PROVIDENCE, R.I. — World soccer legend Eusebio headlines the list of nine inductees at the New England Soccer Hall of Fame’s 38th annual Induction Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 22, noon at the Ramada Inn in Seekonk, Mass.
Eusebio helped Lisbon, Portugal club Benfica win 11 league titles and the 1962 European Cup, and scored a tournament-high nine goals during the 1966 World Cup. He was voted one of the 20th century’s top players. Eusebio played for the Boston Minutemen in 1975,and his appearances in exhibition matches around New England always guaranteed large crowds. He died in 2014 at the age of 71, and will be honored posthumously.
The inductees also include:
* SHAUN BAILEY — A native of Colchester, England, Bailey is the head coach of A.C. Connecticut in the PDL and spent past the decade as an assistant coach at Western Connecticut State University.
* JAVIER CENTENO — A two-time All-American at the Community College of Rhode Island and an all-star midfielder for the USISL’s Rhode Island Stingrays, Centeno is a Co-Founder of Project GOAL, an non-profit organization dedicated to helping children achieve academic goals and social awareness through soccer.
* DARREN EALES — A First Team All-American and Ivy League Player of the Year at Brown University, Eales is the president of the Major League Soccer expansion club, Atlanta United. FC.
* NANCY FELDMAN — In her 21st season as head women’s soccer coach at Boston University, where she began the program, she has guided the Terriers to 12 league championships and 11 NCAA tournament appearances.
* ANGELO PASSARETTA – A former Rhode island State Referee Administrator, he recently retired after 40 years as a referee.
* FRANK PEARSON — A prodigious goal-scorer in England in the early 1900s for Preston North End and Chelsea, he founded the New England Soccer League, which operated from the 1920s until World War II.
* FRED PEREIRA — A Mass. all-state player at Ludlow High School, he was an All-American at Brown University before a lengthy indoor and outdoor professional career, which included six appearances for the United States National Team.
* DOUGLAS TASHJIAN — A R.I. all-state player at Cumberland, he captained the University of Rhode Island to the 1978 Yankee Conference championship and first school win ever in NCAA Tournament. He later served as an assistant coach at URI and Harvard and spent five years as director of the Massachusetts Special Olympics soccer program.
Tickets for the induction dinner are $38, and are available by telephoning Lillian Sousa at 401-434-6592 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by the Nov. 12 deadline. All tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be available at the door.
One of the first African-born soccer stars, Eusébio scored a tournament-high nine goals while leading Portugal to a third-place finish in the 1966 World Cup. He was internationally renown before he played for the Boston Minutemen in 1975, and his appearances in exhibition matches always guaranteed large crowds.
Born on January 25, 1942, in Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Eusébio joined Portugal’s Benfica club as a teenager. He helped Benfica win 11 league titles and the 1962 European Cup, and scored a tournament-high nine goals during the 1966 World Cup. Voted one of the 20th century’s top players, Eusebio was honored by his former club with a statue and the creation of the annual Eusébio Cup. On January 5, 2014, the soccer icon died of heart failure at the age of 71.
Raised in the poor neighborhood of Mafalala, he honed his footwork by playing soccer with a rolled-up newspaper, and eventually landed with the local pro team, Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques. News of his athletic capabilities reached Bela Guttmann, manager of Portugal’s Sport Lisboa e Benfica club, who sought to sign the teenager. A battle ensued over Eusébio’s rights, as the Mozambique club was affiliated with Sporting Clube de Portugal, but Benfica emerged as the winner of his services.
Eusébio made his debut for Benfica as a 19-year-old in 1961. Despite his youth, he overwhelmed opponents with his speed, elusive moves and powerful shots on goal. Although Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, few Europeans had witnessed an African player of such startling talent, and he was nicknamed “Pantera Negra” (Black Panther) and “Perla Negra” (Black Pearl) by admiring fans.
Eusébio scored twice in Benfica’s European Cup victory over Real Madrid in 1962, and he won the Ballon d’Or as the European Football Player of the Year in 1965. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his performance during the 1966 World Cup in England. After scoring twice to knock out defending champion Brazil, he netted an incredible four goals to help Portugal overcome a 3-0 deficit to North Korea in the quarterfinals. Eusébio scored once as Portugal came up short against eventual champion England, and again in the consolation victory over the Soviet Union. Although he was unable to lift his side to the ultimate victory, Eusébio made a lasting impression with his tournament-leading nine goals.
Eusébio won the Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer in 1968 and 1973, and helped Benfica win 11 Primeira Liga titles before ending his run with the club in 1975. The iconic athlete spent most of the remainder of his career in North America, notably leading Toronto Metros-Croatia to victory in the 1976 Soccer Bowl, before retiring in 1979.
Eusébio finished ninth in the International Federation of Football History and Statistics’ poll of the 20th century’s top players. To many, he is unquestionably the biggest star in the history of Portuguese soccer, a status affirmed by his statue outside of Benfica’s Estádio da Luz.
