One Game Wonders: Juergen Sommer

A number of players have played just the one match for Bolton Wanderers. Some well-known names in football and some perhaps not so well-known. Juergen Sommer was a United States international who represented his country at two World Cups; he joined Wanderers on loan from New England Revolution in 2001.

Born in New York, Sommer played football, or ‘soccer’ as it is more commonly known across the Atlantic during his time at Indiana University in the late 1980s and he was named Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990; he signed for Luton Town shortly afterwards in 1991.

During four years at Kenilworth Road, he made 101 appearances before an August 1995 move to Premiership side Queens Park Rangers for a fee of £600,000. A fair amount of money exchanged for a Football League goalkeeper in the mid-90s.

Capped 10 times by the Unites States National Team, Sommer was a member of the squads that played in the 1994 World Cup – of course held in the States, and the 1998 World Cup in France. With the likes of Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel in the same position, the amount of appearances he made for his country were limited.

Prior to his move to Loftus Road, Sommer had also had loan spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Kettering Town and Torquay United. Spending two and-a-half years with Queens Park Rangers, he made 85 appearances before returning to the US in 1998 to sign for Columbus Crew.

Sommer also had spells in his home nation with Connecticut Wolves and New England Revolution, and it was the latter from whom he joined Bolton Wanderers on loan. Without a goalkeeper available for selection, Sam Allardyce searched desperately to try and get a capable pair of hands between the sticks for an FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers in February 2001.

Suspensions and ineligibility to the squad’s other goalkeepers meant that Sommer arrived on loan. He played in the tie against Blackburn and was beaten just once by David Dunn in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium. The American never played another game for Wanderers and returned to New England before his retirement from the game in 2002.

Now aged 51, he is the former Director of Soccer Operations and Head Coach of the Indy Eleven North American Soccer League Franchise.  


Sommer’s One Game for Wanderers:

17 February 2001

Bolton Wanderers 1 (Ricketts 62)

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Dunn 40)

Reebok Stadium | FA Cup


Wanderers: Sommer, O’Kane, Hendry, Bergsson, Charlton, Passi, Summerbee (Wheatcroft 82), Gardner, Farrelly (Frandsen 76), Nolan, Ricketts (Hansen 67).

Unused Subs: Elliott, Barness.   

Rovers: Friedel, Curtis, Short, Berg, Taylor, Dunn, Mahon, Flitcroft, Berkovic (Duff 30), Bent (Hughes 66), Jansen (Hignett 66).

Unused Subs: Filan, Keller.

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