Now coach of the USL League One reigning champion Greenville Triumph, John Harkes started making national news while starring at the University of Virginia in the mid-1980s. By the time Soccer America celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1991, Harkes had helped the USA to its first World Cup in 40 years (Italia 90), became the first American Abroad to appear in highlight clips (while at Sheffield Wednesday), and ranked second next to Pele in SA cover appearances. Unfortunately, we don't have an accurate cover count anymore, but Harkes, who starred for the first MLS champions, D.C. United, and played MLS ball until 2002, ranks among the leaders of those who've graced SA covers.
In 2020, we interviewed Harkes upon the 30th anniversary of the USA's first World Cup appearance since 1950 (Italia '90 inspired us to dream bigger) and after the Greenville Triumph's championship season (A Year of Fear, Anxiety and Triumph -- and American soccer's great strides). We've also been following his son Ian Harkes' impressive run with Dundee United (Ian Harkes on success in his ancestral home, Scottish Premiership promotion, and support from his soccer family).
The 1991 cover count: