TAMPA, Fla. – Ten men and women who have proven to be highly influential in North American soccer have been chosen for induction into the USL Men’s, Women’s and MISL Hall of Fame wings in 2012. These individuals are being recognized for helping to make USL and the MISL a success through the years because of their tremendous efforts and personal sacrifices made on behalf of the sport of soccer in North America. Additionally, three USL clubs are being honored as 10+ Clubs after having completed 10 years in the PDL.
Pali Blues head coach Charlie Niamo will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame for his work in the W-League over 14 years with the Pali Blues, Central Jersey, Jersey Sky Blue, New Brunswick, and the NJ Wildcats.
Naimo directed the Pali Blues to yet another title game in 2012, falling just short of the title against Ottawa in the final. Naimo spearheaded the Blues to a cumulative 21-0-3 record in 2008 and 2009, capturing a pair of titles in the club’s first two years without experiencing defeat.
Naimo spent the 2007 season coaching Jersey Sky Blue of the W-League with the team finishing 12-2 in the regular season before falling to the Ottawa Fury in the conference semifinal.
Naimo first put on the head coaching hat in 1998 with the New Jersey Splash, receiving W-League Coach of the Year accolades in 1999. After a stop with the New Brunswick Power, he took over a struggling New Jersey Wildcats club and orchestrated an entire reconstruction of the organization. In his three seasons with the team, Naimo compiled a 41-1 regular season record, leading the club to regular season titles in 2004 and 2006 while winning the W-League championship in 2005. In 2005 the Wildcats were named the USL Franchise of the Year, and Naimo won the W-League Coach of the Year award in 2006.
“I am so honored to accept this distinction for everyone else but myself,” said Naimo on being selected for Hall of Fame induction. “This induction represents the sacrifices of my players, colleagues, assistant coaches, operational staff, owners and most importantly my family. This is about so much more than all the wins and championships, and I humbly share it with those who stood by me. Those who know me, also know that is not always easy.”
The USL Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be inducted at the USL Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, December 14, 2012 at the Hilton Clearwater Beach. Honorees were chosen through a vote of current Hall of Fame members, USL teams and the USL Hall of Fame Committee.
2012 Men’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Bill Rudisill, Wilmington Hammerheads
Coach – Laurie Callaway, Des Moines Menace, Syracuse Salty Dogs, Rochester Rhinos
Player- Dustin Swinehart, Charlotte Eagles, Hampton Roads Mariners, Indiana Blast
2012 Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – John Pugh, Ottawa Fury
Coach – Nino DiPasquali, New York Magic
Coach – Charlie Naimo, Pali Blues, Central Jersey, Jersey Sky Blue,New Brunswick, NJ Wildcats
2012 MISL Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Earl Foreman
Coach – Ron Newman, Sand Diego Shockers
Player – Hector Marinaro, Cleveland Crunch, Cleveland Force, Los Angeles Lazers, Minnesota Strikers
Player – Slavisa “Steve” Zungul, New York Arrows, San Diego Sockers, Golden Bay Earthquakes, Tacoma Stars
2012 USL 10+ Clubs
West Virginia Chaos