U.S. SQUAD OVERVIEW: Cobi Jones is considered one of the best U.S. midfielders ever and currently still holds the record for most U.S. national team appearances with 165 caps during the span of his international career (which ended in 2004) . Jones served as a U.S. team member of the 1994, 1998, and 2002 FIFA World Cup and scored fifteen goals in his international career. He also represented the U.S. during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
MLS CAREER: Cobi Jones is without a doubt one of the most legendary original members of the MLS. In 1996 Jones left Brazilian club Vasco da Gama in the middle of the season to join the Los Angeles Galaxy during their inaugural season. Jones was already familiar with soccer in California (He played at UCLA). During his eleven year career with the Galaxy, Jones would score seventy goals including in 1998 his career best year of nineteen goals and thirteen assists. That season he was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.
In 2007, Jones decided it was time to retire from the game. The Galaxy honored their dread-locked midfielder by retiring his number 13 jersey the following season. It would be the first jersey ever retired in MLS history. One year later, Jones would serve as interim head coach of the Galaxy. At the end of the season he was replaced by his own former U.S. coach Bruce Arena.
DID YOU KNOW?: In 1994-1995 Jones played for Premier League club Coventry City. The season is considered Jones’ first in professional football and the rookie scored two goals in twenty appearances over the course of the year.
Jones is also well respected in Latin America. After playing in the 1995 Copa America, he earned the nickname “El escobillon”. When I searched the translation online the name is defined as meaning either the brushing or the ramrod. Perhaps the nickname is simply lost in translation?