On 21 April 1991, midfielder John Harkes became the first American to play in an English cup final at Wembley Stadium. He started the match for Second Division Sheffield Wednesday against First Division Manchester United in the League Cup Final before a crowd of 77,612.
The Owls beat United 1-0, with the lone goal coming from Harkes' midfield partner John Sheridan. The victory was particularly meaningful for Sheffield Wednesday manager Ron Atkinson, who had been the manager of Manchester United until 1986, when he was replaced by Alex Ferguson.
Two years after his record-setting appearance, Harkes became the first American to score in a League Cup final, as the Owls lost 2-1 to Arsenal. He played in England from 1990 through the 1995-96 season, including stints at Derby County and West Ham United. In 1996, he returned to the U.S. to play for MLS side D.C. United under coach Bruce Arena, who had coached Harkes at the University of Virginia.