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Nominations Being Accepted for U.S. Soccer's Prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award

CHICAGO (September 17, 2007) - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually 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. The award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership.

"To receive the Werner Fricker Builder Award is truly a prestigious honor. It is a distinction that helps personify a man whose dedication to the growth of soccer in the United States was unrivaled," said Sunil Gulati, the 2003 recipient of the award who was elected to the presidency of U.S. Soccer earlier this year.

The 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.

Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at 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 This form is also available at, and applications must be postmarked or sent by January 1, 2008.

Werner Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002, with his son, Werner Jr., accepting the award on his behalf. With U.S. Soccer's Annual General Meeting moving from the summer months to March, no award was bestowed in 2004.

The award returned in 2005, with the honor going 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. In 2007, the USL President Francisco Marcos received the award for his long-term contributions to the sport.

The President of U.S. Soccer appoints a selection committee to review the nominations and select a winner  The selection committee appointees are representative of U.S. Soccer and all nominations are received from the membership. The 2008 Award will be presented at U.S. Soccer's Annual General Meeting in Kona, Hawaii from February 14-16, 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 U.S. Soccer President from 1984 to 1990 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., in 1992.

Year       Recipient
2002      Werner Fricker, Sr.
2003      Sunil Gulati
2005      Gerhard Mengel
2006      Sal Rapaglia
2007      Francisco Marcos