CHICAGO (Dec. 18, 2008) — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 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. The 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 award was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership.
Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by completing the nomination 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. The form is also available for download at ussoccer.com, and applications must be submitted by February 1, 2009.
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. Francisco Marcos, the founder and President of United Soccer Leagues, received the 2007 WFA. Last year, Bob Gansler, former U.S. MNT Head Coach and Kansas City Wizards Head Coach was recognized by his peers.
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 2009 Award will be presented at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Fla., from March 12-14, 2009.
Fricker was president of U.S. Soccer from 1984 to 1990 and 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. Fricker 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. He died in 2001 at the age of 65.
WERNER FRICKER AWARD
2002 Werner Fricker, Sr.
2003 Sunil Gulati
2005 Gerhard Mengel
2006 Sal Rapaglia
2007 Francisco Marcos
2008 Bob Gansler