Benfica honored the legend with the creation in 2008 of the Eusébio Cup, an annual preseason match between the Portuguese club and a highly regarded international opponent. Eusébio was hospitalized with pneumonia in December 2011 and suffered several health setbacks in the following months, but he was healthy enough to join Benfica for its trip to the 2013 UEFA Europa League final in the Netherlands. On January 5, 2014, the soccer legend died of heart failure at his Lisbon home. He was 71 years old.
In her 21st season at the helm of the Boston University women’s soccer team, Terriers head coach Nancy Feldman has transformed the program from club-level to a team that is consistently competing against the nation’s top squads. After dominating the America East, winning nine conference titles, the Terriers have already made their mark as the top-team in the Patriot League, winning three titles in their first three seasons in the conference.
Following the 2014 season, USA Today named Boston University the third-best Division I women’s soccer program in the U.S. based on team success, overall school quality and the academic record of the student athletes. BU ranked behind 2014 NCAA finalist Virginia and ahead of NCAA semifinalists Stanford and Texas A&M and NCAA quarterfinalist UCLA.
Last year the Terriers upset No. 1 seed Colgate in the Championship game to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament First Round, which they hosted on Nickerson Field. BU went 14-5-3 overall and 6-1-2 in Patriot League contests.
In her first season coaching in the Patriot League, Feldman was honored as Coach of the Year after guiding the Terriers to an 8-1-0 mark in conference play and a share of the regular-season title. BU went on to capture its first Patriot League Championship with a 1-0 win over top-seeded Navy and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in program history. Feldman was named the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year after guiding the Terriers to a 15-4-4 record and the No. 25 final regular-season ranking by the NSCAA.
Entering 2015, Feldman had led the Terriers to 11 appearances in the NCAA tournament, nine America East Championships and one Patriot League crown. Feldman and her assistants were named America East Coaching Staff of the Year on nine occasions (1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012).
The Terriers have secured double-digit wins in all but one of Feldman’s previous 20 seasons at the helm. BU has also had enormous success in conference games with five perfect seasons in America East play and a 132-20-11 overall league record. Feldman has coached 109 All-Conference selections and 25 All-Rookie honorees in addition to eight Defenders of the Year, seven Midfielders of the Year, four Goalkeepers of the Year, five Rookies of the Year, three Strikers of the Year and three Offensive Players of the Year.
Hired in March 1995 as the school’s first women’s soccer coach, Feldman inherited a Terrier team that had recently been raised to varsity status. Since then, she has guided it to a 265-116-37 record. The Terriers have advanced to the NCAAs 12 times under Feldman and have moved on to the second round on four occasions. In 2006, they earned their first at-large bid to the NCAAs after compiling a 13-4-2 regular-season mark. During the regular season, BU had arguably its biggest win in program history when it defeated then-No. 3 Santa Clara.
Prior to arriving at Boston University, she was the head coach at Plymouth State for five years. Her teams twice won the New England Regional Championship, and compiled an overall record of 75-9-7. Feldman was named the New England Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1993, and received the NEWISA/Brine Service Award in 1993.
A native of Needham, Mass., Feldman received her bachelor’s degree in public health from UMass (`83) and her master’s in exercise and sport studies from Smith College (`88).
Darren Eales is celebrating a Hall of Fame induction for the second consecutive year. He was inducted into the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame a year ago.
Eales, born on August 6, 1972, grew up in Cambridge, England. As he approached the end of his secondary education, he was faced with the decision of attending University or pursuing a football career. When approached by a scout from an American University offering him the opportunity to both play and attend College, he decided to move to the United States.
Eales attended Brown University, playing on for the Bears’ NCAA Division 1 soccer team from 1991 to 1994. In his final season, he was the Ivy League Player of the Year, the league’s leading scorer and a First Team All-American. He received a Bachelor’s Dregree in economics.
In 1995, Eales signed with the Hampton Roads Mariners of the USISL. He spent two seasons with the Mariners, scoring 24 goals in 19 games in 1995. In 1997, he played five games for the Hershey Wildcats. Eales continued to play at the amateur level. In 2001, he joined the Newmarket Town Reserves in the Kershaw League. He later moved to the Lancashire County Football Association where he played for Millhead Reserves from 2004 to 2006 and Higher Poynton from 2006 to 2007.
In 1997, Eales returned to England where he read law at Cambridge, and gained his Cambridge Blue in 1998. He became a member of thebar in 2000. On 6 May 2006, he was hired as an in-house legal counsel by West Bromwich Albion and was subsequently made a Director and Company Secretary. On 2 March 2010, Tottenham Hotspur announced that Eales was joining them as club secretary at the end of that season. On 1 July 2010, he officially joined the club as Director of Football Administration. On September 10, 2014, Eales was named the president of the Major League Soccer expansion club, Atlanta United FC.
Javier Centeno of Central Falls, Rhode Island, has made his mark on and off of the soccer field. He is a Co-Founder of Project GOAL, an non-profit organization dedicated to helping children achieve academic goals and social awareness through soccer.
