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, announced its 2014 class of inductees today.
The class of 2014 includes former Boston Astros owner/executive John Bertos, longtime RISA and LASA defender Matteo Giarrusso, former ASL and LASA striker Mark Gilchrist, Ludlow coaching legend John Kurty, former Revolution assistant coach and England International Paul Mariner, former University of Rhode Island star Dan McCrudden, and U.S. Soccer Federation Manager of Identification and Training Dr. Herb Silva.
The 2014 class will be honored during the Hall’s 37th Annual Induction Ceremony on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the Ramada Seekonk in Seekonk, Mass. Doors will open at 12:30pm, and the ceremony will start at 1:00pm.
Information about the induction dinner, which is open to the public, is available at nesoccerhall.com or by contacting Chairman of the Board Joseph Sousa at firstname.lastname@example.org. ***Due to limited seating, guests are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. ***
John Bertos was among the sport’s biggest backers during the 1960s and 1970s, establishing the Astros franchise in 1966. His big picture thinking allowed the Astros to become one of the most recognizable and successful teams in New England during a time of renewed interest in the beautiful game throughout the country. Although the Astros’ base of operations moved from city to city, Bertos’ passion for promoting the sport never wavered. In 1972, Bertos brokered a deal with Santos of Brazil to bring Pele to the region for an exhibition at Boston University. He organized friendlies between his Astros and foreign sides such as Benfica, Aberdeen and Hakoah on a regular basis, attracting crowds of 10,000+ during a time in which the sport was largely overlooked by the local media.
Matteo Giarrusso emigrated to the U.S. from Italy in 1966, and went on to star for a number of teams in Southeastern New England. In 1977, he was named to the New England College Conference Soccer Team in during his sophomore season at Rhode Island College. From there, he went on to play for legendary R.I.-based Giovanni XXIII, where he earned team MVP honors in 1980. During the rest of the decade, he played for East Providence Sports, Fox Point Portuguese Sports, Providence Italians, and Warwick United. In addition to his playing career, he coached his alma mater’s women’s team from 1980-83, and served as board member of Warwick Soccer Association from 1993-2010.
Mark Gilchrist played under legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson while at St. Mirren (Scottish Premier League) during the late-1970s and early-1980s. Gilchrist moved on to Clyde FC, where he played under coach Craig Brown from 1980-82. He returned to the U.S. in 1983 to play for the New England Sharks, and from there, enjoyed a successful seven year career in the LASA league, one of the premier semi-pro leagues in the country during the 80s. After his playing career concluded, he took over as varsity boy soccer coach at Scituate High School from 1992-2003. He currently coaches the Smithfield High School boys soccer team, as well as the Rhode Island Strikers U-12s.
John Kurty was a legendary soccer coach, first with the Ludlow public schools and later at Westfield State College. Kurty was soccer coach at Ludlow High School, where he had a record of 150 wins, 19 losses and 19 ties over 10 years. His team won three consecutive state titles. After leading Ludlow High School to years of success, he assumed the coaching post at Westfield State College in 1966. He compiled a record of 153 wins, 36 losses and 13 ties. At the time of his retirement, his winning percentage of .790 was the highest on record for New England colleges and universities. He also coached volleyball and was an assistant coach for the baseball team, according to the college. Kurty was elected into the Westfield State Athletic Hall of Fame for his career at the college as soccer coach, and also named to the Ludlow High School Sports Hall of Fame, both as a player and as a coach, in 2007. He died in 2012.
Paul Mariner, who served as Revolution assistant coach during the club’s three straight MLS Cup appearances (2005-07), is remembered by world soccer fans as one of the top center forwards in English football in the late-1970s and early-1980s. He earned 35 international caps playing for his country, and led the England attack in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. After starting his professional club career with Plymouth Argyle, Mariner scored 97 goals in eight seasons for Ipswich Town from 1976-84, before playing three seasons with Arsenal FC in London and finishing his English Leagues career with Portsmouth. He helped Ipswich Town win the 1978 FA Cup and 1981 UEFA Cup. Now retired from coaching, Mariner is a regular analyst and contributor to ESPN’s daily soccer program, ESPN FC.
Dan McCrudden attended the University of Rhode Island, where he played on the soccer team from 1974 to 1977. He led the team in scoring all four seasons and was a 1977 Honorable Mention (third team) All American. In 1978, the Chicago Sting selected McCrudden in the first round (16th overall) of the North American Soccer League college draft. He played one season with the Sting, and another five seasons in the American Soccer League where he was a 1980 All-Star. In 1998, he was inducted into the URI Rams Hall of Fame.
Dr. Herb Silva is the Manager of Identification and Training for the United States Soccer Federation. He began his soccer referee career in the 1970s and quickly rose to officiating in the old North American Soccer League. He has a long history of officiating Division One Adult leagues in St. Louis, at the Adult Region II tournaments, and the Adult Cup Finals. After retiring as an active referee, Herb often was appointed as an instructor or assessor of the referees at Adult Division Regional and National events. He also had a long career as an indoor referee. He started as a referee in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), the league that succeeded the NASL as a national professional soccer league. With the MISL he became the Director of Officials. He also participated in other indoor leagues such as the WISL and CISL. In 1996, Herb became the Director of Officials for Major League Soccer. In that role he was responsible for the training and assignment of officials in the new professional outdoor league.