ONEONTA, NY (Aug 3, 2008) Soccer Hall — In front of a standing room only audience in the National Soccer Museum, Builder Anson Dorrance and Veteran Player Hugo Perez were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Ike Kuhns, formerly of the Newark Star-Ledger, was also honored as the recipient of the Colin Jose Media Award.
“As the culmination of a fabulous weekend, the ceremony was very special,“ Hall of Fame President Steve Baumann said. “It captured all the values that we believe is the best of sport, hard work and perseverance, balance in life and dedication to success. We hope our audience left inspired as we celebrated the achievements of these extraordinary people.”
Nelson Perez, who presented his brother Hugo, said, “As the younger brother I had to do all the cleaning and picking up in the house because Hugo was always playing soccer. Today it was all worth it!” In return Hugo thanked his family for their love and support as he pursued his soccer dream. “It was what I wanted – to play soccer like my grandfather – to be honored by the Hall of Fame for doing that is overwhelming. I am most grateful.”
Anson Dorrance was presented by his most famous player Mia Hamm. The two reversed roles at Induction 2007, when Anson presented Mia for her induction into the Hall of Fame. Mia was asked which was harder. “By far this one!” she said. “I had the responsibility to represent all the players whom Anson has touched; whom Anson has helped become mature, intelligent, competitive, dedicated, and confident women….” and, after a pause to gather herself "also emotional.”
In rejoinder Dorrance recognized that growing up in household where the athletes were the women of the family had uniquely prepared him for his coaching role. “My sister was by far the best athlete and she delighted in demonstrating that fact. And my Mother regularly beat the pants of my Dad in any athletic contest.” About his star pupil Mia he said he was most thankful for, “her big sister role to my two daughters… and all her congratulatory calls over the years.” He concluded by thanking his family and noting his wife’s encouragement as he pursued "a life that has exceeded my dreams.”
Courtesy of the National Soccer Hall of Fame