207: This is the number of players on the US Men’s National Team who have been capped only once. Only once have they appeared in a senior team game. Some people have heard of him like former USMNT coach Bruce Arena (1973 vs. Israel) and others don’t know him like Jimmy Ford (1916 vs. Sweden).
Amazingly, two of these one-cap players made it to the World Cup. Walter Dick in his 7–1 loss to hosts Italy in 1934 and Adam Wolanin in his 1950 Brazil loss to Spain in his 3–1 loss.
There is also the oddity. Otto Decker scored twice in his 3–6 loss to England in 1953 and never played on the American field after that. Gordon Barnes, on the other hand, originally played for Canada and scored in a 6–1 loss to the United States in 1926 before switching to the United States and playing against Canada in his only match.
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The stories of these 207 men in the One Cap Club are extensive, and ESPN had the chance to visit with some of them.
We all had different perspectives on the experience, but we agreed on one thing. It was a once-in-a-lifetime honor to play for your country at the highest level. Their lives have each taken their own twists and turns since they put on America’s shirt, but even if it only happened once, these moments in the history books will forever be theirs.
Eddie Robinson, defender: 19/01/2008 v Sweden
Four-time MLS Cup winner in San Jose and Houston, Eddie Robinson gave those championship teams a tough edge. “What I heard from both Bruce and Bob [Bradley] It was basically ‘I can’t believe you’re not leaving’. I figured. That’s exactly how I was wired,” Robinson said.
Robinson was called up to camp in 2002 and 2006, but his USMNT appearances did not last until January 2008, when they won a friendly against Sweden 2-0. A man who rarely scored goals in MLS scored in his only national team appearance. He is only one of ten “single cappers” who have accomplished the feat.
But when Robinson looks back at his only hat, a feeling of regret washes over him. It makes me emotional to this day.Do you focus so much for the club team?”
Tim Harris, goalkeeper: 16/06/1985 v England
Prior to becoming President of Business Operations for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, Tim Harris was a goaltender for UCLA and then the LA Razors of the Major Indoor Soccer League. In the summer of 1985, I received an unexpected phone call.
“They said, ‘You’re going to come back and back up Ernie Moser.’ I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it,'” recalls Harris.
The U.S. had only one practice session before their game against England and Harris didn’t expect to see the field…a halftime disagreement between Moselle and coach Archis Panagrias changed it all. until you change it. “After halftime, when I came back to the bench, someone said, ‘I know you’re playing.’ And I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ ‘ They said, ‘No, you’re in,'” Harris said.
Already trailing 2-0, Harris allowed three more to make the final score 5-0.
“I was definition average at best,” Harris said. “But no matter how bad your results are, you’re still playing for your country, and you can’t underestimate the importance of that.”
While now fully integrated into NBA life on an executive level, Harris remains an avid football fan and attending the Staples Center for European football stars creates once-in-a-lifetime memories. You may. “Just before Jose Mourinho got a job at Manchester United, he played a game. He, Kobe Bryant and I were sitting in the trainer’s room after the game. He was asking Kobe questions about his preparation. Kobe was asking him a question.
“For me, it was cool just to sit and listen to those two.”
Kurt Onalfo, Defender: June 14, 1988 vs. Costa Rica
Onalfo, a former MLS coach and current technical director of the New England Revolution, is a very well-known name in American football. As a player, however, Onalfo was hyped as the next big thing. In the summer of 1988, 18-year-old Onalfo received a call to play for his B team in the United States against Costa Rica in San Antonio, Texas, and helped the United States to his 1–0 victory. Did.
“I remember being very nervous and having to get used to it. It took about five minutes, but after that I was fine,” Onalfo said.
Onalfo represented the United States in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 1992 Olympics, but Hodgkin’s disease was diagnosed a year later and hopes of playing in the 1994 World Cup were dashed. “I was a candidate for the ’94 team, but I got cancer. After the chemotherapy, I was never the same. I never had an exceptional pace and when I got the chemotherapy Lost, one step,” said Onalfo.
