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But seriously, Andrew Shue played for the LA Galaxy

Better known as an actor, he had a solid soccer background.

Andrew Shue Galaxy

One of the random facts of MLS history is that Andrew Shue played for the LA Galaxy.

For the young ones out there, you may not know much about Shue, but he was the star of ‘90s primetime soap “Melrose Place.”

Melrose Place Cast
Shue (right) in a promo shot for Melrose Place.
Photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images

He was on the show for a whopping 191 episodes! Remember when TV shows had that many episodes?

Anyway, when MLS launched in 1996, Shue was quite possibly the biggest household name in the league in the United States, not because he was a big soccer player but because he was a celebrity. It seemed like a gimmick he was on the roster, put simply.

Except that’s a little bit harsh. Shue actually went on the field, playing five games, all off the bench, for the Galaxy in 1996. He was on the roster, technically, in 1997 too, but spent the year on injured reserve.

Shue had a soccer background, playing collegiately at Dartmouth and named an All-Ivy League selection while there. After college, he moved to Zimbabwe and was a teacher and pro soccer player, winning the league title with the Bulowayo Highlanders.

A Sports Illustrated profile from his MLS days notes that Shue only got into acting because of his older sister Elisabeth, who is herself a successful actor, and he was basically unknown and an acting novice when he was cast on “Melrose Place.”

It should be noted he continued to act on “Melrose Place” while he was on the Galaxy’s roster, but he set up a couple goals in his first four games (getting official credit for an assist on one). Still, he never started a game, and played a grand total of 96 minutes in his MLS career.

Is it possible he got the MLS deal in large part because of his celebrity status? Yes, even he admitted in an oral history of the start of the league, also in Sports Illustrated, that he was on a “player-marketing deal” and that he didn’t bother telling “Melrose Place” he was doing this ahead of time. But he wasn’t a total stiff on the field, even if he may not have ultimately been a key contributor in MLS.

Of course, he was also here doing the inaugural game in MLS’s coin toss for some reason:

Still, Andrew Shue may have harbored dreams of being a first-division outdoor pro soccer player in the United States — and he fulfilled that ambition! But his name recognition from his day job played a big role in getting that shot, and his actual MLS career turned out to be rather short.

Do you think the 96 minutes he played, in the inaugural 1996 season, was part of the marketing deal? Hmmm

What do you think? Leave a comment below.