Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ammann played college soccer at Cal State-Fullerton, finishing with a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1993. He was spotted by a scout of English club Charlton Athletic and earned a surprise transfer to England, backstopping the Addicks for two seasons. When Major League Soccer started in 1996, Ammann signed with the then-Kansas City Wiz late in the inaugural season. In 1997, he would set a league record (since broken) with 21 wins.
Before the 1999 season, Ammann was traded to the MetroStars with Mark Chung for Tony Meola and Alexi Lalas. As unpopular as the trading away of local hero Meola was, Ammann quickly won the hearts of Metro fans. Unfortunately, the rest of the team didn't, as the 1999 Metro squad finished with the worst record in league history. Ammann's goalkeeping was not to blame, as he played behind a porous defense, but he did set the league record with 18 losses.
2000 was Ammann's best season as the Metros went through a re-birth. But Mike had to miss the end of the season after a horrible incident involving Mamadou Diallo. In a game against the Tampa Bay Mutiny, Diallo purposely stepped on the Metro goalie, breaking three ribs, puncturing his lung, and giving him a concussion. The incident, which was dubbed Crime of the Century by Metro teammate Mike Petke, ridiculously saw Diallo receive no punishment. Ammann, on the other hand, had to miss the rest of the regular season, and then came back -- not fully recovered -- in the playoffs, courageously shutting out the Chicago Fire 2-0.
With the emergence of Tim Howard in Metro nets, Ammann was traded to DC United for Richie Williams and an allocation before the 2001 MLS season. Unfortunately for Mike, injuries dogged him the rest of the way, and he retired after not playing a minute in 2002. He has since been outspoken about some of the problems of MLS.
As of 2004, Ammann is working as a manager for Hitachi Data Systems.
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