Agoos, Jeff : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Agoos, Jeff


Country Represented:
United States

Years Competed:
1996, 2000

Olympic Info:
A stalwart member of the 2002 American team that stunned their World Cup competitors by advancing to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by finalist Germany -- whom the USA outplayed -- Agoos is a defender who currently plays for the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS (Major League Soccer).

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Agoos played every minute of every game for the U.S. and was the team's most important defender. A veteran of over 100 international games for the U.S. National team, Jeff scored a penalty goal during the shoot-out in the quarter-final game against Japan. The U.S. team won that game and then finished in fourth place at the Games, after losing to Spain in the semifinals (1-3), and Chile in the bronze medal game (0-2).

Jeff was also an alternate for the 1996 U.S. Olympic soccer team. At the Atlanta Games, the American team lost to Argentina (the eventual silver medal-winning team), defeated Tunisia, and tied Portugal to finish third in their preliminary group. They did not advance to the quarterfinals.

Career Highlights:
In 2002, Agoos was a starting central defender for the U.S. National team. The USA squad shocked many people by advancing to the quarterfinals of the World Cup; but in doing so, Jeff injured his calf and, on June 15, was declared out of the rest of the 2002 World Cup competition. Agoos, who has 134 caps (international appearances) for the U.S. National Team -- the second most in team history -- and 123 starts (first all-time), was also an important member in the qualifying stage, in which the U.S. qualified for the 2002 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Jamaica on October 7, 2001.

After a stellar soccer career at the University of Virginia, where he was a four-time All-America and twice finished second in the balloting for the Hermann Trophy, Agoos turned professional. He played with SV Wehen in Germany and for the Dallas Sidekicks of the CISL (Continental Indoor Soccer League) before joining (Washington) D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Jeff's impact on the team was immediate, as he helped lead United to 3 straight MLS Cup finals, winning two of them. In 2000, Agoos started in all 23 games in which he appeared for United, scoring one goal, with three assists.

Prior to the 2001 season, Jeff was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes, one of the worst teams in the league. With Agoos's leadership in the back and the talented 19-year old Landon Donovan in attack, the Earthquakes surprised many soccer aficionados to finish second in the Western Division with a 13-7-6 record. They then rolled through the playoffs and shocked the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final to capture the MLS Cup. Agoos led the Earthquakes' stingy defense (they allowed a league-low 29 goals in 26 games), and received the most All-Star votes of any MLS player. He appeared in his sixth MLS All-Star Game, and was also named Defender of the Year in MLS and was a finalist for MVP. In 2003, the Earthquake captured the MLS Cup again.

Agoos is also an important player on the U.S. National team. Jeff has been with the program since 1985, and he appeared with the U.S. under-15, under-17, under-20, world university, and indoor national teams. He made his international debut with the U.S. national team in January, 1988 in a match against Guatemala. Since then, Agoos has appeared in 134 international games. Jeff was a member of the 1998 World Cup team, as well as of the bronze medal squad at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 2, 1968

Geneva, Switzerland

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Great Jews in Sports by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)
New York Times, July 21-August 3, 1996