Nov. 19, 1989 at Trinidad and Tobago during Concacaf qualifying sent the USA to the World Cup in Italy the following summer for the first time since 1950. Caligiuri captained of the 1985 UCLA team that captured the NCAA Division I championship. He also scored the first USA World Cup goal in 40 years when he tallied against Czechoslovakia in the Americans’ opening match in Italy.
“For many of us growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, this team solidified the sport of soccer in our hearts,” Uniited Soccer Coaches CEO Geoff VanDeusen said in a statement. “The team was filled with so many great players that created lifelong memories. It is a great honor to recognize this team with our prestigious Honorary All-America Award.”
Bob Gansler, the head coach of the team, later had the same position of6 the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) in. He directed KC to the 2000 MLS Cup title and the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. He was named a member of the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a builder of the game in 2011.
Many players and staff from that 1990 team went on to play professionally in the United States and overseas. Some later went into the coaching profession while others joined the business world.
Here is a list of the 22 players and coaching staff from the 1990 USMNT:
Goalkeepers: Kasey Keller, Tony Meola, David Vanole
Defenders: Desmond Armstrong, Marcelo Balboa, Jimmy Banks (deceased), Brian Bliss, John Doyle, Paul Krumpe, Steve Trittschuh, Mike Windischmann
Midfielders: Paul Caligiuri, Neil Covone, John Harkes, Chris Henderson, Tab Ramos, John Stollmeyer
Forwards: Eric Eichmann, Bruce Murray, Christopher Sullivan, Peter Vermes, Eric Wynalda
Head coach: Bob Gansler. Assistant coach: Ralph Perez. Goalkeeper coach: Joe Machnik.
The Honorary All-America Award has been given since 1972 to a person or persons who have brought distinction and/or attention to the sport of soccer through their efforts within and beyond the boundaries of the sport. Past recipients have included astronauts, entertainers, politicians and military personnel.