Meola, 1994
History of Metro at the World Cup (Part 2)
June 9, 2006

There was an amazing six players with Metro ties on the US squad at the 1990 World Cup. We already mentioned Meola and Ramos, but the list also includes Peter Vermes, Brian Bliss, Marcelo Balboa, and Chris Henderson. Vermes, the original Metro captain, started at forward at US's first World Cup appearance in 40 years. Bliss, a Metro for half a season, made one sub appearance in the tournament; that is more than Henderson got, as the youngest player on the US squad did not make it off the bench. Balboa, on the other hand, played in every match in 1990, as well as 1994, but the nine minutes he played in 1998 is four more than he did in his entire Metro career.

Those nine minutes, however, let Balboa join Ramos and Eric Wynalda (who was once traded to Metro, only to be traded again on the same day) as the first US players to play in three World Cups. The select group, which expanded a little in 2002, is due to be joined by Eddie Pope, who played in the last two tournaments. Rounding up Metro Americans, we have Jeff Agoos, who was on the roster but lost his place to David Regis in 1998 and was much-maligned in 2002, Thomas Dooley, who played in 1994 and captained the US four years later, Mike Sorber, who started every match in 1994, and Tim Howard, due to backup Kasey Keller in 2006.

Two ex-Metros, Adolfo Valencia and Antony De Avila, were teammates with Colombia in 1994 and 1998; El Tren scored two for his country while El Pitufo is one of the shortest players ever to play in the World Cup. They are joined by fellow Colombian and the original Metro savior-turned-failure Ruben Dario Hernandez, who played 22 minutes in 1990. Roy Myers, a Metro in three different stints, played, but not much, for Costa Rica that same year. Jaime Moreno, the fat traitor bastard, got in two games for Bolivia in 1994. Shaun Bartlett, now South Africa's all-time leading scorer (and a Metro for half a season), scored two of his goals in the 1998 tournament. Mohammad Khakpour played in 1998 as well, for Iran. So did Andy Williams (another half-season Metro), for Jamaica. And Cornell Glen will join Williams to double the Caribbean contingent this year with Trinidad and Tobago.

Finally, we have Wellington Sanchez, who played ten minutes for Metro and was on Ecuador's roster in 2002, without seeing any playing time. Talk about obscure.

And of course, let's not forget the coaches; current boss Mo Johnston played for Scotland in 1990, scoring on a penalty kick. Two others never played, but sure coached a lot: Bora Milutinovic with Mexico in 1986, Costa Rica in 1990, USA in 1994, Nigeria in 1998, and China in 2002; Carlos Alberto Parreira was in charge of Kuwait in 1982, UAE in 1990, Brazil in 1994 as they won, Saudi Arabia in 1998, and is back with Brazil this year. Of course, neither could replicate their World Cup success with Metro. We're still waiting on Mo.

See the complete list of Metro players and their World Cup appearances.

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