John Thorrington

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John Thorrington
John Thorrington Vancouver White Caps 2011.jpg
Thorrington playing for Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2011
Personal information
Full name John Gerard Thorrington
Date of birth (1979-10-17) October 17, 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Johannesburg, South Africa
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1997–1999 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Bayer Leverkusen 0 (0)
2001–2003 Huddersfield Town 67 (7)
2004 Grimsby Town 3 (0)
2005–2010 Chicago Fire 64 (9)
2011–2012 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 35 (0)
2013 D.C. United 14 (0)
Total 179 (16)
National team
1999 United States U20 4 (0)
2001–2008 United States 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of March 19, 2014
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 24, 2010

John Gerard Thorrington (born October 17, 1979) is a retired South African-born American soccer player who currently serves as executive vice president of soccer operations and general manager of Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer.

Although raised in the United States, Thorrington started his career as a youth team player in England with Premier League side Manchester United. In 1999, he moved to Germany and signed with Bayer Leverkusen, however he failed to make the first team with either club and returned to England where he signed for Huddersfield Town. He went on to feature for Grimsby Town as well before moving to the United States where he signed with Chicago Fire in 2005.


Early career[edit]

Thorrington attended the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California. Thorrington was the CIF-SS Division V Player of the Year in 1996 and 1997.[citation needed] After his junior year of high school and at the age of 17, Thorrington signed with Manchester United in 1997. Later, he moved to Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen. After his time in Germany, he spent a short spell on trial with Bolton Wanderers in the 2000–2001 season.

Huddersfield Town[edit]

After failing to make a first-time appearance with Manchester United and Leverkusen, Thorrington signed with Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2001 on a free transfer. Huddersfield had recently suffered relegation to the third tier of English soccer and managed by former Manchester United player Lou Macari handed Thorrington his full professional debut on August 11, 2001 in a 1-0 league victory over A.F.C. Bournemouth. He scored his first Town goal September 2, 2001 in a 2-1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers. At the end of a promising first season there, he developed a hamstring injury, which led to chronic leg troubles. Thorrington said that he considers his debut with Huddersfield Town as one of his favorite moments professionally along with his debuts with the U.S. National Team and the Chicago Fire. Thorrington made 97 appearances and scoring seven time during a three-year spell with the Yorkshire club. During the 2002–2003 season Huddersfield were yet again relegated to the Third Division.

Grimsby Town[edit]

On transfer deadline day in March 2004 Thorrington signed with Grimsby Town on a free transfer until the end of the season. He was brought to the club by Town's newly appointed manager Nicky Law along with veterans Alan Fettis and Paul Warhurst. He made his Mariners debut on March 13, 2004 in a 1-1 draw with A.F.C. Bournemouth. Thorrington would only manage two other appearances for Grimsby but missed the end of the season due to his ongoing injury woes. Grimsby suffered relegation at the end of the 2003–2004 season, and with Law dismissed as manager at the end of the season Thorrington's contract was not renewed.

Chicago Fire[edit]

Thorrington returned to the States and signed with MLS side the Chicago Fire in early 2005, but injury problems continued. In mid-2006, during the team's inaugural training session in its new stadium, Thorrington suffered a knee injury. Thorrington scored his first goal of the season on October 21, 2007, netting a stoppage-time strike for the Chicago Fire against the Los Angeles Galaxy that helped send the fire into the MLS Cup playoffs. Since 2007, Thorrington has become an integral part of the Chicago midfield, In 2008, he scored five goals and had two assists. Although normally a winger, in the 2009 season he played defensive midfield and attacking midfield in the absences of Logan Pause and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.[1]

Vancouver Whitecaps[edit]

Thorrington was left exposed by Chicago for the November 2010 MLS Expansion Draft and was selected by Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Thorrington injured his right leg and had to undergo surgery early during the 2011 season. After spending 2011 with Vancouver, the club re-signed him for the 2012 season on December 5, 2011.[2]

D.C. United[edit]

When Thorrington had his 2013 contract option declined by Vancouver he elected to participate in the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft. On December 14, 2012, he was selected by D.C. United in stage two of the draft.[3] Thorrington signed with D.C. on January 21, 2013.[4]


U.S. under 20[edit]

After gaining his U.S. citizenship in January 1999, played in nine games for the U.S. U-20 men's team. He was a member of the U.S. U-20 squad that advanced to the second round of the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. Thorrington made his U.S. U-20 international debut in a 1-0 victory over Denmark on January 24, 1999. He scored his first international goal in a 1-1 draw with Morocco on October 3, 1999.

U.S. under 23[edit]

Thorrington played in four matches for the U.S. Under-23 men's national team in 2000, including three of the U-23's four matches (two starts) in the 2000 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hershey, Pennsylvania, helping the squad advance to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. His first goal for the U-23s was in a 3-0 victory over Honduras on April 21, 2000, in the opening round of the 2000 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He was unable to participate in the 2000 Olympics after suffering a hamstring injury leading up to the tournament.

U.S. national team[edit]

He made his debut coming on for Steve Cherundolo in the 71st minute of a 0-0 draw versus Ecuador on June 7, 2001.

His second cap came seven years later in early round CONCACAF World Cup qualifying when he came on as a substitute against Barbados on June 22, 2008 and his third (his first start) against Guatemala in the last game of the semi-final round. His fourth came in a friendly against Sweden.

As well as playing four times for the U.S. national team, he has been called up to multiple national team camps including one in January 2009 and one before the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, he has failed to make another matchday roster.[5]


D.C. United[edit]


  1. ^ "John Thorrington Bio, Stats, News - Football / Soccer - - ESPNFC". October 17, 1979. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "'Caps re-sign two | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". December 4, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Shropshire, Corilyn. "Featured Articles From The Chicago Tribune". Retrieved August 21, 2012.

External links[edit]