Club to be honored at the USL Soccer Fest
TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the 2006 inductees for the USL Hall of Fame. Players voted into the USL Hall of Fame were Marcelo Balboa, Julie Foudy and Manny Lagos, joining six Builders, four 10+ Clubs and six individuals representing the original six teams of USL in the first edition of the President’s Selection, one of two changes to the voting system.
The ceremony will be held at the USL Annual General Meeting in Tampa on November 17 at the Tampa Hyatt Regency, the host hotel of the 2006 USL SoccerFest. In addition to the USL’s AGM, the USL SoccerFest features the Super Y-League North American Finals and a local Five-A-Side Frenzy among other activities from November 16-21. For more information visit www.USLsoccerfest.com.
The six being inducted as Builders are former USL staffer Steve Clamp, Toronto Lynx owners Bruno and Nicole Hartrell, Fort Collins Force owner Amy Snider, New York Magic owner Lyndelle Phillips and the Ocean City Barons’ Cliff Simmons. The Lynx, Force, Magic and Barons will also be inducted as 10+ Clubs for completing 10 years of existence in USL.
The first of two changes in the USL Hall of Fame voting process is the addition of the President’s Selection. The President’s Selection gives current President Francisco Marcos, the founder of USL, the opportunity to select one Player or Coach for induction in each class that was not elected via the voting process.
“There is an unusual dichotomy where many of the voters differ in their philosophy of what qualifies an individual to receive the prestigious honor of joining the Hall of Fame, and we wanted to create an additional mechanism to ensure deserving individuals are not overlooked, much as veterans committees in other sports halls do,” said Marcos. “As we conclude our celebration of the 20th Anniversary of USL, we wanted to honor six individuals, representative of the first six teams that were the seeds of USL back in 1986, as our first edition of the President’s Selection.”
The six being inducted as Players via the President’s Selection will be Mike Cook (Oklahoma City Warriors), Steve Famiglietta (Albuquerque Outlaws), Saeed Kadkhodaian (Austin Sockadillos), Chris Melton (Amarillo Challengers), Greg Nichols (Garland Genesis) and David Swissler (Lubbock Lazers).
The second change in the voting process of the USL Hall of Fame is the modification of the Builders induction from an automatic inclusion after 10 years of service to a voting process similar to that of the Players and Coaches.
“We have honored many of the pioneers that built USL to a point that today’s current clubs are able to benefit, and as we intended in the formation of the Hall of Fame we want to re-orient the Builders honor to focus on individuals that make significant contributions to USL and the game while at the same time allowing voters to still honor owners and executives who reach 10 years via the voting process.”
Balboa is the first player to be inducted into the USL Hall of Fame whose playing experience in the USL First Division occurred prior to the merger with USL in 1997. Lagos joins his father Buzz, who was inducted as a Builder and Coach as the first father-son duo. Foudy is the third W-League player to be elected, joining Canadian star Charmaine Hooper and W-League standout goalkeeper Kim Wyant. Other previous Hall of Fame Players are Chris Armas, Mark Baena, Brian McBride and Tony Sanneh.
Balboa, Marcelo (1987-92)
A former staple in the back for the US National Team, Balboa is arguably the best defensive player in the league’s history. After making the All-League Second Team in his 1987 debut, he went on to make the First Team the next four consecutive seasons and was honored as the league WSA Most Valuable Player in 1988. He is the only defender in USL First Division history to be named MVP. He played for the San Diego Nomads from 1987-89, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks from 1990-91 and the Colorado Foxes in 1992, winning three championships (1987, 1991, 1992) in five appearances in league finals. His international career began that same year with eight appearances, and spanned 13 years to 2000 before he retired from international play after 128 caps, 13 goals, two US Soccer Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year Awards (1992, 1994) and an appearance in the FIFA World All-Star Game in Tokyo (1995). He was also the first player in US Soccer history to reach 100 caps. His MLS career ended in 2002 after playing just one game for the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), spending the first six years with the Colorado Rapids, where he made 152 appearances with 24 goals and 23 assists. He was the team’s Defender of the Year and MVP twice (1997, 2000) and played in five of his seven MLS All-Star Game selections. Balboa was a 2005 inductee of the US Soccer Hall of Fame and was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI as the league celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
Foudy, Julie (1995-97)
Foudy, a longtime US National Team star, was a member of the Sacramento Storm in the league’s formative years. She has been one of the leading figures of the National Team, having served as captain for much of her career and ranking third all-time in caps (239) in both US and world history. She has 42 goals and 53 assists in international play and numerous championships, including two FIFA World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. Foudy was also a prominent figure in the WUSA and in women’s sports, serving on the WUSA’s Board of Governors and also serving as the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 2000-02 and member of the Presidential Commission on Title IX.
