John O'Brien (soccer)

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John O'Brien
John O'Brien has a drink (2006).jpg
John O'Brien in 2006
Personal information
Full name John Patrick O'Brien
Date of birth (1977-08-29) August 29, 1977 (age 40)
Place of birth Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfielder, Left Back
Youth career
1994–1998 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2005 Ajax 63 (3)
1998–1999Utrecht (loan) 19 (2)
2005–2006 ADO Den Haag 3 (0)
2006 Chivas USA 1 (0)
Total 86 (5)
National team
1998–2006 United States 32 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Patrick O'Brien (born August 29, 1977) is a retired American soccer player.

O'Brien was one of the first Americans to earn a starting spot with a major European team, with Ajax Amsterdam in the late 1990s.[nb 1] At the peak of his career, United States national teammate Landon Donovan called O'Brien the "best soccer player in the USA."[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

O'Brien grew up in Playa del Rey, California and attended Brentwood School. After being brought to attention of youth director Co Adriaanse, he had his first trial with Ajax at the age of 14 and signed an amateur contract with the Dutch giants in 1994 as a 17-year-old. After two years on their youth teams, Ajax offered O'Brien a professional contract in 1998. He spent the 1998-99 season on loan to FC Utrecht and made his Ajax debut in 1999. He became a regular for the team, usually playing at left back, winning the Eredivisie in 2002 and 2004.

Unfortunately, chronic injuries limited O'Brien's playing time. He left Ajax for ADO Den Haag in February 2005. After one injury-riddled season, in which he only played three games for the club, O'Brien came to MLS for the first time, to sign with hometown club Chivas USA. O'Brien played only one game with Chivas before suffering an injury with the U.S. national team during the 2006 World Cup, and was released by the club following the 2006 season.

O'Brien stated that he was done playing in an interview on June 11, 2008.[3]

International career[edit]

With the United States, O'Brien earned his first cap against Austria on April 22, 1998 but was an alternate for the U.S. squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He played in the 2000 Summer Olympics, helping to lead the U.S. to a fourth-place finish. O'Brien became a regular with the senior team under Bruce Arena, and came into his own at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Playing in defensive midfield, he scored the opener in the 3-2 win over Portugal, assisted on Clint Mathis' goal against South Korea, and played every minute of every game for the United States.

On May 2, 2006, for the second successive time, O'Brien was named to the U.S. roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. On June 12, 2006, he played the second half of the U.S.'s opening game against the Czech Republic, albeit with a nagging injury, which kept him out for the duration of the tournament.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

[4][5]

Club performance League Cup Other Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Super Cup Europe Total
1998–99 Utrecht Eredivisie 19 2 0 0 19 2
1999–00 Ajax Eredivisie 15 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 20 1
2000–01 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2001–02 27 2 4 0 3 0 34 2
2002–03 12 0 2 0 1 0 5 0 20 0
2003–04 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2004–05 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2005–06 Den Haag Eredivisie 3 0 1 0 4 0
U.S. League Open Cup North America Total
2006 Chivas USA Major League Soccer 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total Netherlands 85 5 8 0 1 0 12 0 106 5
U.S. 1 0 0 0 1 0
Career total 86 5 8 0 1 0 12 0 107 5

International[edit]

[6]

United States national team
Year Apps Goals
1998 1 0
1999 0 0
2000 5 1
2001 5 0
2002 9 1
2003 1 0
2004 0 0
2005 7 1
2006 4 0
Total 32 3

International goals[edit]

Honors[edit]

Club[edit]

Ajax

International[edit]

United States

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ O'Brien was the second American ever to play for the 1st team of Ajax, the first being Eddy Hamel who played for the club from 1922 to 1930.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arena names USA squad". FIFAWorldCup.com. May 2, 2006.
  2. ^ "O'Brien is USA's Dutch treat". USAtoday.com. December 2, 2002.
  3. ^ "O'Brien retires" Archived 2008-06-14 at the Wayback Machine.. MLS Magazine.
  4. ^ "John O'Brien career stats". Football Database.eu. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  5. ^ John O'Brien. MLSnet.com. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  6. ^ "O'Brien, John". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]