John O'Brien (soccer)
John O'Brien in 2006
|Full name||John Patrick O'Brien|
|Date of birth||August 29, 1977|
|Place of birth||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Left Back|
|1998–1999||→ Utrecht (loan)||19||(2)|
|2005–2006||ADO Den Haag||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
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."
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.
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.
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||Super Cup||Europe||Total|
|U.S.||League||Open Cup||—||North America||Total|
|2006||Chivas USA||Major League Soccer||1||0||0||0||–||–||1||0|
|United States national team|
|John O'Brien – goals for the U.S.|
|1||August 16, 2000||Foxborough, Massachusetts||Barbados||4–0||7–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|2||June 5, 2002||Suwon, South Korea||Portugal||1–0||3–2||2002 FIFA World Cup|
|3||July 21, 2005||East Rutherford, New Jersey||Honduras||1–1||2–1||2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
- United States
- 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.
- "Arena names USA squad". FIFAWorldCup.com. May 2, 2006.
- "O'Brien is USA's Dutch treat". USAtoday.com. December 2, 2002.
- "O'Brien retires" Archived 2008-06-14 at the Wayback Machine.. MLS Magazine.
- "John O'Brien career stats". Football Database.eu. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- John O'Brien. MLSnet.com. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "O'Brien, John". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John O'Brien.|
- John O'Brien – FIFA competition record
- O'Brien plays in Beach Soccer Tournament in May 2008 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2008-04-08)
- "What Ever Happened To: John O'Brien". MLSsoccer. February 22, 2011.