Alexi Lalas, born on 1st June 1970 in Birmingham, Michigan, USA, is a former football player and defender of the US national team. He was a participant in the 1994 and 1998 World Championships and the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.
The Early Years
Prior to his professional football career, Lalas also played hockey and in 1987 appeared in the draft of the Ontario Hockey League, but was not selected by any club.
From 1988 to 1991, he was part of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights team at Rutgers University. During this time, he was twice included in the 3rd symbolic team of the First Division of the All-American League, and in 1991 in the 1st symbolic team of the League.
In the winter of 1992, Lalas trained and played for the reserve staff of the London Arsenal.
After the 1994 World Cup, Lalas signed a contract with the Italian Serie A Padova club. In the 1994-95 season, Lalas scored 3 goals for Padova. However, Padova’s results were weak and the place in Serie A has only maintained thanks to success in the transitional matches.
In 1995, Lalas signed a contract with the newly created MLS league for playing for one of its clubs, but the League faced difficulties in organizing the championship and postponed the first season for 1996. To maintain the game form, Lalas was leased to the Padova club, where he spent 11 more matches until February 1996.
In 1996, the MLS, before the draft, distributed the coolest players to 10 League teams. Lalas became part of the New England Revolution. He regularly played as part of the Revolution. In the 1996-97 season, he played 57 matches, scoring 3 goals.
In November 1997, Lalas spent one month on loan at the Emelek Club of the First Ecuadorian Division. Upon his return in February 1998, he was sold to MetroStars from New York.
After spending the 1998 season, Lalas was again sold (along with Tony Meola in exchange for Mark Chang and Mike Ammann) to Kansas City Wizards in January 1999. In the 1999 season, Lalas played 30 games and scored 9 goals, after which he announced his retirement in November 1999.
However, a year later, in January 2001, Lalas returned to soccer as a Los Angeles Galaxy player, where he played until January 2004, after which he completed his professional football appearances.
For the US national team, from 1991 to 1998, he played 96 games and scored 9 goals.
Alexi Lalas also participated in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics (as one of three football players above the age limit).
In 1995, Lalas was selected as the US Athlete of the Year and the best player in the US national football team.
At the 1998 World Cup, Lalas was part of the team but did not go on the field. Lalas last played for the national team on May 30, 1998, in a match against Scotland.
After the completion of his playing career, he worked as president & general manager of MLS clubs: SJ Earthquakes (2004), NY Red Bulls (2005) and LA Galaxy (2006-2008).
In 2006, he was selected to the USA Football Hall of Fame. Right now, he is working as an analyst and commentator on ESPN & ABC Sports.
Alexi was born in the family of a Greece native Demetrius Lalas and American Annie Harding Woodworth. Demetrius was a professor and director of the Greek National Observatory, and his mother is a writer & poet. Alexi Lalas is married and has two children.
Alexi Lalas’s brother, Greg Lalas, was also a footballer player and played for Tampa Bay Mutiny, and currently serves as the editor-in-chief of MLSsoccer.com.
Lalas was the leader (guitar and vocals) in the rock band Gipsies, which released 2 albums Woodland and Jet Lag. In 1998, Lalas released the Ginger solo album and the single Goodnight Moon via CMC International.
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