Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
After playing his college soccer at Rutgers, Lalas joined the US National Team (his first cap came on May 6, 1990 against Canada), and became a starter by the 1994 World Cup, when his wild red hair, outgoing personality, and steady play on the field made him a fan favorite. He earned a contract with Padova of Italian Serie A, becoming the first -- and, as of this point, the only American to play in the Italian first division, playing there between 1994 and 1996. In 1995, Alexi was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. He left Italy for Major League Soccer, where he played for New England Revolution (1996-1997), MetroStars (1998), Kansas City Wizards (1999), and Los Angeles Galaxy (2001-2003). He was used as a drawing card in his first three MLS stops, without much success on the field. It was with the Galaxy that he showed his best form, being named to the MLS Best XI in 2002 and winning the MLS Cup the same year.
Lalas also played for the US in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics. He retired with 99 caps and nine goals for the national team and took a job as the General Manager of the San Jose Earthquakes, becoming one of the youngest executives in American sports.
Alexi Lalas tried to parlay his soccer success into a music career, putting out CDs Woodland, Jet Lag, and Ginger. During his sabbatical from soccer in 2000, he announced soccer matches on NBC for the 2000 Summer Olympics and co-hosted ESPN2's MLS Extratime.
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