CLASS OF 2019 INDUCTEES SUNIL GULATI AND ABBY WAMBACH ENSHRINED IN
NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME
FRISCO, Texas. – Former U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and American Soccer star Abby Wambach were enshrined today as the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2019, while award winning photojournalist Tony Quinn was also honored with the 2019 Colin Jose Media Award.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame is a 19,350-square foot experience that honors the history of soccer in the United States while fully incorporating modern technology to celebrate the players, past and present, as well as builders of the game that have elevated the sport to where it is today. It features interactive exhibits, iconic soccer memorabilia and will serve as the home for annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
Sunil Gulati – Builder
Gulati has played an important role in the development of soccer in the U.S. since the early 1980’s and has been intimately involved in the rise of the U.S. National Teams to prominence. He has held numerous positions at U.S. Soccer and has served on U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors since 1995. Gulati was president of U.S. Soccer from 2006 through 2018.
He has had a hand in helping organize multiple World Cups in the United States as Executive Vice President of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 1999 and 2003. Additionally, he has been a member of the FIFA Council since 2013 and involved in numerous committees in addition to his work to enact good governance changes within the FIFA structure. Beyond the international game, Gulati served as Deputy Commissioner of Major League Soccer from 1995 to 1999 and has been a member of the U.S. Soccer Foundation Board of Directors. He is currently a senior lecturer in the economics department at Columbia University.
Abby Wambach – Player
Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer in women’s international soccer with 184 goals, played in four World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) and two Olympic Games (2004 and 2012) while making 255 international appearances for the United States between her National Team debut in 2001 and her final game in 2015. She won the 2015 Women’s World Cup and gold medals in both Olympics in which she played. Wambach’s honors also include being named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year six times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012), the Concacaf female player of the year in 2014, and the FIFA world women’s player of the year in 2012. In 2013, she was named to the USWNT all-time Best XI.
Wambach was the first major international star developed by the Women’s United Soccer Association. She later played in all three seasons of WPS and the first two seasons of the NWSL. She was named to those leagues’ postseason all-star teams three times: in the WUSA in 2003, in WPS in 2010 and in the NWSL in 2013. She won the 2003 WUSA title with Washington.
Tony Quinn – Colin Jose Media Award
Quinn has covered four FIFA World Cups, three Olympic Games, two Copa Americas, as well as countless College Cups and Concacaf Gold Cups. Aside from covering the NASL, ASL, WUSA, and various other soccer leagues in the area, Quinn was the primary sports photographer for major local universities, including Georgetown, as well as for D.C. United (MLS) and the Washington Spirit (NWSL). He started his work as a photojournalist in the 1970s with Connection, a chain of community newspapers in Northern Virginia and was inducted into the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2016.
Quinn has undertaken photography assignments in 54 different countries and territories. Shooting mainly sports, he has also covered politics and civil strife, winning best photographer for the National Association of Hispanic Newspapers in 1994.
The Colin Jose Media Award was created to honor the contributions of members of the print and electronic media, including reporters, columnists, authors, broadcasters, editors, public/media relations professionals and others who specialize in communications with respect to soccer in the United States. The award is named for Colin Jose, Historian Emeritus of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the preeminent soccer historian of North America.
About the National Soccer Hall of Fame
The National Soccer Hall of Fame was originally founded in 1950 by the Philadelphia Old-Timers Association to recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to American soccer. In 1979, the National Soccer Museum, as a physical entity, was established in Oneonta, N.Y. It was officially recognized as the National Soccer Hall of Fame by the U.S. Soccer Federation in 1983.
In June of 1999, the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened a 30,000 square-foot museum in Oneonta, N.Y. where it housed a collection of more than 80,000 items and artifacts such as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy, the oldest soccer ball made in the U.S. and the 1994 FIFA World Cup U.S. archive. The facility closed in February of 2010.
In 2013, FC Dallas owners, Clark and Dan Hunt, launched a campaign to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco, Texas. The new National Soccer Hall of Fame opened to the public on Nov. 2, 2018 as part of a $55 million renovation to Toyota Stadium, home to Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas.