Award Honors Late U.S. Soccer President Responsible for
Bringing the 1994 World Cup to the United States
CHICAGO (September 29, 2005) — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2006 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, honoring the late U.S. Soccer President Werner J. Fricker. The annual award is presented to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement.
Gerhard Mengel, president of the Michigan Soccer Association, received the award in 2005. Born in Germany, Mengel’s devotion to the growth of soccer in the U.S. is reflected in his work in his adopted home state of Michigan, where he has founded or co-founded soccer clubs, leagues and referee associations and where he has been state president since 1997. Most recently, the National Men’s Over-30 Competition was renamed the Gerhard Mengel Over-30 National Cup.
Future honoree(s) will have created or fostered programs that will outlast his or her own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. The 2006 Award will be presented to the winner(s) at the 2006 Annual General Meeting in Las Vegas from March 10-12, 2005.
“This award continues to be a fitting tribute for a man who was known throughout our sport as a builder,” said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. “His efforts in bringing the World Cup to the United States for the first time define his legacy and help to frame exactly what this award is designed to do: honor those individuals who gave selflessly of themselves to support soccer in the USA.”
Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002, as his son Werner Jr. accepted on his behalf. Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer’s Vice President, received the award in 2003. With U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting moving from the summer months to March, no award was bestowed in 2004.
Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by completing the attached form and mailing it to U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2006.
The award is presented annually at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting by a selection committee appointed by the president of U.S. Soccer. The selection committee appointees are broadly representative of U.S. Soccer and will review nominations received from the membership.
Fricker was president of U.S. Soccer from 1984 to 1990 and was widely credited as the man who helped bring 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. Fricker was also a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., in 1992. He died in 2001 at the age of 65.
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