FRISCO, Texas (December 13, 2023) – US Youth Soccer (USYS) is pleased to announce that three new members have been selected into its Hall of Fame.
Former United States women’s national team star Joy Fawcett, storied coach Dr. Lauren Gregg, and long-time West Virginia Soccer Association Executive Director Dave Laraba make up this year’s class. The three-member group will be enshrined during US Youth Soccer’s annual awards gala in Anaheim, California, next month, celebrating a lifetime of dedication to the sport.
Fawcett’s legendary career began in her early teenage years as a member of the Orange County Youth Soccer Club. She quickly stood out amongst her peers, and at just 14 years old, Fawcett was selected to both the Olympic Development Program and the United States Youth National Team.
Having continued to make a name for herself against the best players in the country, Fawcett had her pick of colleges when it came time to decide where she wanted to further her career. Fawcett chose to stay close to home, attending the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to have an illustrious career for the Golden Bears. During her four years in Berkeley, Fawcett was a two-time national player of the year, three-time first team All-American, and still holds the program record for most goals in a single season (23).
Fawcett graduated from UC Berkeley in 1989 and began her professional career with Ajax, the Manhattan Beach Club’s team. Two short years later, Fawcett had reached the pinnacle of the sport as a World Cup winner in the first-ever women’s tournament. Throughout the next decade plus of her career, Fawcett, who appeared in a total of 239 games for her country, went on to win two Olympic gold medals and a second World Cup.
Fawcett cemented an off-field legacy to go along with her record-setting career as a founding member of the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2001, just three years before she hung up her cleats for good.
Dr. Lauren Gregg enters the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame having been a trailblazer her whole career. From her early days as a member of both the Massachusetts and North Carolina Olympic Development Programs, or when she was named an All-American with Wellesley High School, Gregg was paving the way for younger generations.
She started her college career at Lehigh University — on the men’s junior varsity team. Gregg spent two years with the Mountain Hawks before transferring to Harvard University, where she named a first team All-American in 1981. Gregg then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she won an AIAW Championship and the first-ever NCAA Championship in 1982.
Once Gregg’s playing days were over, she quickly transitioned to the next phase of her career — coaching. She returned to both North Carolina and Harvard as an assistant coach and went on to win another National Championship with the Tar Heels one year after graduating. Gregg also coached the Virginia Cavaliers for nearly a decade, earning numerous coaching accolades and leading them to the first Final Four in program history along the way.
In addition to Gregg’s collegiate-level coaching career, she has long been a coach at the professional level. Gregg was a member of the United States women’s national team staff during two World Cup winning campaigns (1991 and 1999) and an Olympic triumph (1996), and was most recently an assistant for the Nigerian women’s national football team that made a storybook run in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Gregg’s inspiring career has seen her appointed to numerous committees, earn multiple awards, and even receive induction into the United States Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
For more than four decades, Dave Laraba has transformed the sport of soccer in his state of West Virginia. Laraba has always found a way to make a positive impact on the game as a member of numerous U.S. Soccer, US Youth Soccer, and West Virginia Soccer Association committees/councils.
Laraba is a championship-winning coach, too, having won three Region I Championships with the now-West Virginia Rapids, a club he founded, as well as three county championships with the Park Junior High School in only five years on the school’s sidelines.
From his first day as the President of Beckley Raleigh County YMCA Soccer Association to now, three decades in as the Executive Director of the West Virginia Soccer Association, the Mountain State and US Youth Soccer owe many thanks to Laraba for his continued efforts in growing the game.
The US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame was created in 2008, led by Donald Greer, a founding member of USYS. In the 15 years since, 46 members — Fawcett, Gregg, and Laraba among them — have been inducted.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and one million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, coach and referee offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment at every level of the game.