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Class of 2008 Inducted into US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame

March 5, 2009 09:00 PM

US Youth Soccer Awards Gala

Class of 2008 Inducted into US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame

SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 6, 2009) – The 2008 class of the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame was announced tonight at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2009 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. Two founding members; John Hilske and Julius Roth, and four former US Youth Soccer players; Michelle Akers, John Harkes, Kristine Lilly and Tab Ramos were honored.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2007 with founder and first chairman of US Youth Soccer, Donald Greer, as the charter member.

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 the game 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 and participated in the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. 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 as 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.

For more information about the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala and award winners, go to /workshop/galaawards.


About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer -The Game for ALL Kids!® is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member state associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit
Media Request: When referring to the United States Youth Soccer Association, the largest youth sports organization in the United States, please refer to the association only as US Youth Soccer, and never as USYS or USYSA. We appreciate your cooperation.



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