It has been exactly 20 years to the day since the first MLS Cup Final was played, and that makes it a good time to take a stroll down memory lane.
Back on Oct. 20, 1996, D.C. United won the first ever MLS Cup trophy by coming back from two goals down and beating the LA Galaxy, 3-2, in extra time at then-Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Two decades have passed since that historic game, with all of the players and coaches having continued on with their careers and lives. Where exactly are they all now, however, and what are they doing? Let's take a look:
Jorge Campos – The famously flamboyant Mexican goalkeeper retired in 2004 and now works as a television commentator for TV Azteca in his homeland, though he lives in the Los Angeles area. He is also a devoted golfer, as Sports Illustrated recently profiled.
Robin Fraser – The Galaxy's captain on that portentious day at Foxborough played another decade in MLS before moving into coaching full-time. He served at Real Salt Lake before leading Chivas USA over two star-crossed seasons, and now works as an assistant to his former teammate Greg Vanney at Toronto FC. He is routinely linked to head coaching vacancies around the league.
Arash Nowamooz – The Iranian international's career was ended by a serious knee injury in 1997, denying him a shot at his country's trip to the 1998 World Cup in France. But he made a quick transition into the restaurant business, joining his brother Ashkan and their uncle, Fred Sharifi, in running Hungry's Cafe and Bistro in the Houston area.
Mark Semioli – The Brooklyn native finished his career at home after a 1997 trade to the MetroStars (now Red Bulls) and attained a master's degree after retiring in 2001. He currently teaches history and other subjects at the Kent Place School, an all-girls day school in Summit, New Jersey.
Greg Vanney – The cerebral defender spent a few seasons in France's Ligue 1 with Corsican club Bastia before returning to MLS to finish his playing career. He oversaw RSL's groundbreaking youth academy in his native Arizona for several years before moving up to the senior level with Chivas USA. He currently leads Toronto FC.
Chris Armas – The bulldog midfielder was acquired by the Fire ahead of their 1998 expansion season and would become a Chicago institution via a decade of service, though he tragically missed out on the 2002 US World Cup team due to an ill-timed knee injury. He became a coach in 2008 and led the Adelphi University women's team for several seasons before joining the Red Bulls staff last year.
Mauricio Cienfuegos – Diminutive in frame but enormous in influence, the Salvadoran playmaker hung up his boots after helping LA win the 2002 MLS Cup. A seven-time All-Star and three-time Best XI selection, “Chencho” now works in the Galaxy's vaunted academy, primarily coaching the U-12 team.
Cobi Jones – The dreadlocked dynamo played until 2007 and then moved to the Galaxy's coaching staff, even serving as interim head coach before Bruce Arena's arrival. He worked as a director of soccer for the New York Cosmos before returning to Southern California to become a commentator on LA's local TV broadcasts. He also helps lead youth-focused health and fitness initiatives.
Jorge Salcedo – The local product returned to UCLA to join his alma mater's coaching staff in 2001 and worked his way up the Bruins' ladder from there, becoming head coach in 2004. He's continued the program's 33-year streak of NCAA tournament appearances and reached two national championship finals, while also molding a litany of future MLS talent; 34 of his Bruins have been drafted into MLS, including 17 first-round SuperDraft selections.
Eduardo Hurtado – “El Tanque” set out on a nomadic path after leaving MLS in 2000, playing for a range of clubs around the world until age 40. He now lives in his native Ecuador, doing youth coaching and the occasional bit of analysis of the domestic league and national team. Worth noting: His teenage son Jean is an aspiring striker himself who holds dual US-Ecuadorian citizenship.
Harut Karapetyan – The Armenian-born attacker still holds the record for fastest hat trick in MLS history, having scored three goals in five minutes as a substitute in the Galaxy's 8-1 whipping of the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) on June 6, 1998. He now works in auto sales in Southern California.
Ante Razov (76th-minute substitute) – One of the greatest pure finishers in MLS history, Razov also starred for Chicago, Columbus Crew, New York and Chivas USA. He retired in 2009 and worked in the Galaxy's academy before joining the Seattle Sounders coaching staff last year.
