FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas announced today the signing of Trinidad & Tobago 2006 World Cup starting goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. Hislop joins FC Dallas from English Premier League club West Ham United, with which he played 25 games during the recently completed 2005-2006 season including in the FA Cup Final in May, 2006.
"This is an exciting new challenge for me," said Hislop. "I went to school in the United States and have a lot of respect for soccer in the country. I look forward to bringing my experience to a great organization and help FC Dallas win championships in America."
Hislop has had a tremendous summer to date. In May, he led West Ham to the Football Association Cup (FA Cup) final against Liverpool. Having tied 3-3 in regulation, Liverpool pulled out the victory by a 3-1 margin in penalty kicks. A month later, Hislop was in goal for his country at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. On June 10, Hislop's made numerous game-saving stops to give Trinidad a historic shutout against a powerful Sweden side. Five days later, he started against England, keeping a clean sheet for 83 minutes before falling 2-0.
Hislop was born in London and moved to Trinidad with his family when he was two years old. From 1988-1992 he attended Howard University in Washington D.C., playing goalkeeper all four years for the Bisons. In his freshman year, Howard advanced to the NCAA Division 1 College Cup final, losing 1-0 to Indiana. He graduated in May 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Having an English passport, Hislop was offered an opportunity to play professionally in England. After college, he was drafted by the Baltimore Blast, a professional indoor soccer team. In an exhibition game against Aston Villa in Birmingham, he was spotted by a scout from Reading FC. He signed and made his professional debut with Reading in the English Second Division against West Bromwich Albion on September 9, 1992 and helped the team get promoted to the First Division following the 1993-1994 season. In his third season, he led the club to a second place finish, narrowly missing out promotion to the English Premier League (EPL).
Following his success at Reading, he was transferred to Newcastle United of the EPL on August 10, 1995 for 1.575 million pounds, then an English record for a goalkeeper. He went on to play 126 games over three years with Newcastle and then signed with West Ham United for the 1998-1999 season. After four seasons with West Ham, Hislop was signed by Portsmouth of the First Division for the 2001-2002 season, where he was coached by current FC Dallas goalkeeping coach Alan Knight. Hislop helped the team gain promotion to the top flight after his first season, and kept the team in the Premiership for his next two campaigns.
After a trial at Crystal Palace, Hislop re-signed with West Ham - which had just been promoted to the Premier League - on July 29, 2005. He played 25 games for West Ham during the past season, including seven games during the run to the FA Cup final.
On the international front, Hislop made his first international appearance for England's U-21 team, playing against Switzerland in March 1998 as one of three overage players allotted to each team. He was also called in to an England 'B' game against Chile on February 10, 1998, though he did not see action. Having never played a FIFA sanctioned game for England, Hislop made his international debut with Trinidad & Tobago on March 28, 1999.
In April 2005, Hislop was recognized as the recipient of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Special Merit Award for his continued involvement with the "Show Racism The Red Card" campaign, which he helped start in 1996 as a way to keep racism away from soccer.
Hislop, will occupy the teams fourth senior international slot will join the team pending visa approval once the International Transfer Window opens on July 15. His full name is Neil Shaka Hislop. He is married and the couple has four daughters.
Shaka Hislop Professional Soccer Club History
1992-1995 Reading (ENG)
1995-1998 Newcastle United (ENG)
1998-2002 West Ham United (ENG)
2002-2005 Portsmouth (ENG)
2005-2006 West Ham United (ENG)