Field No. 3 at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center Dedicated as David Vanole Field
The U.S. Soccer Federation dedicated one of the team’s primary training fields at the organization’s National Training Center as the David Vanole Field in a private ceremony on Friday (Oct. 5) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Oct. 5, 2007
"David was one of the pioneers at the start of a new era for U.S. Soccer," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "I remember very well his impact on the team at the 1988 Olympics and in helping the United States end a very long World Cup drought in 1989. He should be remembered for that right alongside the other early stars of the sport in our country. Having a field named after him that will help create the future stars of our game is immensely appropriate."
Vanole, a longtime player and coach at the highest levels of the sport in the United States, passed away in January at the age of 43. In addition to being part of the U.S. National Team's 1990 FIFA World Cup team, Vanole started all three games for the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
As a coach, Vanole represented the United States again at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, serving as goalkeeper coach for the silver-medal winning U.S. Women's National Team. He most recently served as goalkeeper coach of the New England Revolution, a position he also held with D.C. United in MLS, and was an assistant coach for the Washington Freedom in the WUSA. He was also a coach at various youth national team levels, including a stint under Sigi Schmid with the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team at the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999 in Nigeria.
It was as a player, though, that the native of Redondo Beach, Calif., made his biggest mark back in the late 1980s, playing a key role in helping the United States qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the team's first appearance in the world's largest sporting event in 40 years.
Vanole's most memorable moment on the field came when he saved a 90th minute penalty kick against Costa Rica on April 30, 1989, to preserve a 1-0 victory in St. Louis. Vanole held his ground on the kick, which was driven just to his right, saving the shot with his neck and upper arm.
An imposing figure in goal, he eventually earned 13 caps with the U.S. National Team from 1986-1989, recording three shutouts. He also went undefeated in five World Cup qualifying games on the road to Italy (3-0-2).
Vanole also played nine times for the U.S. Olympic team, helping the team qualify for the 1988 tournament and then starting all three matches in Seoul, South Korea. A member of UCLA's 1985 NCAA championship team, Vanole served as the goalkeeper coach for the UCLA men's and women's teams in the late 1990s (and was a part of the team's 1997 NCAA championship).