Curt Onalfo (77th-minute substitute) – The well-traveled Onalfo began youth coaching during his playing career and has remained in the business ever since. He led the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) and D.C. United before joining Arena's staff in LA, where his duties include Galaxy II, the club's reserve side.
Coach Lothar Osiander – An iconic personality in US soccer history, the German-born coach had his lengthy pro career end with his dismissal from the San Jose Earthquakes in 2000. He continued grassroots coaching even after his retirement and still serves as a consultant for Tri-Valley Soccer Club in San Ramon, California, at age 76.
Mark Simpson – D.C.'s goalkeeper joined the coaching staff in 2002 and remained the Black-and-Red 'keepers coach under multiple regimes until 2010. He remained in the Washington area and now leads the goalkeeping department of the new US Soccer Development Academy program at fast-growing Northern Virginia youth club Loudoun Soccer.
Jeff Agoos – A member of the MLS All-Time Best XI, the defender won a whopping five MLS Cup titles with D.C. and San Jose. He worked on the Red Bulls' technical staff after retirement and has served as MLS's Vice President of Competition for competition since 2011, a wide-ranging job that revolves around ensuring “that the game’s spirit, soul and integrity remains intact.”
Mario Gori – A cult hero among longtime D.C. United fans, the Argentine bounced around US soccer after leaving United in 1998, ending his career with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2003. He now works as a chef back in his native land.
Eddie Pope – One of the most iconic defenders in MLS and US Soccer history, Pope served with distinction for D.C., New York and RSL before calling time in 2007. He worked as the director of player relations for the MLS Players Union for several years before joining player representation/management agency Octagon last year.
Clint Peay – Another D.C.-area native, Peay worked as an assistant coach at several leading NCAA programs in the mid-Atlantic before taking the top job at the University of Richmond in 2009. He left that post three years later to coach in the US youth national team system and today serves as a regional technical advisor for US Soccer Federation's Development Academy program.
Marco Etcheverry – Perhaps the boldest on-field personality of MLS's early years, “El Diablo” became a United icon with his playmaking exploits. He's held a range of coaching roles from the youth to professional ranks since his 2004 retirement, and spends most of his time in his native Bolivia.
John Harkes – The D.C. captain who hoisted that first trophy in the rain now works as the head coach at breakout USL debutants and future MLS hopefuls FC Cincinnati. He's also done extensive work as a television commentator and youth coach.
John Maessner – The New Jersey native led United's youth academy from 2007-10, during which time future pro stars Andy Najar and Bill Hamid were spotted and groomed. He is presently in his fifth year in charge of the women's soccer program at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (NCAA Division II).
Richie Williams – Undersized but relentless, the defensive midfielder has built a lengthy coaching resume since the end of his playing days. He led the US U-17 men's national team for two World Cup cycles and now works as an assistant coach at RSL.
Raul Diaz Arce – A D.C. fan favorite, the striker retired in 2004 but remains El Salvador's all-time leading scorer. He coaches in the Atlanta area with the United Futbol Academy and the Georgia ODP system.
Jaime Moreno – One of the best attackers in MLS history, “the Godfather of Goals” resuscitated a seemingly moribund career in 2004 and retired as the league's all-time leading scorer in 2010. He coached United's U-23 side for three years and still resides in Washington's Northern Virginia suburbs.
Shawn Medved (70th-minute substitute) – The scorer of D.C.'s equalizing goal, Medved moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after retirement and works as a mortgage broker, along with some part-time youth soccer coaching.
Tony Sanneh (59th-minute substitute) – The distinguished US international's 15-year career also took him from the US lower divisions to the Bundesliga and ended in 2009. He returned to his native St. Paul, Minnesota, and founded his own charitable foundation, “using soccer as the catalyst to empower kids, improve lives and unite communities,” and also participates in the Department of State's SportsUnited Sports Envoy program for international outreach.
Coach Bruce Arena – “The Bruce” moved up to the US national team in 1998 and led the Yanks to their best World Cup run in modern history in 2002. He left that post after Germany 2006 and briefly coached the Red Bulls before moving to the Galaxy, where he's won three more MLS Cups.