Even though cancer cut short his national team career, Onalfo fondly remembers his lonely appearance and now tries to pass on his wisdom whenever players get their first call-ups. increase.
“I think the best advice I have found is to tell them that you play to win, not to impress. and play.”
Mac Cozier, forward: 16 October 1996 vs. Peru
October 1996 was an interesting time for US soccer. A month before his France qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup, the men’s national team’s core group was on strike. A group of his USMNT players, who normally would not have been called up, were invited to camp as a friendly against Peru was scheduled in Lima. Columbus Crew newcomer Mac Cozier was one of them, but he was a little confused when he showed up at camp.
“I was like, ‘Where’s Eric Wynalda? Where’s Tab Ramos?’ said Cozier, a high school math teacher.
Arriving in Peru exposed Cozier to a whole new football atmosphere. “When you’re in college, you’re just on the bus and no one knows who you are. But in this atmosphere, you’re with the police, they have their lights on, and in the stadium everyone I’m yelling at you,” said Cozier.
Korzier replaced Jan Haber in the first half and made an immediate impact, reaching out to Dario Brose’s equalizer to make the score 1-1 at half-time. However, reality came in the second half and Peru won his 4–1 victory.
“It opened some doors that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Playing in Chile for a year and being able to experience the culture, that’s when I realized what it means to play football. I started learning about and playing for the national team, and that door is for me,” Kojie said.
David Cayemitte, winger: 2 December 1984 vs Ecuador
The US national team has a long history of players with Haitian roots on the team, including 1950 World Cup hero Joe Getjens and two-time World Cup player Josie Altidore. Haitian-born David Cayemitte’s time with the USMNT was caught somewhere in between with his 2-2 draw with Ecuador in his Bowl of Orange in Miami.
“It feels great to be a part of that history. It’s great to see the acceptance of the national team that anyone from anywhere has a chance. After my children are born, the national team will be my This is my third blessed memory.
Raised on Long Island, Caymit went on to become one of the area’s top high school players, playing at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. It was there that the opportunity for the national team was born. “The national team was on and one of his workouts was at Hofstra University. I don’t know how that happened, but my coach, Bob Montgomery, knocked on my door and said he ‘I said, ‘For what?’ “For the national team,” he said. I thought it was a joke,” Caymit said.
A few weeks later in Miami, Caimit came off the bench at right-back to stop the Ecuadorian attack.
“I went in and focused on anticipating the through ball. I knew I had the speed to catch their left winger. I had to keep cutting back to.I went in and did my job,” said a beaming Cayemitte.
Cayemit’s time with the national team ended quickly due to a misunderstanding regarding the timing of the two practice sessions. It’s hard for him to look back on those mistakes and think about what happened.
“It was my own doing, but looking at the players who were there at the time, I know I could have been a right-back or supporting right-back for that ’86 team. Is that a regret? Yes. But do I blame anyone? No, it was my fault. That being said, it was a great moment.
Romain Gall, defender: Italy vs Italy on November 20, 2018
For the aforementioned player, the dream of returning to the USMNT has long since passed, but Romain Gall’s hopes live on. So far, the right winger’s only national team match has come in a transitional period after the United States failed to qualify for his Cup at the 2018 World Cup against Dave in his Sarachan era. It was his 1-0 friendly.
“I got my first cap against Italy. Just being on the field gives you endless energy because you are in a positive space. said Gal.
Gal was then called up for the January 2019 camp, but he was unable to attend as Malmö’s Europa League Round of 32 draw with Chelsea. Gal had his first conversation with then-new coach Greg Berhalter, but hasn’t heard anything since.Gal, whose contract with Malmö expires at the end of the year, is one of his main motivations. It is the return of the US national team and is leaning towards staying in Europe.
“I am a competitor and a dreamer, so returning to the national team is always on the back of my mind and I always hope that day will come again.