US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame
The US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame was created in 2008. Donald Greer was honored as the charter member for founding US Youth Soccer and his service in developing the association.
Players, coaches, referees, administrators or meritorious honors can be given.
Players have distinguished themselves with an outstanding standard of play and/or performance as a member of US Youth Soccer. Players participated in youth games as a registered member of US Youth Soccer for at least six consecutive years.
Administrators, referees and coaches have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and/or leadership that have made significant contributions to the improvement of the sport and its participants nationwide. They have contributed directly for a period of six or more years at the national level of US Youth Soccer.
Meritorious recognition is awarded to individuals or organizations involved in the support of US Youth Soccer in non-playing capacities.
Class of 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011
David Messersmith (McKinney, Texas) | Administrator
For more than 20 years, David Messersmith has dedicated himself to the development of youth soccer. His commitment and service has been diverse and extensive, and it culminated in his election and service as President of US Youth Soccer from 2000 to 2006. Messersmith remains active in US Youth Soccer and serves as the current Executive Director of the North Texas Youth Soccer Association. Read the full profile here.
Lawrence Monaco, Jr. (Montross, Va.) | Meritorious
Larry Monaco became actively involved in soccer in 1970, when he established "Soccer on the Hill," the first Washington, D.C. youth soccer league. More than 40 years later, Monaco has a record full of service and positions held to further the advancement of youth soccer. He’s advised many others on issues in youth soccer and continues to give to the game today. Read the full profile here
Adele Dolansky (Fairfax, Va.) | Administrator
Adele Dolansky began her dedication to youth soccer three decades ago when she first became coach for the Fairfax Police Youth Club. Since that time, Dolansky's volunteer service to youth soccer in Virginia, Region I and beyond has impacted countless youth soccer players. Currently, Dolansky serves as the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Region I chairwoman. Read full profile here
Kasey Keller (Seattle, Wash.) | Player
Kasey Keller started his soccer playing career in the shoes of nearly every youth soccer player—he began with US Youth Soccer. Keller first laced up his cleats as an Under-7 player for the Woodlawn Cemetery Diggers Booters Soccer Club, a member of Washington State Youth Soccer. His youth soccer journey led him to several clubs and years on US Youth Soccer ODP Washington state teams, as well as US Youth Soccer regional teams and U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams. Read the full profile here
Irene Niemotka (Plano, Texas) | Meritorious
Irene Niemotka retired from US Youth Soccer as director of membership and business operations at the end of 2010 ending a memorable and influential 19-year career with the national office. Niemotka was involved in many of the national office firsts from launching a website and IT system, to the development of the marketing and coaching departments and the creation of the US Youth Soccer Foundation. Read full profile here
Wayne L. "Chris" Christoffersen (Overland Park, Kan.) | Administrator
Wayne L. "Chris" Christoffersen was a founding member and the first president of the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association, a proud member of US Youth Soccer. Prior to the formation of the State Association, he was the vice president of the Heart of America Soccer Association. He was the US Youth Soccer Region II Director from 1994 to 2006, serving on the board of directors. During this time, Region II started the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League. It is only fitting that Christoffersen is still active in US Youth Soccer as the chairman of the US Youth Soccer National League, a league in which teams earn their way in through success in regional leagues. Read the full profile here.
Dr. Robert "Dr. Bob" Contiguglia (Denver) | Administrator
Dr. Robert "Dr. Bob" Contiguglia served as president of US Youth Soccer from 1990 to 1996. He also secured the first national sponsorship and introduced Soccer Start (now Soccer Across America). In 1980, he served as president of the Colorado Youth Soccer, a proud member of US Youth Soccer. During his eight years as Colorado president, Contiguglia grew the organization from 3,000 to 33,000 members. He also introduced coach and referee training programs. From 1990 to the present, Contiguglia has served on the U.S. Soccer Federation board of directors, serving as president from 1998 to 2006. In 2010, he was honored with the Werner Fricker Builder Award by U.S. Soccer for his work furthering soccer. Read the full profile here.
