116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Cory Gibbs

A man without a club, yet a possible starter for the USA; how did Cory Gibbs end up here?

Cory Gibbs was once one of the most obscure Americans playing abroad, even though he began his career in the high-profile German Bundesliga, with FC St. Pauli, in 2001. Unfortunately for Gibbs and St. Pauli, the side was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga after the 2001-02 season, making his profile even more less-known. Despite his best efforts, the squad was relegated to an even lower division in 2003, and Gibbs set out to find a new club for the 2004-05 season.
Despite the poor form of his club, Gibbs did eventually get noticed by the U.S. Soccer brass, and he made his U.S. debut in 2003. After several negotiations fell through, Gibbs signed with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) in 2004, and he became a regular starter. He only stayed a year though, signing with Dutch giants Feyenoord in 2005. Hardship befell him again, however, when a knee injury suffered during a friendly versus England caused a lengthy rehab. Upon returning from injury in 2006, Feyenoord loaned him to fellow Dutch side ADO Den Haag, where he completed his season. Feyenoord subsequently released him from his contract following the season. Gibbs, after spending a few months in professional limbo, eventually signed a pre-contract with English Premier League club Charlton Athletic, for whom he will begin play next season. In the meantime, he will be fighting for a starting spot with the Yanks.
For all of his professional misfortune, Gibbs is a very capable central defender, and is probably the fastest member of the USA defense. He is positionally sound, does a good job in the air, and like most national team members, keeps his mistakes to a minimum. He is likely to start a few matches for the U.S., and may become a regular starter if he does well in training camp. He has been tried at left back on occasion, and also has some experience at the club level in central midfield. He could be one of the unsung heroes of the U.S. Men in Germany.

Career Highlights:

2001: Makes pro debut with FC St. Pauli (Germany, 1. Bundesliga).

2002: Relegated to 2. Bundesliga with St. Pauli.

2003: Relegated to Regionalliga Nord with St. Pauli. Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

2004: Signs with Dallas Burn (USA, Major League Soccer).

2005: Joins Feyenoord (Netherlands, Eredivisie) on a transfer from MLS (fee undisclosed).

2006: Joins ADO Den Haag (Netherlands, Eredivisie) on loan from Feyenoord. Joins Charlton Athletic (England, Premier League) on a free transfer from Feyenoord.


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