John “Clarkie” Souza, who died Sunday at the age of 91, wasn't as well known as some other members of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team, but he was one of its most talented players.
“He was as skilled a player as I ever played with or against,” teammate Walter Bahr, one of two surviving members of that legendary team along with goalie Frank Borghi, told Michael Lewis.
Bahr played left half back and Souza played inside left, so he knew his abilities well.
“John was a very talented player with better ball skills than most of the players I played with or against," said Bahr. "He was a dribbler. He liked to hold the ball. He could make things happen. He could dribble into the area and draw people to him. John was always able to beat people. He was able to go by people with the ball. And he was a goalscorer ... He took a little bit of a beating. I guess the philosophy was if you can’t stop him one way, you can beat him another.”