Former LA Galaxy and US men's national team star Cobi Jones joined MLSsoccer.com's The Kickaround Live on Thursday, discussing his experiences as a Black athlete and coming to the realization that he was a role model for young Black players who were inspired watching him play.
Speaking with hosts Susannah Collins and Charlie Davies, Jones said he wasn't aware that kids like Davies, who said he idolized Jones growing up, looked to him as that type of inspiration in their own pursuits until the later stages of his career.
"It's pretty interesting because I don't know how the recognition comes about for the individual athlete to realize that they're a role model, because I didn't really understand that until later on in my career when I saw other players coming up and mention it," Jones said, "Like when Charlie said it, I was shocked. I did not know that before. So, you don't hear about that until most of the time, later on in your career, unless you have people actively coming at you and letting you know, and unfortunately I never had that experience. I mean, we're in a different time with soccer and social media to really let you know what's going on.
"I felt like I was in a bubble at times, like I was by myself," he added.
Jones is the most-capped US international of all time, with 164 appearances and 15 goals from 1992-2004. He made 306 appearances for the LA Galaxy from 1996-2007, scoring 70 goals.
Watch the full clip of Jones' remarks below.