PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The New England Soccer Hall of Fame, which has recognized the region’s best players, coaches, referees, executives, and builders since 1978, has announced its 2012 class of inductees, all of whom will be honored during the Hall’s 35th Annual Induction Ceremony on Sunday, November 4th at the Johnson & Wales Inn in Seekonk, Mass. The ceremony will start at 1:00pm.
Information for the induction dinner, which is open to the public, is available at nesoccerhall.com or by contacting Chairman of the Board Joseph Sousa at email@example.com.
Among this year’s honorees are former New England Revolution manager Steve Nicol, United States Women’s National Team midfielder/forward Kristine Lilly, former New York Cosmos midfielder David Caetano, Rhode Island Soccer League Over-30 co-founder William Grant, Former Rhode Island Oceaneers defender Telmo Pires, Bryant men’s soccer head coach Seamus Purcell, and current certified referee assessor Sal Rappolo.
Kristine Lilly is the most capped player in soccer history with 352 caps to her credit. She earned her first cap with the United States Women’s National team at age 16 in 1987, and went on to play in five World Cups (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007), and three Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004). She helped the U.S. to two World Cup championships in 1991 and 1999 and earned two Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. In her international career, she scored 130 goals, which ranks third all-time behind Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm. She also played for the Boston Breakers in two separate stints (2001-03, 2009-11). She currently resides in Needham, MA.
Steve Nicol guided the New England Revolution to their first MLS Cup final in 2002 before he led them back three more times in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Nicol led the Revolution to the U.S. Open Cup championship, marking the first time a New England-based club had hoisted the trophy since the 1947 Ponta Delgada squad. From 2002-2011, he amassed 101 wins, and is only one of three head coaches in MLS history to eclipse the century mark for career wins. Prior to his arrival in New England, Nicol played for Liverpool from 1981-95, and led the Reds to five Football League First Division titles and three FA Cup winners medals and the 1984 European Cup. He currently resides in Hopkinton, MA.
David Caetano was a first round pick of the New York Cosmos in 1982 before moving on to play for Portuguese powerhouse Benfica. From there, he went on to play for Sport Clube Maritimo, where he helped the club earn promotion to the Portuguese first division. After his stay in Madeira, he returned to the U.S. and played for the Boston Bolts and Albany Capitals of the ASL. In 1984, accept the head coaching position at Western Connecticut University before moving on coaching at the high school level. In 2006 he was inducted into the Danbury High School Hall of Fame. He currently resides in Danbury, CT.
William Grant co-founded the Rhode Island Soccer League Over-30s in 1991, and helped it expand from five teams to more than 40 active teams playing in several divisions. Additionally, he has served in various capacities for the Rhode Island Soccer Association, including treasurer, secretary and second vice president. He also refereed high school and NCAA soccer in the 1980s and was named a State Referee Administrator. Prior to his refereeing days, he played for Community College of Rhode Island before moving on to American Hellenic and Giovanni XXII SC of the Rhode Island Soccer League. He currently resides in Warwick, R.I.
Telmo Pires kicked off his professional career with the Rhode Island Oceaneers in 1974, and helped the club win the 1975 ASL Championship. That year, he earned his first cap with the U.S. in a 4-0 loss to Poland, and also saw playing time with the U.S. Olympic soccer tea m in 1976 before falling short of qualifying. He went on to play for the Hartford Bicentennials and won his second ASL title with the New Jersey Americans in 1977. After his tenure with the Americans, he took his game indoors for the Cincinnati Kids and Hartford Hellions. In 1981, he became head coach of the New England Sharks (ASL) .
Seamus Purcell was named NE-10 Conference Coach of the Year and NSCAA New England Region Coach of the Year in 2002 after leading Bryant University to a school best 12-8-0 record. He led the Bulldogs to the Northeast-10 conference tournament seven times during his tenure, and helped the team make the difficult transition to Division-1 soccer in 2008. All told, Purcell has recorded over 100 wins with the Bulldogs. Prior to his coaching career, he played for his native Ireland at the youth level for three years and played at the youth European and World Cup Championships before enrolling at Providence College in 1985. In 2008, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. He currently resides in West Greenwich, R.I.
Sal Roppolo made his name as a coach for Taunton Sports, Cranston Sports and Bridgewater State University before moving on to a distinguished refereeing career. From 1986-2005, he officiated numerous you and adult league games, including Luso-American Soccer Association, Massachusetts State Soccer League, South Shore League and other state-wide competitions. In 1995, he was given the South Shore League 25-year service award. In 1996, he was certified as an assessor, a role he remains active in. He currently resides in Brockton, MA.