KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 3, 2022) – The 1990 United States Men’s National Team that became the first American team to qualify for a FIFA World Cup since 1950, will be honored with the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Honorary All-America Award. The association had previously planned to honor the team in 2020 during the 30th anniversary of that team’s historic qualification but the COVID-19 pandemic precluded those plans.

Assistant Coach Ralph Perez from that team will accept the award at the annual All-America Ceremony, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.A historic goal by midfielder Paul Caligiuri on November 19, 1989, at Trinidad and Tobago during CONCACAF qualifying sent the United States to the World Cup in Italy the following summer for the first time in 40 years. Caligiuri had been captain of the 1985 UCLA team that captured the NCAA Division I Championship. He also holds the distinction of scoring the first USA World Cup goal in 40 years when he tallied against Czechoslovakia in the USA 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,” said Geoff VanDeusen, United Soccer Coaches CEO. “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 became Head Coach of the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) of Major League Soccer, winning the 2000 MLS Cup and the 2004 United States Open Cup Championship. He was named a member of the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the U.S. 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 that 1990 USMNT:

Goalkeepers: Kasey Keller, Tony Meola and David Vanole. Defenders: Desmond Armstrong, Marcelo Balboa, Jimmy Banks (deceased), Brian Bliss, John Doyle, Paul Krumpe, Steve Trittschuh, and Mike Windischmann. Midfielders: Paul Caligiuri, Neil Covone, John Harkes, Chris Henderson, Tab Ramos and John Stollmeyer. Forwards: Eric Eichman, Bruce Murray, Christopher Sullivan, Peter Vermes and 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. Click here for more information about the award and a list of previous honorees.