CHICAGO (Wednesday, October 1, 2003) — Soccer fans can now nominate their favorite soccer bars and stores as candidates for U.S. Soccer's Second Annual "Best of" Award Series. Fans can submit their nominations by visiting U.S. Soccer's official website at ussoccer.com and completing a brief form to submit their nominations. The nomination process will end in early November, at which time the pool of candidates will be pared down to a list of ten finalists before balloting begins for these categories and others. Last year, the U.S. Soccer Federation created the series of awards to honor the standout performances of the calendar year in American soccer.
The "Best Soccer Bar" award is for the top soccer-friendly bar in the USA. You know the place: it's where you watch the U.S. play an away World Cup qualifier and the place that opens on Saturday at 6 a.m. so you can watch the day’s English Premier League offerings. Last year's winner was Summers Restaurant in Arlington, Va., which picked up 30 percent of the total votes in the category from the ten finalists.
The "Best Soccer Store" award honors the best all-around store to buy all things soccer, from gear for your Saturday league to the red-hot U.S. World Cup Team jersey. This was among the most competitive races in the inaugural awards, with Soccer Unlimited -- a three-store chain located in the Indianapolis area -- gaining recognition as the winner of the first-ever award.