MLS Soccer

Former U.S. coach talks about 1998 internal strife

Breaking more than a decade of silence, former U.S. soccer coach Steve Sampson said Tuesday he dropped John Harkes from the national team roster two months before the 1998 World Cup because the American captain was having an affair with the wife of teammate Eric Wynalda.

Harkes has long denied having an affair with Amy Wynalda.

Wynalda brought up the situation Monday night during a discussion on “Fox Football Fone-In” about a scandal in England over an alleged relationship between current English captain John Terry and the former partner of Wayne Bridge, his teammate on the national squad.

The U.S. finished last in the 32-nation field at the 1998 World Cup in France, getting shut out by Germany, then losing 2-1 to Iran and 1-0 to Yugoslavia.

“It wasn’t about losing 2-0 to Germany or losing to Iran,” Sampson said. “There was more to it than that … ”