Lagos, Manny (1994-96)
The son of USL Hall of Fame Coach and Builder Buzz Lagos, Manny went on to a solid career in Major League Soccer. Lagos won the 1994 USL MVP honor with 18 goals and nine assists as he led the team to a nearly perfect season, falling in the championship match in a shootout after an 18-0 season with five more wins and a shootout loss in the playoffs. The Thunder went professional the following year and went 19-1 on the season and fell in the championship game for the second straight year. Lagos had 20 goals and 10 assists. Lagos was signed in June of 1996 as a discovery player by the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) and went on to play for five teams in the league. He joined Chicago in 1998 and moved onto Tampa Bay midseason of 1999 before landing in San Jose (2001), where he would help lead the team to MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003. He was traded to Columbus in 2004. He has played over 130 regular season games and has surpassed 20 goals and assists each. Lagos retired from professional play after 2005, his 10th year in MLS, returning to the Thunder in an administrative capacity. Lagos made three appearances for the US National Team from 2001-03.
The former USL staffer was responsible for day-to-day operations of the Premier Development League, coordination of the registration process for all senior USL leagues. Named the USL Employee of the Year in 1999, the 1996 graduate of the University of Tampa left USL in the spring after 10 years of dedicated service with the organization.
Bruno & Nicole Hartrell (Toronto Lynx)
The Hartrell’s founded the Lynx as a member of the USL First Division when the A-League, as it was known in 1997, was in its first season as a member of United Soccer Leagues. The team helped develop numerous young Canadian players into professionals over 10 years and expanded the club into the fabric of the Toronto soccer community with a W-League team and Super Y-League youth development teams.
Lyndelle Phillips (New York Magic)
Phillips founded the Magic, one of the seven oldest clubs in the history of the W-League. A well respected club, the team has been a competitive club over the years, finishing second twice. Phillips earned more respect from her peers when she guided her club through the tragedy of 9/11 despite losing many friends and her office in the World Trade Center collapse in 2001.
Cliff Simmons (Ocean City Barons)
One of the founders of the Barons, Simmons has been with the club since 1997 and has spent much of his time in recent years operating the South Jersey Banshees W-League side as well. The PDL club was originally a member of the USL Second Division from 1997-2002, reaching the final in 1999.
Amy Snider (Fort Collins Force)
Snider has been with the Force since the formation of the club, playing in addition to managing the team in the front office. As a player and general manager in 1998, she helped lead the team to the W-2 championship.
President’s Selection: The Original Six
United Soccer Leagues was created in the fall of 1986 with five clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico playing in the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, and a sixth set to begin play the following year. The Garland Genesis won the inaugural title 7-2 against the Lubbock Lazers. The league was also comprised of the Albuquerque Outlaws, Amarillo Challengers and Oklahoma City Warriors. Marcos’ team, the Austin Sockadillos, began play the following year while he focused on launching the league. These six teams paved the way for the league to grow to 17 teams in its fourth season and the addition of an outdoor league in 1989.
A member of the Oklahoma City Warriors that won the second league championship for the 1987-88 season and again for the 1991-92 season, he also helped the Warriors reach the finals of the 1990-91 season and the Oklahoma City Slickers to the final of the 1994-95 campaign. A regular All-Star, Cook was also a leading scorer with the team.
An All-Star in the first three seasons of the league with the Albuquerque Outlaws, Famiglietta was the Defensive Player of the Year twice and was a member of the SISL All-Star team that toured the former Soviet Union in 1990. He also went on to play for the Colorado Comets and Amarillo Challengers.
A member of the league founder Francisco Marcos’ Austin Sockadillos, which officially began play in the second season of the league, Kadkhodaian to the championship series in its first two seasons. He has gone on to become the majority owner of the Minnesota Thunder of the USL First Division.
The Lubbock Lazers netminder helped lead the side to the championship game in the league’s inaugural season and the championship two years later at the end of the 1988-89 season, earning the championship MVP award. He was honored as the Goalkeeper of the Year the following season. A regular All-Star, Swissler was a member of the SISL All-Star team that toured the former Soviet Union in 1990. He played all seven years of the Lazers existence in the league.
A member of the Amarillo Challengers, Melton went on to win the Goal Scoring Championship in the 1991-92 season with 36 strikes despite the club’s 5-9 record on the season.
The first ever USL league MVP, Nichols registered 47 goals and 15 assists in the inaugural 1986-87 season of the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, leading the Garland Genesis to the league championship. He went on to become a first round selection in the AISA (now MISL) draft the following year and helped guide the Canton Invaders to three straight titles with 19 goals and 12 assists in 77 games. He then returned to Texas to play for the Dallas Sidekicks and the Dallas Rockets.
USL Public Relations - Gerald Barnhart / Jason Minnick - Tampa, FL - 813.963.3909 - fax: 813.963.3807