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2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame Speeches

Last week prior to the USA vs. Brazil game four U.S. Soccer legends were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola, Desmond Armstrong and Tony DiCicco were honored in a ceremony at FedEx Field. Longtime Los Angeles Times soccer writer Grahame L. Jones was also recognized as the recipient of the 2012 Colin Jose Media Award. In front of friends, family, and fellow Hall of Famers, the inductees each gave a speech filled with thank-you's and stories from their careers. You can hear what each of these legends had to say about going down in U.S. Soccer history right here:








Desmond Armstrong Hall of Fame Veteran Inductee

Desmond Armstrong was inducted into the 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame as a Veteran.

2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction

The 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held at FedExField Wednesday night, and USA vs. Brazil provided the perfect setting. It doesn't get much better than a huge game against a legendary team to set the stage for the induction of several U.S. Soccer legends into the Hall of Fame.

blog post photo
Desmond Armstrong, Tony Meola, Tony DiCicco and Claudio Reyna (not pictured) were inducted into the Hall of Fame on May 30, 2012 at FedExField

As if going down in U.S. Soccer history wasn't enough to look forward to in one day, former Men's National Team defender Desmond Armstrong had some extra reasons to be excited on Wednesday.

"For me personally it's huge because I was the first American ever to play in Brazil professionally and I'm from Washington D.C., so we're playing on my home turf, so to speak. USA vs. Brazil is also exciting because of the young stars of Brazil and the next World Cup coming in two years. Plus, we're in a fantastic stadium - it's like icing on the cake for me."

Armstrong signed for famed club Santos in 1991, the club of Pelé and last night's goal scorer and current Brazil star Neymar. Since then, U.S. Men's National Team players in Brazil have been few and far between. Fellow Hall of Famer Cobi Jones had a stint with Vasco de Gama in 1995 but left when he signed for the LA Galaxy of the newly formed MLS.

Congratulations to Armstrong and the rest of the inductees who joined the National Soccer Hall of Fame!

Studio 90 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Prior to Wednesday’s USA vs. Brazil match at FedEx Field several U.S. Soccer greats were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Studio 90 caught up with former MNT players Tony Meola and Desmond Armstrong and former Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco before the ceremony.

On This Date 20 Years Ago ...

It's been 20 years since the U.S. has lost to Scotland, the team's first opponent in the "five-game tournament" that begins May 26 at EverBank Field. In fact, it's 20 years to the day ...

On May 17, 1992 at Mile High Stadium in Denver, the U.S. fell 1-0 in front of 24,157 fans. A young Kasey Keller minded the net that day in front of a back four that included recent National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Desmond Armstrong. Also in the starting XI were two current Technical Directors in MLS (Chris Henderson in Seattle and Fernando Clavijo in Dallas), as well as two-time MLS Cup winning-coach Dominic Kinnear. Coincidentally, Kinnear was born in Scotland and moved to the U.S. at the age of three.

The U.S. is unbeaten in the last three against the Tartan Army, so hopefully the folks in Jacksonville will see the streak continue ... 
A mainstay on the U.S. Men’s National Team in the late 1980s and early ’90s, defender Desmond Armstrong was a versatile and humble leader who helped build the foundation of the U.S. Men’s success in the following decades.

Armstrong earned 81 international caps and 73 starts during his eight years with the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1987 to 1994, logging 6,528 minutes for the USA defense. In 1993 alone he earned 27 caps and played for 2,128 minutes. That minutes total ranks second all-time for one year behind only fellow 1993 defenseman Mike Lapper (2,205).

A member of the U.S. team in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, Armstrong recovered from a broken leg the following year and played in all three matches of the USA’s trip to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. It was a tremendous achievement for Armstrong and his team, which advanced to the world stage for the first time in 40 years.

Armstrong played in both the 1991 and 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cups and helped lead the U.S. to a victory against Honduras to win the inaugural 1991 Gold Cup.

His professional career included stops with teams in the Major Indoor Soccer League (named an All-Star in 1987), American Professional Soccer League, the USISL and the Continental Indoor Soccer League. In 1991, Armstrong became the first American to sign professionally in Brazil when he joined the legendary Santos FC.

The Washington, D.C., native earned All-ACC First Team honors in 1984 and ACC Second Team accolades in 1983 and 1985 for the University of Maryland, where he was a stalwart defender and midfielder.
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