A veteran U.S. international that has played at the highest levels in Germany, Holland and England, Cory Gibbs is coming off a career season in 2011 in which he was named the club’s Defender of the Year. Known more for his marking ability and intelligence on the back line, Gibbs added attacking acumen to his resume for the Fire in 2011, proving dangerous on set pieces while continuing to serve as a veteran mentor for the club’s young defenders.
2011: Made 26 appearances, all starts, tallying three goals across 2203 minutes played all marking new MLS career highs in those categories. Serving as the anchor of the Fire backline in 2011, Gibbs was selected as the club’s 2011 Defender of the Year by local media and the Fire technical staff…Scored his first goal in a Fire uniform, an 80th minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw 5/28 vs. SJ…Scored in the 36th minute, heading home a Sebastian Grazzini cross in a 2-0 victory 8/27 vs. former team COL…Tallied his third goal of the season in the second minute before being sent off in the 37th in a 3-2 victory 9/17 vs. CHV…Recorded his first assist in a Fire uniform on Jalil Anibaba’s 30th minute header in a 3-2 win 10/22 vs. CLB…LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP: Appeared in four games, starting three over 302 minutes on the club’s run to the 2011 final…INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES: Started both matches, playing 133 minutes…Played 88 minutes and headed home a Marco Pappa free kick in the 13th minute to give the Fire a 1-0 lead vs. Manchester United before eventually falling 3-1 7/23 at Soldier Field…played 45 minutes in 1-0 loss 9/14 to Chivas de Guadalajara at Toyota Park.
2010: Made 25 appearances, all starts. His 25 starts and appearances and 2,179 minutes played marked new MLS career highs in those categories. Was third on the team in minutes played. Saw time both as a center back (21 games) and left back (four games). Missed one game (Sept. 4 vs. Seattle) while serving a red-card suspension, and one game serving a yellow-card accumulation suspension (Oct. 16 vs. Kansas City). Missed three games with injuries – May 29 vs. New York (right hamstring strain), July 10 vs. LA (left quadriceps strain) and Oct. 2 vs. Real Salt Lake (hip infection). Served as captain in the eight games in which Shalrie Joseph was unavailable for selection. Returned to the starting lineup against Philadelphia (July 31) and made his first start of the season at left back. Made two SuperLiga appearances, including one start. Missed the first three SuperLiga matches with a left quad strain before coming on at the start of the second half at left back in the semifinal against Puebla (Aug. 4). Started at left back in the final against Morelia (Sept. 1).
2009: Appeared in 20 games, including 19 starts, playing in 1,575 minutes with the Rapids. Missed three matches because of a groin injury after starting the first four games of the season. Returned to action as a halftime substitute at New England (May 16). Was suspended for caution accumulation against FC Dallas (July 11). Played 42 minutes in friendly against Mexico's Club America (July 15). Returned to action at FC Dallas (Oct. 17) after missing six games with a right thigh injury.
2008: Signed with MLS in the summer and was allocated to the Colorado Rapids, and later earned the team’s defender of the year honors that same season. From the moment he arrived in Colorado, Gibbs was part of the starting 11. Made his Rapids debut playing 90 minutes on Aug. 16 against Kansas City. Appearing in nine games with nine starts. Tallied his first career MLS goal, which was also an MLS Goal of the Week nominee, against LA (Oct. 12).
2004: After St. Pauli were unable to gain promotion to the Second Bundesliga, he came stateside as an allocation to the Dallas Burn. Played in 21 games (1,850 minutes) and registered one assist.
Abroad: After recovering from knee surgery, loaned to ADO Den Haag from Feyenoord for the second half of the 2005-06 season. His professional career criss-crossed the Atlantic as he left FC St. Pauli for a season with the Dallas Burn before receiving a surprise transfer to Feyenoord in January of 2005. Sidelined the entire first half of the 2005-06 campaign, he did not appear in any games for Feyenoord. An unexpected trial with Feyenoord during their winter break earned him a move to one of the top clubs in Holland at the start of 2005, where he played in all 15 matches for which he was available. Scored his debut goal in the 7-0 route of Willem II on Feb. 13, 2005. Got 90 minutes in both legs of Feyenoord's UEFA Cup Round of 16 series against Sporting Lisbon. Was a regular member of the 2003-04 defensive core at St. Pauli, where he played for two-and-a-half seasons. Appeared as a starter in 14 of the 19 games he played for FC St. Pauli heading into the winter break, scoring the game-winning goal Sept. 23, 2003, against SC Paderborn 07. After sitting out the first eight matches of the 2002-03 season with a muscle tear, he solidified a starting spot in the squad, finishing with 21 matches played. Became the second youngest American to score a goal in the Bundesliga, striking against F.C. Cologne on Nov. 24, 2001, at the age of 21 (behind Jovan Kirovski). Also the youngest American to play a full 90 minutes in Germany. Played 25 games in the 2001-02 season, seeing his side relegated to the second division.
COLLEGE: Led Brown to the Ivy Men's Soccer title and then to the Elite Eight of the NCAA College Cup in 2000. Recognized as the Ivy League's Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American.
INTERNATIONAL: Has 19 caps, his last coming in 2006 during the pre-World Cup send-off games … was named to the U.S.’ FIFA World Cup squad but missed the tournament and most of the 2006-07 Premier League (ENG) season at Charlton Athletic after suffering a knee injury in May 2006 … last participated in training camp with the MNT in November 2008 … was named to the roster for their match against Guatemala on November 19, 2008 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, but did not see the field … was called in for a March 26, 2008 friendly against Poland, but did not appear in the match … played in one third of the USA's 2006 World Cup qualifiers … diagnosed with a meniscus tear in 2005 after the 2-1 loss to England, he was unable to return to the field for the remainder of the year … had played in two matches prior to the injury, both World Cup qualifiers … started in the 2-1 win against T&T on Feb. 9 in Trinidad, and again in the USA's first home match of the final round, a 2-0 shutout against Guatemala in Birmingham … doubled his career cap total in 2004, equaling the amount of matches he played in his inaugural year with the MNT in 2003 … made his debut World Cup qualifying start in the 3-2 win in Grenada on June 20 … became the only U.S. player to miss a match due to suspension in the first two rounds of qualifying, picking up cautions against Grenada and El Salvador … entered his first international match in 2003 as a substitute in the Confederations Cup tune-up against New Zealand on June 8 … quickly thrown into the fire, selected in the first XI for both of the USA's match-ups against Brazil in the summer of 2003 … saw action in seven matches in his inaugural campaign, including three starts in the Gold Cup and two in France … invited to MNT camp prior to 2002 match against Germany in Rostock on March 27, 2002, but a hamstring injury prevented his participation … made his U-20 debut in a 6-0 victory over Bolivia on June 27, 1998 … his first international goal was a significant one, giving the USA a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica in CONCACAF qualifying, a match that would eventually end in a 1-1 draw.
PERSONAL: Married to his wife, Zena (McNally), a former BBC presenter … named to Who's Who among American High School Students ... favorite player is Brazil's Roberto Carlos ... enjoys playing basketball and spending time with friends and family … born to Jamaican parents who emigrated to the U.S., he spent much of his youth growing up near Kingston …