Former D.C. United players, coach up for Hall of Fame
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 11, 2009) - Four former D.C. United players and former Head Coach Peter Nowak are up for induction into U.S. Soccer’s Hall of Fame. Marco Etcheverry, Raul Diaz Arce, Roy Lassiter, Earnie Stewart and Nowak are among the 24 retired professional players on the ballot who contributed to the growth of soccer in the U.S.
Voters in the player election include selected members of the media, Hall of Famers, past and present U.S. Men's and Women's National Team coaches, MLS and WPS coaches of four or more years tenure, and a select group of soccer administrators. The results will be announced in early 2010.
An original member of D.C. United, Marco Etcheverry remains one of the most legendary players in United history and is widely remember for his cultured left foot, his wide-ranging vision, his flowing black hair and his menacing glare. A seven-time MLS All-Star, Etcheverry is one of the most accomplished players in League history. Known as simply ‘El Diablo,’ (the devil) Etcheverry represented the club from 1996-2003, earning individual accolades as Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player in 1998 and MLS Cup MVP honors in 1996. The talented midfielder earned MVP honors for the 2002 Pepsi All-Star Game played at RFK Stadium. He was named to the League’s Best XI squad four consecutive seasons from 1996-1999. In 2005, Etcheverry was named to the League’s All-Time Best XI and finished his career third in MLS’s all-time assist rankings (101).
Etcheverry announced his retirement as a player on January 22, 2004, having finished his eighth MLS campaign with six goals and seven assists in 2003. At the time, Etcheverry was D.C. United’s all-time leader in assists (101), game-winning assists (25), games played (191), games started (180), and minutes played (16,305). He ranked second in shots (319), shots on goal (156) and game-winning goals (11). Most importantly, Etcheverry was the driving force behind three MLS Cup titles (1996, 1997 and 1999), a U.S. Open Cup championship (1996), two Supporters’ Shields (1997 and 1999) and the 1998 Champions’ Cup and InterAmerican Cup victories.
Raul Diaz Arce
A fan favorite and original member of D.C. United, Raul Diaz Arce will be remembered as one of the most prolific scorers in the club’s history. Diaz Arce’s goals helped the Black-and-Red capture two MLS Cup trophies (1996 and 1997), a U.S. Open Cup championship (1996) and the Supporters’ Shield trophy (1997).
The Salvadoran icon was one of the most potent strikers in the 1996 MLS inaugural campaign. He was United’s top goal scorer with 23 goals on the season and ranked second in the league behind Tampa Bay’s Roy Lassiter. Diaz Arce is the club’s second all-time leading goal scorer with 44 goals in 68 games and ranks first with an average of 0.65 goals per game.
Diaz Arce was the first player in MLS history to score a hat trick in post season play, striking three times in Game One of the 1996 Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay. United won the game 4-1 and would go on to become the first MLS Cup champions. Diaz Arce played six seasons in MLS, three with United (1996-1997, 2000-2001) and at the time he ended his MLS career in 2001 he was second in career goals with 82.
Lassiter played seven seasons in MLS between 1996 and 2002, for Tampa Bay, D.C. United, Miami and Kansas City. He was the MLS scoring leader, and an all-star selection, in 1996 when he was with Tampa Bay. With United, he won an MLS Cup title in 1999, and the CONCACAF Champions Cup and Interamerican Cup in 1998. In addition to his MLS seasons, he played one season in the A-League, three seasons in the Costa Rican first division and one partial loan season in the Italian second division. In his 179 MLS regular-season games and 21 MLS playoff games he scored a total of 101 goals.
Lassiter played 30 full international matches for the United States, the first in 1992 and the last in 2000, including five World Cup qualifiers in 1996 and 1997.
Stewart played 101 full international games for the United States Men’s National Team, with his first-ever appearance coming against Portugal in December 1990 and the last against Grenada in June 2004. Included among those 101 caps were 30 in World Cup qualifiers in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2004, and 10 in the World Cup itself in 1994, 1998 and 2002. Stewart scored the winning goal of the United States’ landmark victory over Colombia in the 1994 World Cup and was captain of the United States team in the landmark victory over Portugal in the 2002 World Cup. He was the Honda Award winner as the outstanding national-team player in 2001. At the time he retired, his 30 World Cup qualifying games were an all-time national-team record. Among the other events in which he played for the United States were the Copa America in 1995, the Confederations Cup in 1999 and 2003, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003.
Stewart, the son of an American serviceman and his Dutch wife, spent most of his club career in Holland, where he played 16 seasons for several different clubs, mostly in the top division. He also played the 2003 and 2004 seasons in Major League Soccer, both with D.C. United, where he won an MLS Cup championship in 2004. In those two seasons, he played 47 MLS regular-season games and six MLS playoff games.
Nowak played five seasons in MLS, all for Chicago, between 1998 and 2002. He won the MLS Cup championship once, in 1998, and also was a runner-up for the MLS title in 2000. He won the U.S. Open Cup title twice, in 1998 and 2000. He was chosen as an MLS all-star three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2001. He played 114 MLS regular-season games and 20 MLS playoff games.
As Head Coach of D.C. United, Nowak led the team to an MLS Cup championship in his first year in 2004. After winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2006, Nowak left the Black-and-Red to become an assistant coach for the U.S. national team and head coach of the U.S. Olympic team. He is now the Head Coach of the MLS expansion team, the Philadelphia Union, set to begin play next season.
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