Henry and Djorkaeff, 1998
History of Metro at the World Cup (Part 2)
June 4, 2014

1998

The first World Cup to take place since the start of MLS, and three CURRENT Metros grace rosters: Ramos, Lalas (who doesn't get off the bench), and Marcelo Vega, the fat useless slob who somehow manages to play 45 minutes in a loss to Brazil. The US roster is filled with familiar names: Balboa, Dooley (who captains), Reyna, Jeff Agoos (who doesn't get off the bench, thanks to newly-naturalized David Regis), and Eddie Pope.

De Avila, now an ex-Metro, and Valencia are back for Colombia, who disappoint once again. Albert Celades picks up two of his four career caps for Spain. The gray-haired Mohammad Khakpour plays for Iran, including in their sad victory over the US. Markus Schopp turns up for Austria, Andy Williams for Jamaica. Shaun Bartlett becomes the first player to score at the World Cup AFTER his Metro career finished, tallying for South Africa twice in a 2:2 draw with Saudi Arabia.

France wins the World Cup on its home soil, and it's not without help from two future Metros: Youri Djorkaeff and Thierry Henry. The former plays in every game and scores on a penalty against Denmark. The latter leads the champions with three goals (one against South Africa, two against Saudi Arabia). A few years later, Djorkaeff would pave the way for Henry to come to Metro.

Finally, a grizzled 37-year-old Matthaus makes his final World Cup bow, as Germany loses in the quarterfinals. He is the second player ever to play in five World Cups and still holds the record for the most games played with 25.

2002

"THAT'S WHY HE IS HERE!" Clint Mathis, his head shaved into a mohawk, becomes the first CURRENT Metro to score in the World Cup, tallying a fantastic goal in a 1:1 draw with South Korea. The surprising Americans make their way to the quarterfinals, with Reyna being named to the All-World Cup team. Agoos finally plays a World Cup match, and notches a goal (into his own net) in a 3:2 stunner over Portugal. The US roster is rounded by Pope and Meola (now in the role of third goalkeeper).

Djorkaeff and Henry's second trip to the World Cup doesn't live up to expectations, as goal-less France crashes out in the first round. The then-and-now-hated Rafael Marquez participates for Mexico, and gets red carded in their 2:0 loss to the US. Wellington Sanchez, a Metro for ten minutes, can't get off the bench for Ecuador.

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