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Sampson played college soccer at San Jose State University and was an assistant at UCLA from 1982 to 1985. His first major head coaching job was at Santa Clara University, whom he led to the NCAA co-championship in 1989. Sampson became an assistant to Bora Milutinovic on the United States national team in 1993 and was on the staff when the U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup. As Bora resigned from the team, Sampson became the interim coach in April of 1995. But after leading the US to a surprising fourth-place finish that included a 3-0 romp over Argentina in the 1995 Copa Amï¿½rica, he was promoted to being the full-time coach in August of that year. [+]