Hall of Fame Inductee John Harkes
John Harkes, 2008 US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee
John Harkes boasts a lifetime full of soccer achievements and has brought those accolades full-circle as he is now giving back to the game at the grassroots level. Harkes was the US Youth Soccer spokesperson in the inaugural Youth Soccer Month in September of 2003.
He grew up playing the game with Thistle FC, proud member of New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association. He was named Parade Magazine's 1984 Player of the Year out of Kearny High School, where he won three state championships.
Harkes earned his first full international cap in May of 1987 playing with the U.S. Men's National Team.
Harkes continued to play a lead role with the National Team, starting all three games at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, playing every minute of all three the first-round games at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and acting as the team captain in 1995.
Still on the international stage, the midfielder made two appearances in the 1988 Olympic Games.
In 1996, he became a founding player and the captain of Major League Soccer's D.C. United. That same year, he helped lead D.C. United to capture the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. The following year, Harkes once again led the team to their second MLS Cup title.
During his MLS career, he scored 16 goals and had 42 assists in 167 career appearances (155 as starter), with an additional 22 playoff appearances as a starter. Harkes also played in five MLS All-Star Games (1996-2000).
In 2003, Harkes announced his retirement from professional soccer; however, this did not put a stop to his involvement in the game. Not long after retirement, he took a position as D.C. United's director of youth development.
Harkes was enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with young players to help them advance in all aspects of the game.