CHICAGO (September 15, 2004) â€” Nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 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.
Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002, as his son Werner Jr. accepted on his behalf. Sunil Gulati, vice president of U.S. Soccer, received the award in 2003. With U.S. Soccerâ€™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. The form is also available for download at ussoccer.com, and applications must be postmarked by January 1, 2005.
â€œThis award continues to be a fitting tribute for a man who was known throughout our sport as a builder,â€ said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. â€œOf course, his efforts in bringing the World Cup to the United States for the first time define his legacy and helps to frame exactly what this award is designed to do: honor those individuals who gave selflessly of themselves to support soccer in the USA.â€
The award is presented annually at U.S. Soccerâ€™s Annual General Meeting by a selection committee appointed by the president of U.S. Soccer, in cooperation with the original members of the Werner Fricker Award Committee. The selection committee appointees will be 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 World Cup to the United States in 1994. 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, was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992. He died in 2001 at the age of 65.