USL News Release
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. – Nine men and women who have proven to be highly influential in North American soccer have been chosen for induction into the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame in 2011. For the first time, the USL HOF has been divided into three distinct wings to increase the recognition for those who have helped make USL a success through the years because of their tremendous efforts and personal sacrifices made on behalf of the sport of soccer in North America.
The USL Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will be inducted at the USL Hall of Fame Banquet Presented by Demosphere on Friday, December 16, 2011 at the Hilton Clearwater Beach. Honorees were chosen through a vote of current Hall of Fame members and USL teams.
2011 USL Men’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Kyle Krause, Des Moines Menace
Krause acquired majority ownership of the Menace in 1998 and created a dynamic, growing club that is one of the most successful soccer franchises in the country. He has expanded the youth side, essentially developing an entire program from beginner to professional. Average home game attendance hovers near 3,500 for the Menace, setting a PDL record in 2004. Krause’s dedication can be seen by the continued success of PDL team and its players. The 2011 season marked the Menace’s sixth trip to the US Open Cup and 11th to the playoffs. More than 50 Menace alums have gone on to careers in the ranks of USL PRO, MLS and other professional leagues.
Coach – David Irving, Wilmington Hammerheads
The face of the Wilmington franchise, Irving has led the Hammerheads to two championship games, winning the USL Second Division title in 2003, the same year that the Hammerheads reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup after defeating Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas 4-1 in the fourth round. The Englishman was also pivotal in securing the return of the Hammerheads to Wilmington after hiatus in 2010, upon which he then led the side to second place in the USL PRO regular season standings.
2011 USL Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Tim Schweitzer, Northern Virginia Majestics
The longtime general manager of Northern Virginia FC has spearheaded the development of thousands of players during the past 13 years. Not only is Northern Virginia one of the top youth clubs in the country with teams competing for regional and national titles, but the club has operated the W-League’s Majestics since 1999. Northern Virginia FC is a full-service club dedicated to the USL vision of North American soccer development.
Coach – Lee Horton, Charlotte Lady Eagles
As the only head coach in the history of the Lady Eagles, Horton has been a model of consistency through the past 10 seasons. With an overall record of 107 wins, 31 losses and 9 ties, Horton has guided the team to eight playoff appearances including a W-League championship (2001), two championship game defeats (2000 and 2002), as well as conference championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006). Horton is a member of the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame and has been the head boys and girls soccer coach at Charlotte Latin School for more than 20 years, winning 11 NC State Championships during that time.
Player – Florence Omagbemi, Hampton Roads Piranhas
Omagbemi was a key figure for the Hampton Roads Piranhas for seven seasons, helping the club capture the 2003 W-League Championship. Omagbemi appeared 76 times for the Piranhas as they won a pair of division titles in 2003 and 2004. Internationally, Omagbemi joined the Nigerian national team at age 16 and became captain at 17, playing at the 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups. She is Nigeria’s most-capped player, and played in the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. Omagbemi finished fourth in the voting for the top African women’s player of the 20th Century by the Confederation of African Football.
Player – Christine Sinclair, Vancouver Breakers, Vancouver Whitecaps Women
The leading goal-scorer in the history of the Canadian Women’s National Team, Sinclair played four seasons in the W-League for the Vancouver Breakers and the Vancouver Whitecaps Women. The dominant forward scored 23 goals and added 10 assists for the Whitecaps during her three-year spell with the club, and has been named the Canadian Soccer Association Women’s Player of the Year each of the past six years (2005-2010), while also being nominated by FIFA for the World Player of the Year award five times.
2011 MISL Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Edwin Hale Sr., Baltimore Blast
Edwin Hale Sr. has twice been the principal owner of the Baltimore Blast, first owning the club from 1989-92 before re-purchasing the club in 1998. During Hale’s second stint, the Blast have become a league power, winning their first league championship in almost two decades in 2003. That victory triggered a remarkable run of success that saw the Blast win another five championships, the most recent coming in 2009. In addition to his work with the Blast, Hale has also been a respected member of the Baltimore business community, and is currently the CEO of Visit Baltimore, formerly the Baltimore Area Visitors and Convention Association.
Coach – Keith Tozer, Milwaukee Wave
Keith Tozer has become an indoor soccer icon as the coach of the Milwaukee Wave, a position he has held since 1992. A former player, Tozer began his coaching career with the Louisville Thunder in 1984, winning a championship in 1987. Since becoming the Wave’s coach, Tozer has won five championships while appearing in another four finals, claiming the club’s first title in six seasons with victory in the 2010-11 MISL Championship in March.
Player – Tatu, Dallas Sidekicks, Wichita Wings
Tatu was one of the most accomplished players in the MISL’s history, scoring 857 goals during his 19-year career, the second most in indoor soccer history. A dominant force for the Dallas Sidekicks, with whom he won four championships, Tatu won the league MVP award six times. Later in his career, he also acted as the player/coach for the Sidekicks, winning Coach of the Year honors in the 2003-04 season, one season after his retirement from the field.