A couple of years ago, we asked a question, has a Jew ever won the soccer World Cup? The best we could come up with is the part-Jewish George Cohen. (However, on the women's side, there is Sara Whalen. But we'll drop that for the purpose of this discussion.)
So let's ask another question, has a Jew ever scored a goal in the World Cup? This question is much easier, for, as opposed to wandering through names of various Argentines and Uruguayans, we have a much more obvious place to look: Israel qualified for the World Cup. Once. In 1970.
So how many goals did the mighty Israelis score? How many profiles of Jewish soccer greats will evolve from this discussion?
Oh. Just one.
Israel actually didn't do too bad in that solitary World Cup, losing to Uruguay 2:0, but tying eventual finalist Italy 0:0. Their lone goal tied the match in a 1:1 draw with Sweden, and it was scored by Mordechai Spielger. The Soviet-born striker is still the highest scorer in the history of Israel's national team, and must be part of any discussion of greatest Jewish soccer player ever.
So there is Spielger. But is that it for Jewish World Cup goals, or must we once again wander through Argentines and Uruguayans? Well, there is at least another: American Jeff Agoos scored into his own net in the US's 3:2 win over Portugal in 2002...
Let's just stick to Spielger, okay?