Elmer Ehlers (Milwaukee) | Administrator
Elmer Ehlers served 10 years as Region II director on US Youth Soccer's board of directors (1984-94). This was a period of great growth for youth soccer and membership increased by more than one million players. Also on the national stage, Ehlers remained involved in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series after he retired as regional director. He contributed to the US Youth Soccer Region II Championships in whatever capacity was needed year after year. Because of his contributions to US Youth Soccer, the Under-14 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championship Cup was named the Elmer Ehlers Cup in his honor in 2002. Ehlers passed away in May 2001. Read the full profile here.
Darl Rose (Las Vegas) | Administrator
Darl Rose began his involvement as a charter member of United States Youth Soccer Nevada. From 1974 through 1988, he served as treasurer, vice chairman, chairman and past chairman. In 1980, Rose became involved in US Youth Soccer committees including the regional protest and appeals, National McGuire Cup and budget. He was elected US Youth Soccer Region IV Director in 1988 and served on the board of directors through 2006. Rose was also on the U.S. Soccer Federation board during that period. He served on several U.S. Soccer committees and served as the head of delegation for several National Team trips abroad. In 2001, Rose was awarded the U.S. Soccer President's Award. Read the full profile here.
Karl Grosch, Founder
Mavis Derflinger, Administrator
Karl Grosch wrote the initial US Youth Soccer constitution, bylaws and rules and regulation in 1974 with fellow Hall of Fame member Don Greer and Robert Nessler. Their actions led to US Youth Soccer uniting all youth soccer programs throughout the United States. Grosch, Greer and Nessler spent three days mapping out US Youth Soccer's organization. Although it was revolutionary at the time, their goal was to provide a democratic structure to provide uniform rules and guidelines to facilitate intrastate, interstate and international play. In 1974 at the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) annual general meeting in New York City, the 58th Annual USSF Council officially formed and recognized US Youth Soccer as an affiliated, self-governing body for youth soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer had 100,000 players at the time. Click here to read the full biography.
Jimmie Wofford (Richardson, Texas) Founder
Jimmie Wofford discovered soccer when a local professional team visited her children's school. That encounter lead to Wofford's involvement in US Youth Soccer where she helped create the bylaws and she served as the first US Youth Soccer Region III director from 1974-1979. Wofford opened doors for girls' soccer and was instrumental in creating a female interstate tournament for Region III. In 1976, Wofford became the first women's commissioner for U.S. Soccer. She was also the first executive director of North Texas State Soccer Association and also served as secretary. Within her community, she assisted in writing the bylaws of the Richardson (Texas) Soccer Association. Click here to read the full biography.
Mavis Derflinger began her soccer career coaching a girls' team in Lee, N.Y., in 1969. In the 1970s, Derflinger teamed with Rael Vodicka to form the Washington Area Girls Soccer League (WAGS) where she served as treasurer. Derflinger was elected the president of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association from 1979-1981. She also held the position of Region I director for US Youth Soccer from 1981-1986. In the early 1980s, she became the first female board member of the USSF. In 1986, she was elected as chairwoman of US Youth Soccer, which put her on the USSF Executive Committee. She served as chairwoman through 1990. Click here to read the full biography.
Julie Foudy, Player
Julie Foudy began playing team soccer when she was seven years old. She helped the Mission Viejo Soccerettes from California Youth Soccer Association South win the Under-16 Girls US Youth Soccer National Championship in 1986. She was the captain of the U.S. Women's National Team for 13 of her 18 years on the team. Foudy is also a two-time FIFA World Cup champion (1991 and 1999) and participated in two other World Cups. She finished her National Team career with 45 goals, 59 assists and 271 international appearances (caps). Foudy was a part of the Olympic gold medalist teams in 1996 and 2004 and the silver medalist team in 2000. Click here to read the full biography.
[Top of Page]
John Hilske, Founder
John Hilske was a visionary in the early years of soccer for US Youth Soccer. He labored tirelessly to develop youth soccer and helped elevate soccer to its current level of popularity. In 1969, Hilske became one of the founding fathers of the Nebraska State Soccer Association. In 1976, he was elected as US Youth Soccer Region II Director. He served on the board until 1984. He also served on the Hall of Fame, Rules and Sub-Olympic Committees. During his tenure as regional director, the membership in Region II grew from 20,000 players to over 165,000. Today, Region II has over 660,000 registered members. Click here to read the full biography.
