Cobi Jones is one of the most beloved MNT players in the team’s history. He is the squad’s all-time leader in caps with 164, which he earned over 12 years of dedication to the team. The diminuitive midfielder and his trademark dreadlocks were a fixture at US games for over a decade, and he is on this list as much for his leadership and determination as he is for his stellar play.
Professionally, Jones had a fantastic career. He played a few seasons for Coventry City before returning to the US for the inaugural season of MLS. Once back at home, he played in over 300 games for the Galaxy, scoring an impressive 70 goals and winning multiple championships. He would also hoist the 1998 US Player of the Year Award before retiring from soccer in 2007.
Jones briefly coached the Galaxy last year during the interim between Ruud Gullit’s departure and Bruce Arena’s hiring. He didn’t do a poor job, but it’s difficult to win when you really only have two or three good players at your disposal, and two of them are gone all the time seeking international glory. He is still associated with the Gals, but I would like to see another team give him a shot at manager.
For US MNT fans though, Cobi’s past will always be what we cherish most. He played in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was an important playmaker during the 2002 Gold Cup (which the US won) and the 2000 Gold Cup (where he was named to the tournament’s Best XI). Cobi’s style and personality, like his play, are always spot on too, and that’s why he belongs on the MLS Best XI.