ONEONTA, N.Y. (Friday, May 9, 2003) - Carlos Alberto, who captained Brazil to the 1970 World Cup Championship, and Ahmet Ertegun, one of the founders of the New York Cosmos, head the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s 16-member induction class of 2003, announced nationwide last night at halftime of the U.S. vs. Mexico match in Houston, Texas on ESPN2.
This year, the induction class honors the North American Soccer League (NASL), which was in existence from 1967 to 1984. This year’s induction ceremonies will be held Oct. 8 at the National Hall of Fame Museum in Oneonta, N.Y..
“The North American Soccer League left an indelible mark on the American landscape,” Hall of Fame President/CEO Will Lunn stated. “The selection committees had a difficult task as so many incredible individuals helped develop the NASL on and off the field. We salute the sixteen chosen and look forward to inducting them into the Hall of Fame.”
Class of 2003
- Carlos Alberto (Brazil) – New York Cosmos, California Surf;
- Paul Child (England/USA) – Atlanta Chiefs, San Jose Earthquakes, Memphis Rogues;
- Karl-Heinz Granitza (Germany) – Chicago Sting;
- Bob Lenarduzzi (Canada) – Vancouver Whitecaps;
- Arnie Mausser (USA) – Hartford Bicentennials, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps, Colorado Caribou, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, New England Tea Men, Jacksonville Tea Men, Team America (Washington, DC);
- Patrick 'Ace' Ntsoelengoe (South Africa) – Miami Toros, Denver Dynamo, Minnesota Kicks, Toronto Blizzard;
- Alan Willey (England/USA) – Minnesota Kicks, Montreal Manic, Minnesota Strikers;
- Bruce Wilson (Canada) – Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Sting, New York Cosmos, Toronto Blizzard
- Ahmet Ertegun, Nesuhi Ertegun, and Steve Ross – New York Cosmos founders and owners;
- Ted Howard – NASL League Office, Numerous Positions, including Executive Director;
- Elizabeth and Joe Robbie – Miami Toros, Fort Lauderdale and Minnesota Strikers owners;
- Lee Stern - Chicago Sting Owner;
- Clive Toye – General Manager/President Baltimore Bays, New York Cosmos, Chicago Sting, Toronto Blizzard, NASL League Office
“This is fantastic. At the height of the league some teams averaged 20-40,000 fans. It took great players and dedicated management to get there. I am delighted by the selection and congratulate all,” Bob Hermann, Hall of Famer, owner St. Louis Stars and former Chairman of the NASL Executive Committee.
“The NASL featured many great players in addition to Hall of Famers Pele, Beckenbauer and Chinaglia and I am pleased to see some of them, as well as some of the key league management, receive recognition. I truly appreciate the Hall of Fame recognizing the NASL this year.” Hall of Famer Phil Woosnam, former NASL Commissioner.