DALLAS, Texas - Pizza Hut Park announced today the five individuals that will make up the inaugural class for enshrinement into the Texans Credit Union Walk of Fame for the 2005 year. Gordon Jago, Bill Kinder, Carla Overbeck, Kyle Rote, Jr., and Tatu make up this exceptional inaugural class of soccer personalities.
As previously announced, the Texans Credit Union Walk of Fame will be located just north of the Pizza Hut Park stadium and will run directly through the center of the youth soccer fields located immediately south of Technology Drive, a stretch of soccer history that spans approximately 1,400 linear feet. Various commemorative markers will be located within this area, with plaques on each recognizing members of the soccer community who have been instrumental in helping build the sport in Texas. Additionally, other markers to be installed each year, will also recognize key events in Texas soccer history. This unique landmark will not only be a tribute to those who have dedicated much of their lives to the sport, but will also be a point of historic interest for all fans visiting the facility.
Hunt Sports Group Chairman Lamar Hunt who first became associated with the sport through the North American Soccer League in the late 1960's expressed his pleasure with the selections of the inaugural class and the variety of their connections with the sport. "Each of these individuals have been significant contributors to the game we see today and most importantly the long range growth of the game. We look forward to greeting each of these individuals at the time of their proud induction in the Texans Credit Union Walk of Fame at Pizza Hut Park."
Formal nomination applications were accepted from the general public in April and May via the internet, fax or mail. Thereafter, the Nomination Committee and then the Selection Committee reviewed and voted on all the nominees, and settled on the five inductees announced today.
The formal induction ceremony of the enshrinement is to be held at Pizza Hut Park on the afternoon of Saturday, October 15, prior to the FC Dallas match against the Kansas City Wizards, and is open to the public.
2005 TEXANS CREDIT UNION WALK OF FAME INAUGURAL CLASS
Gordon Jago - Gordon Jago's life has been devoted to the game of soccer as a player, coach and administrator. He was born in London and went on to play for the England's U-18 National Team and was selected as captain eight times. Jago played his professional soccer with Charlton Athletic FC in England. After being appointed the coach of England's U-18 National Team, Jago became the first person to both play and coach that team. In 1984, he came to Dallas as Head Coach of the Dallas Sidekicks, leading the team to three Indoor Soccer Championships and winning Coach of the Year three times. After retiring from coaching, he served as Commissioner of the WISL and continues to serve as Executive Director for Dallas Cup. In that position he has helped continue the rich tradition of the most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the world.
Bill Kinder - Soccer in North Texas is no stranger to Bill Kinder. In 1973, he formed the Sting Soccer Club in response to the increasing interest in girl's soccer and coached numerous successful Sting teams over the decades. His contributions significantly impacted women's soccer not only in North Texas, but throughout the United States. The Sting is one of the most successful soccer clubs in the U.S. and is the only club in the nation that has won at least one State Cup each year since the inception of the tournament.
Carla Overbeck - Carla Overbeck was the captain and MVP of the 1999 U.S. Women's National Team that captured the FIFA World Cup. She played in a record 63 consecutive international soccer games, more than any other U.S. player, male or female, and had a career total of 168 appearances for the National Team. She is one of just two players to play every minute of the 1999 World Cup, the 1996 Olympics and the 1995 World Cup. At the end of 2005, Overbeck ranked eighth on the all-time "cap" list. Starting at the age of 11, she played for the Dallas Sting and blossomed as a youth player with the club through the U-19 age group. She won two national championships with the Sting and also won four NCAA Championships while attending the University of North Carolina. At Richardson High School, she played soccer, volleyball and basketball.
Kyle Rote, Jr. - While many fans were watching the NASL's international stars, Kyle Rote Jr. was proving that Americans could play too. He started playing soccer as a 16-year old simply to stay in shape for football. Just five years later in 1972, his soccer scoring prowess made him the number one pick of the NASL by the Dallas Tornado. A three-time winner of ABC's "SuperStars" competition, Rote consecutively beat scores of the world's greatest athletic talents. In 1999, ESPN The Magazine tabbed him the "Greatest Athlete of the Millennium". He was also the only American born player to win Pro Soccer's scoring title in the 18-year history of the NASL and represented the USA in International play for four years. He was the first Texas born player to represent the U.S. on the National Team.
"Tatu" - Born Antonio Carlos Pecorari, Tatu migrated from Brazil and signed with the Dallas Sidekicks in 1984. Nearly two decades later, he retired after recording a staggering 736 goals, 672 assists, and 1,408 points in 557 games played. He won his league's MVP award six times, and after his retirement he went on to also earn a Coach of the Year award. Tatu was a 10-time All-Star Selection and 10-time league scoring champion. During the 1980's and early 1990's, he was arguably the most well-known soccer player in the country. More impressively, Tatu gave more to the community than he gave to anything else. The number of player appearances, autograph signings and clinics Tatu appeared at over the years was in the thousands. He served as the figurehead of Dallas soccer for over a decade as both a player and coach.
Texans Credit Union is a Texas-based, member-owned, non-profit financial cooperative with branches throughout North Texas, Austin and Houston. Texans provides financial products and services to 156,000 members and has assets of $1.5 billion. Visit Texans Credit Union website at www.texanscu.org for more information.