John Patrick O'Brien
(born on August 29
in Los Angeles
) is a retired American soccer
O'Brien attended Brentwood School
, had his first trial with Ajax at the age of 14 and signed an amateur contract with the Dutch giants in 1994 as a 17-year old. After two years on their youth teams, Ajax offered O'Brien a professional contract in 1998. He spent the 1998-99 season on loan to FC Utrecht
and made his Ajax debut in 1999. He became a regular for the team, usually playing at left back
, winning the Eredivisie
in 2002 and 2004. Unfortunately, chronic injuries limited O'Brien's playing time. He left Ajax for ADO Den Haag
in February 2005. After one injury-riddled season, in which he only played three games for the club, O'Brien came to MLS for the first time, to sign with hometown Chivas USA.
O'Brien was one of the first Americans to earn a starting spot with a major European team, which he did with Ajax Amsterdam. United States teammate Landon Donovan called O'Brien the "best soccer player in the USA. He was released by C.D. Chivas USA of Major League Soccer following the 2006 season.
O'Brien stated that he is done playing in an interview on June 11, 2008.
With the United States, O'Brien earned his first cap against Austria
on April 22, 1998 but was an alternate for the U.S. squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup
. He played in the 2000 Summer Olympics
, helping to lead the U.S. to a fourth-place finish. O'Brien became a regular with the senior team under Bruce Arena
, and came into his own at the 2002 FIFA World Cup
. Playing in defensive midfield
, he scored the opener in the 3-2 win over Portugal
, assisted on Clint Mathis
' goal against South Korea
, and played every minute of every game for the United States.
On May 2nd, 2006, for the second successive time, O'Brien was named to the US roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. On June 12, 2006, he played the second half of the US's opening game against the Czech Republic, albeit with a nagging injury, which kept him out for the duration of the tournament. This match would become O'Brien's last professional soccer game to date.
||rowspan="2"|Major League Soccer