Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Tournaments-Part 12- Los Angeles Friendship Cup-1992


The ‘Los Angeles Friendship Cup’ was a Four Team Tournament in Late July-Early August 1992, hosted by the United States.

The United States were to be the hosts of the 1994 World Cup and welcomed any quality opposition to be prepared for the World Cup.

Just a month or so earlier, the USA with its full-strength side had hosted another Tournament, the US Cup. That was a more high-profile Tournament featuring the likes of Italy, Republic of Ireland and Portugal.

Since, the L.A. Friendship Cup was scheduled at the tail end of the summer, the participating Teams were not at full strength.

The United States, managed by Bora Milutinovic, were missing the likes of John Harkes, Tab Ramos, Eric Wynalda, Roy Wegerle, and Paul Caligiuri, among others.

Brazil, managed by Carlos Alberto Parreira, had a more than adequate side with many São Paulo players that had just been victorious in the Copa Libertadores (Rai, Cafu, Antonio Carlos, Ronaldao, Palhinha).

The team also included a rejuvenated Bebeto and Mauro Silva, who were about to embark to Spain and be part of history with Deportivo La Coruna.

Colombia, managed by Humberto Ortíz, were led by veterans Carlos Valderrama, Leonel Alvarez, and Freddy Rincon.

Mexico were managed by former Argentina World Cup Winning Manager Cesar Luis Menotti. The familiar faces included goalkeeper Jorge Campos, Claudio Suarez, and Luis Garcia, among others. The choice of Menotti was not popular with the fans, and he was already on borrowed time.


The matches (four in total) were to take place in the space of few days, all played at Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum.


The Tournament kicked off on July 31st with the United States hosting Colombia and Brazil facing off against Mexico.

USA did not function as a unit and surrendered the midfield to Valderrama and Rincon.

Adolfo Valencia scored Colombia’s winner in the 33rd minute with a solo goal, taking advantage of Brian Quinn’s miskick in midfield.

Photo From: Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 6, Issue 1072, August 17, 1992

(July 31, 1992, Los Angeles Friendship Cup, USA 0-Colombia 1)


On the same day, Brazil dominated and comfortably defeated Mexico (5-0). Bebeto led the scoring with two goals (First and Third goals). Renato Gaucho scored the second with a delicate chip.

Zinho scored the fourth (from Rai’s assist) in the 39th minute, to give Brazil a (4-0) lead before halftime.

The Mexican fans threw debris at their team and staff as they were leaving the field at halftime.

Paulo Sergio scored one more for Brazil in the 66th (from Edmundo’s cross).

Brazil already looked likely winners of the Tournament.



The Second and Last day of matches took place on August 2nd.

Colombia took on Mexico and the American hosts faced off vs. Brazil.

Colombia made only one change from their match vs. USA. Wilmer Cabrera started in place of Leonel Álvarez.

Mexico made a change of their own. Claudio Suárez started in place of Octavio Mora. The match ended as a disappointing scoreless tie.


Photo From: Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 6, Issue 1072, August 17, 1992

(August 2, 1992, Los Angeles Friendship Cup, Mexcio 0-Colombia 0)

Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 3, Issue 10, October 1992

(August 2, 1992, Los Angeles Friendship Cup, Mexcio 0-Colombia 0)

For the match vs. Brazil, Milutinovic made a few changes. John Doyle strengthened the defense, while Mike Sorber started in midfield and Chris Sullivan started upfront. The players making way were Dominic Kinnear, Janusz Michallik and Peter Vermes.

Doyle was charged with marking Renato, while Clavijo had to follow Bebeto.


Carlos Alberto Parreira also made a number of changes for Brazil. Gilmar started in goal, in place of Carlos. Cafu started in defense in place of Luis Carlos Winck. In midfield, César Sampaio started in place of suspended veteran Junior (sent-off vs. Mexico).


Brazil scored their winner in the 77th minute. Rai found Bebeto in the box and he shot past Meola, scoring his third goal of the Tournament.

Brazil earned four points from this victory and became the winners of this Tournament, with Colombia just behind with three points.

Despite the loss, Milutinovic was satisfied with the performance against Brazil, especially in the second half. He felt the team had played “a great game.” He underlined that USA had been closing spaces and playing tighter.

Meola and Balboa in defense performed well, but it was upfront that USA lacked the final punch.

Brazil Manager Carlos Alberto Parreira felt USA looked confident in possession, but “finishing is something Bora has to work on...” He praised Meola, Quinn and Hugo Perez on the American side.


Photo From: Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 6, Issue 1072, August 17, 1992

(August 2, 1992, Los Angeles Friendship Cup, USA 0-Brazil 1)

Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 1993

(August 2, 1992, Los Angeles Friendship Cup, USA 0-Brazil 1)

As far as Colombia and Mexico, not much could be ascertained. They both would change managers shortly thereafter. The under-pressure Menotti stated that he was not interested in the results but in the process. Menotti would soon be sacked by Mexico.

Colombia would soon recall Pacho Maturana to lead the team once more. Colombia were also on the verge of introducing a new star, Faustino Asprilla. In a year’s time, both team’s fortunes would improve, but as far as this Tournament, neither made an impression.

For Brazil, some players got the opportunity to impress with the World Cup just two years away. About eight of members of this Brazilian side would make the Finals squad.

As far as the American hosts, defensively there was a backbone to be satisfied with. However, it was clear that the European based veterans were vital for the important matches.

They would spend the next two years playing a slew of friendlies to have a team ready for the main event and this was just one little step on the way.


1-$1 dollar of every ticket sold was donated to Rebuild L.A., a non-profit agency formed to help the rebuilding following the Los Angeles riots in 1992.


Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 3, Issue 10, October 1992

(Mexican fan)

Photo From: Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 6, Issue 1072, August 17, 1992




Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 3, Issue 1069, July 27, 1992

Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 4, Issue 1070, August 3, 1992

Soccer America, Vol. 43, No. 6, Issue 1072, August 17, 1992

Soccer International, Volume 3, Issue 10, October 1992

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