ONEONTA, N.Y. (August 28, 2006) – Former U.S. National Team defenders Alexi Lalas and Carla Overbeck, veteran inductee Al Trost and builder Philip Anschutz were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Monday, Aug. 28, during a morning ceremony in Oneonta, N.Y.
A clean-shaven Alexi Lalas spoke in front of a larger-than-life photo of himself as a player, complete with the famous red goatee and long hair, following an introduction by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati at Monday's induction ceremony.
Lalas helped raise the stature of the game in the United States both on and off the field. He appeared in 96 games for the United States, scoring nine goals and 11 assists, an impressive total for a defender. Professionally he was the first born-and-bred American to play in the Italian Serie A and was a standout in Major League Soccer for seven seasons.
Representing the U.S. at two World Cups, he was the most recognized face of U.S. Soccer during the landmark 1994 World Cup. Off the field he was known for his intelligent banter with the press as much as for his stellar defense on the field. Since retiring as a player he has surfaced in a management capacity for several MLS teams.
Carla Overbeck, introduced by former U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tony DiCicco, was part of the USA's original crop of U.S. Women's National Team stars. Overbeck served as the team's longtime on-field leader through two Women's World Cup titles and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal triumph. The popular defender scored seven goals across 168 caps during a career that spanned 13 years from 1988 to 2000.
Overbeck started each and every game for the USA at the 1991, 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and was the team's captain during their glorious championship run in the summer of 1999. She also started and played every minute of the team's 1996 conquest at the Atlanta Olympics, which was followed four years later by a Silver Medal at the Sydney Games in Australia.
Trost, who was introduced by long-time friend Bill McDermott, was one of the most important contributors to the soccer hotbed in his hometown of St. Louis. He earned 14 caps with the U.S. Men's National Team, and scored two goals for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1971 and 1972 while representing the U.S. at the 1972 games in Munich. A two-time Hermann Trophy winner at St. Louis University, Trost also had a successful seven-year career in the NASL.
Anschutz, introduced by New York Red Bulls midfielder Chris Henderson, has been a key leader in the growth of Major League Soccer and the construction of soccer specific facilities including The Home Depot Center and Toyota Park. His company, AEG, has served as owner operator for numerous MLS franchises.