Squabbling to inseparable: 12 soccer siblings who made their mark in the U.S.
Jonathan Dos Santos' arrival at the LA Galaxy gives Major League Soccer its most prominent brother tandem. He and Giovani are hardly the first siblings to toil in the top U.S. league -- 10 pairs had taken the field in the same game before them -- but they're surely the most visible.
There have been dozens of siblings at the top levels of the American game -- playing professionally and/or with the national teams -- and perhaps you've heard of most of them, or at least the more prominent of the pairs.
Here are 12 brothers, sisters and brother/sister combinations that have made their mark, or still are, in the American game.
DaMarcus and Jamar Beasley
Before DaMarcus exploded into our consciousness nearly 18 years ago, winning the Silver Ball (to Landon Donovan's Golden Ball) as the U.S. reached the FIFA U-17 World Cup final four; before he took MLS by storm, tormenting defenders with his left-flank runs for the Chicago Fire; before he stepped into a starring role for the U.S. national team, becoming the only American to play in four World Cups (with a fifth possible in 2018); before he went to Europe and then Mexico, a roller-coaster ride that brought him back to MLS and has him still going, at 35, for the Houston Dynamo -- before all of that, older brother Jamar was the most exciting young American phenom in the the game.
Jamar was MLS' youngest signing when at 18 he joined the New England Revolution in the league's third season, and he went to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1999. By 2003, thanks to hard partying, mostly, he was out of the league. He played third-division soccer in Italy and bounced around the lower divisions in the U.S. before finding another path in the indoor game. Jamar, now 37, has been among the finest indoor attackers the past decade and a half and a key part of the U.S. national futsal team, which he represented at the 2008 World Cup.
Chris and Stephen Wondolowski
MLS' least likely siblings? Has to be the Wondolowskis. Neither played in NCAA Division I -- Chris at D-II Chico State, Stephen at D-III UC Santa Cruz. Stephen, the younger by two and a half years, never saw league action during a brief 2007-08 stint in Houston, where Chris was a teammate. Stephen, who would spend five years coaching in San Jose's academy, spent time as a Banana Slug (in college) and a Frog (with a minor-league team in the Bay Area before he went pro).
Chris' scoring exploits didn't surface until his sixth year in MLS; he'd scored just seven times in 51 matches before hitting the net 18 times in 2010 for the Earthquakes. He tied the league record with 27 tallies two years later, and with one more goal this year will have hit double-digits in eight successive seasons, a league record. With 130 in all, he's the best bet -- even at 34 -- to eclipse Landon Donovan's 145. He'll always be remembered for the miss against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup, but his legacy is among American club soccer's richest.
Joy Fawcett and Eric Biefeld
Fawcett is a towering figure in women's soccer, in the conversation for greatest defender ever to take the field and a massive part of the U.S.' success in a 17-year international career that closed in 2004. She won 249 caps, two World Cups and Olympic gold and silver medals while setting a standard for soccer moms: She gave birth to and raised three daughters while starring for the national team and in the first of the three professional American leagues.
Biefeld, a defender three years older than his sister, twice played for the U.S. men's national team -- in 1986 draws with Canada and Uruguay -- made the key defensive play in UCLA's eight-overtime victory over American University in the 1985 NCAA final, and spent four seasons in the precursor to the United Soccer League.
Lorrie and Ronnie Fair
The first twins to make an impact with the U.S. women's national team were the Fair sisters from Northern California. Lorrie, who'd win 120 caps in a 10-year international career, debuted for the U.S. at 17 and was a 1996 Atlanta Olympics alternate the summer after high school graduation. She won 120 caps, was the youngest player on the iconic 1999 team, played every minute of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and played in the WUSA and overseas for Lyon and Chelsea.
Ronnie, who went to Stanford as her sister took off for North Carolina, made three U.S. appearances, twice playing alongside Lorrie in 1997. She also played in the WUSA.