Thursday, June 12, 2008

100 Cap Club: Eric Wynalda

When Landon Donovan earned his membership into the ‘100 Cap Club’ in the 0-0 draw against No. 1-ranked Argentina – becoming the fourth youngest player in soccer history to achieve that mark! - he joined 10 American men in this highly exclusive fraternity. Each U.S. player before him reached the century mark in a unique and, in some cases, historic way. With Donovan’s story now told, has set out to provide a chronicle of the memorable ways in which the previous 10 players joined the elite group who have proudly worn the jersey at least 100 times for the United States.

Eric Wynalda

Caps: 106
First Cap: Feb. 2, 1990
100th cap: June 15, 1998 vs. Germany (FIFA World Cup)
Era: 1990-2000

What could be better than playing in your 100th career game while at the same time playing the first game of the first round in the 1998 World Cup? Despite what most fans remember about France ‘98, not everything in Paris was negative. Eric Wynalda, the former all-time scoring leader for the U.S. Men’s National team, hit the century mark in the first-round game against Germany on June 15. Wynalda, the first American to play in the Bundesliga, also played in the FIFA World All-Star game prior to the World Cup draw in France. His most famous international goal came in the previous World Cup, USA ’94, when he fired in a 30-yard free kick against Switzerland in the opening round to help move the U.S. into the knockout phase.

Wynalda played his last game for the Stars and Stripes in 2000, finishing with 106 total appearances and a then-record 34 goals.

Wynalda on his 100th appearance:
"At the time and in that moment, it was just another game. But when you look back at your career, you have to view it from a career standpoint as one of your greatest achievements. I was very fortunate to play with some phenomenal players and phenomenal people, and that what's makes it special. It's not who you play against; it's who you shared the field with. That's what I remember the most."

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