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Dr. Bob Contiguglia

Dr. Bob Contiguglia Honored with Prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award

NEW ORLEANS (Feb. 6, 2010) – Dr. Bob Contiguglia, former president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, was honored at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting in New Orleans, La., as the recipient of the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award.

The honor is bestowed annually to an individual who has worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The Werner Fricker Award is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States.

Contiguglia, one of the United States' most experienced soccer leaders, was elected president of U.S. Soccer August 22, 1998. His election as head of the nation's national governing body of soccer culminated a three-decade career in which he excelled as a player, coach and administrator at nearly every possible level of the game. As with so many Americans, Dr. Contiguglia, a successful kidney specialist by training, began his soccer love affair as a player and coach and ultimately he pursued soccer administration at the youth level.

During his tenure as U.S. Soccer President several important soccer milestones were achieved, including a U.S. Women’s National Team victory in the spectacularly successful 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the largest women’s sporting event in history, the tremendous run to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup, and an Olympic Gold Medal won by the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He also gave his time as a member of the board of the U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation from the group's inception in 1994 through 1996.

Werner Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002, with his son, Werner Jr., accepting the award on his behalf. Current U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati received the award in 2003, and with the organization’s Annual General Meeting moving from the summer months to March, no award was bestowed in 2004. In 2005 the honor went to Michigan Soccer Association President Gerhard Mengel, in 2006 the award was given to Sal Rapaglia, president of the Eastern New York Amateur Soccer Association and in 2007 the award was presented to Franscisco Marcos, president of the United Soccer League. Former head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Bob Gansler, was recipient of the award in 2008.

Werner Fricker is widely credited for his role in bringing the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States. Born in Yugoslavia and raised in Austria, he lived his adult life in Pennsylvania, where he was a star midfielder for the United German Hungarians of Philadelphia soccer club from 1954 to 1969 and was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team. He served as US Soccer President from 1984 to 1990 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., in 1992.

The President of U.S. Soccer appoints a selection committee to review the nominations and select a winner.

Year      Recipient
2002     Werner Fricker, Sr.
2003     Sunil Gulati
2005     Gerhard Mengel
2006     Sal Rapaglia
2007     Francisco Marcos
2008     Bob Gansler
2009     Alan Rothenberg
2010     Bob Contiguglia