Tom Kain

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Tom Kain
Personal information
Full name Thomas Kain
Date of birth (1963-07-01) July 1, 1963 (age 53)
Place of birth United States
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1979–1980 Wall Soccer Atoms
1979–1980 Wall High School
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1985 Duke University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1987 Union Solingen 0 (0)
1987–1991 Kansas City Comets (indoor) 128 (12)
National team
1986–1987 United States 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Tom Kain (born July 1, 1963) is the Nike Director of Global Marketing (Soccer). He is also a retired U.S. soccer midfielder. He played collegiate soccer at Duke University where he was named the 1985 Hermann Trophy winner as the top collegiate player. He also earned five caps with the U.S. national team in 1986 and 1987.


Kain grew up in Wall Township, New Jersey and graduated from Wall High School in New Jersey in 1980. While there he wore number 7, which the school has retired. Wall High School won the New Jersey Group III state championship all three years he played. He had 56 goals and had 40 assists during his junior and senior years at Wall. In 1999, he was named by The Star-Ledger as one of the top ten New Jersey high school soccer players of the 1980s.[1] After high school, Kain played for Duke University. His outstanding play for the Blue Devils led to his selection as a 1982 second team and 1983, 1984 and 1985 first team All American.[2][3][4][5] In 1985, he won the Hermann Trophy as the outstanding men's collegiate soccer player. His school record of 51 career goals stood until broken by Ali Curtis in 2000. During his tenure with the Blue Devils, the men's soccer team went 68-13-7. In 1996, Duke University inducted Kain into its Athletics Hall of Fame.


After graduating from Duke, Kain achieved a remarkable first, the first Native American to play professionally in Germany. He spent one year at Second Division club Union Solingen, but never played a game.[6] He had been the number one selection, by the New York Express in the 1986 Major Indoor Soccer League draft.[7] After seeing no playing time in Germany, and suffering from a foot injury, he returned to the United States in the spring of 1987 where the Kansas City Comets had purchased his contract rights from the bankrupt Express.[8] He played for the Comets until his retirement in February 1991 in order to pursue business opportunities.[9]

National team[edit]

In 1981, Kain was a member of the U.S. U-20 national team at the U-20 World Championship.[10] The U.S. went 0-1-2 in group play and did not qualify for the second round. Kain also played six games with the United States men's national soccer team between 1986 and 1987. However, he has only 5 official caps as his last game with the team, a September 5, 1987 Olympic Qualifier is not considered a full international.[11]

Post-Playing Career[edit]

He retired from active playing at the age of 27 while with Kansas City and was hired by Adidas. He steadily rose through the company's ranks and became its Director of U.S. Soccer by his mid-thirties. Nike eventually lured Kain away from Adidas and he remains with Nike today.

His success at Adidas and Nike led to SoccerAmerica selecting him as their #24 most influential person in U.S. soccer.


  1. ^ Jandoli, Ron. "The Century's Best -- Boys Soccer: Top 10 Players of each decade", The Star-Ledger, November 7, 1999, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 10, 2003. Accessed September 11, 2008.
  2. ^ 1982 All Americans
  3. ^ 1983 All Americans
  4. ^ 1984 All Americans
  5. ^ 1985 All Americans
  6. ^ Americans in Europe: 1987-2002
  7. ^ MISL SHOPS AMERICAN IN ITS DRAFT Akron Beacon Journal (OH) - Tuesday, June 3, 1986
  8. ^ Knee injury puts Perez on sidelines for rest of season Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Tuesday, March 10, 1987
  9. ^ Comets' Kain abruptly retires Defender leaves to work for sporting goods company The Kansas City Star - Friday, February 22, 1991
  10. ^ FIFA Player Profile
  11. ^ USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989

External links[edit]