Julius Roth, Founder
Julius Roth was one of the first organizers and founders of US Youth Soccer. His greatest contributions were his persistent and generous efforts toward the development of youth and women's soccer programs. Roth identified and organized US Youth Soccer State Associations in the Midwest, and lobbied to have women's soccer recognized by the U.S. Soccer Federation. In 1974, he became the first US Youth Soccer Region II Director. In 1975, he was chairman of the James P. McGuire Cup, now part of the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series. In 1977, Roth served as Chairman of the Appeals Committee for US Youth Soccer Region II. In 1981, he served on the US Youth Soccer Region II Planning Committee. Click here to read the full biography.
Michelle Akers, Player
Michelle Akers grew up playing US Youth Soccer in California and Washington. In high school, she won a state championship and was a three-time All-American. While playing for the University of Central Florida, she was a four-time NSCAA All-American and the first woman to be awarded the Hermann Trophy, as most outstanding NCAA Division I soccer player. Akers played in the 1991 and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cups and in 1999, she was named the FIFA Women's Player of the Century. In 1996, she was a part of the U.S. women's team that captured the gold medal in Atlanta. Click here to read the full biography.
John Harkes, Player
John Harkes grew up playing with Thistle FC, proud member of New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association. He earned his first full international cap in May of 1987 playing with the U.S. Men's National Team and played in the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups. Harkes played in the 1988 Olympic Games and was also the founding player and captain of Major League Soccer's D.C. United. Harkes had 167 career appearances with MLS and played in five All-Star Games (1996-2000). In 2003, Harkes announced his retirement from professional soccer, but continued to be active in the game as the US Youth Soccer spokesperson in the inaugural year of Youth Soccer Month and a commentator for ESPN. Click here to read the full biography.
Kristine Lilly, Player
Kristine Lilly is a standout in the soccer community and still gives tribute to her beginnings when she played US Youth Soccer in Connecticut. Lilly was honored at the 2003 US Youth Soccer National Championships, when the Under-15 Girls trophy took her name. Lilly's soccer resume boasts three state championships in high school, four NCAA Championships, 340 appearances with the U.S. Women's National Team, five appearances at the FIFA World Cup (two championships) and three Olympic Games (two gold medals). Each summer, she runs the Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy and also works with Special Olympics of Connecticut. Lilly will be playing in the new Women's Professional League for the Boston Breakers. Click here to read the full biography.
Tab Ramos, Player
Tab Ramos started playing US Youth Soccer at the age of 12 for Thistle FC in New Jersey. In high school, his team won a state championship, he was a two-time All-American and he still holds the school record as the leading goal scorer (161 career goals). He was a three-time All-American at North Carolina State University. Ramos has 81 caps with the U.S. Men's National Team and played in three FIFA World Cups. He was the first player to sign with MLS on the New Jersey/New York Metro Stars, playing seven seasons and in three All-Star games. Ramos is the coach of the 2008 US Youth Soccer National Champion Under-14 Boys NJSA 04 Gunners and he is the president and founder of New Jersey Soccer Academy and GOAL Foundation. Click here to read the full biography.
[Top of Page]
Donald Greer, Founder
Donald Greer (1927-1996) was truly dedicated to the sport and aspired to influence its growth and organization at all levels. In 1968, he founded the California Youth Soccer Association where he served as president until 1975. Greer's vision wasn't limited to the borders of California as he set to make an impact at a national level. He served as the United States Soccer Federation vice president from 1972-1984. During this time, Greer founded US Youth Soccer in 1974. He served as its Chairman until 1984. Greer's vision launched the James P. McGuire Cup, the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program and established regional and sub-regional youth programs for member State Associations. Under Greer's leadership, the number of players participating ballooned from 32,000 to over 1.3 million. Today, US Youth Soccer is the largest youth sports organization in the nation with over 3 million registered players annually. In 1992, Greer received the US Youth Soccer Founder's Award and in 1993, the US Youth Soccer Under-17 Boys National Championship was named "The Don Greer Cup" in his honor. Click here to read the full biography.