Centeno, originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, was raised in the Ocean State’s “One-Mile City.” He was an all-state soccer player at Central Falls High School, who went on to the Community College of Rhode Island. At CCRI, he was a First Team All-American in 1985, a Second Team selection in 1987 and was twice chosen All-New England First Team. He played professionally as a classy midfield playmaker with the Rhode Island Stingrays.
Centeno has also been a Youth Supervisor with the Blackstone Valley Community Action Program. In 2005, he was named RI Boys Youth Soccer Coach of the Year. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole, he is a member of the Central Falls Athletic Hall of Fame. He has also been an assistant men’s soccer coach at Providence College.
Shaun Bailey has held several coaching position since coming to the United States. Most recently, he was named head coach A.C. Connecticut for the 2015 PDL season.
Bailey served as the former Director of Coaching for the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association. During his tenure as the State Director of Coaching, his roles and responsibilities were to oversee both the State Coaching Education and Olympic Development Programs.Along with playing a vital role in coaching education and youth development, Bailey is in his 10th season as the assistant coach of the women’s soccer program at Western Connecticut State University.
The Connecticut soccer community came out in force last year in support of Bailey, who was battling brain cancer.
A native of Colchester, England, Bailey spent his early years playing for Colchester United FC reserves, Harwich & Parkeston FC and Halstead Town FC.
In 2000 he spent one season as the head coach at Halstead Town FC.
Bailey holds a USSF National “A” License, USSF National Youth License, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, NSCAA Professional Development Certificate as well as an English FA Coaching Certificate. He and his wife Kristine and son Owen reside in Southington, CT.
Like many young boys, Angelo Passaretta had dreams of becoming an accomplished soccer player. A goalkeeper, he got his start as a youth playing club soccer for Fratelli D’Italia on Charles Street in Providence. He graduated from “The Elephants” to play in goal for the Johnston Soccer Club. Passaretta loved the challenge of playing against the best team of that time, including the Pawtucket Rangers, Giovanni XXIII, Fox Point and Lusitana. But his playing career was cut short by injuries.
Passaretta turned to officiating in 1974, and at the age of 26 became a state referee. He regularly represented the RI Soccer Association in Region 1 tournaments. He served for seven years as the State Referee Administrator and saw three Ocean State officials become national referees during his tenure. He recently retired after 40 years as a referee.
As a player, “Fredy” Pereira has excelled at every level of soccer, both outdoors and indoors, earning six caps with the U.S. National Team.
Born in Valdanta, Portugal, Pereira moved with his family to the United States when he was 12. He attended Ludlow High School in Ludlow, Mass. and completed a post-graduate year at Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn. In 2007 Ludlow inducted Pereira into its Athletic Hall of Fame. At Suffield, along with Gambian team mate Daniel Njie, Pereira led the team to the New England Prep Championship. After high school, he attended Brown University where he played as a forward on the men’s soccer team from 1973 to 1976. In 1974, Pereira set a Brown record with 24 goals and seven assists as Brown won the Ivy League title. The next season, Brown went to the NCAA Final Four where it fell to the University of San Francisco. In 1974 and 1976, Pereira was named a First Team All-American. He is a Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
His scoring exploits with Brown led to his selection for several US National and Olympic team games in 1977. On September 15, 1977, Pereira earned his first cap when he came on for Steve Ralbovsky, a college teammate at Brown, in a 2-1 win over El Salvador. He continued playing regularly, usually as a substitute, for the next two months. On October 10, 1977, he scored his only goal for the national team, the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over China. His last cap came six days later when he again replaced Ralbovsky in a 2-1 victory over China.
In 1977, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League (NASL) selected Pereira in the first round (second overall) of the NASL College Draft. While he began the season with the Strikers, scoring three goals in nine games, the team traded him mid-season to the Connecticut Bicentennials. At the end of the 1977 season, the Bicentennials moved to Oakland, California, but Pereira moved to the Colorado Caribous. At the end of the 1978 season, the Caribous also moved, but this time Pereira went with his team, spending the 1979 season with his team, now known as the Atlanta Chiefs. After the 1979–80 NASL indoor season he left the league. In 1980, he signed with the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League. The Blast traded him to the Phoenix Inferno during the season. Suffering from a string of injuries, Pereira retired at the end of the season and moved his family back to Ludlow where he continued to play amateur soccer with Gremio Lusitano. Pereira currently serves as an NCAA college soccer referee.
Doug Tashjian, a native of Cumberland, R.I. now living in Santa Monica, Calif., has made his mark in soccer as both a player and a coach.
Tashjian was a Second Team All-State selection as a senior, and a three-year starter at Cumberland High School. He matriculated to the University of Rhode Island, where he earned three letters and was captain of the Rams’ 1978 Yankee Conference championship team and first school win ever in NCAA Tournament. He played for multiple teams in the Luso American Soccer Association, from 1978 to ’88, including East Providence, Portuguese Americans and Academica, earning league championship and cup medals. He played professionally for the New England Sharks in the American Soccer League in 1981.
He earned his first coaching license as a freshman at URI in 1974, and worked his way up to a USSF “A” License in 1980. He spent one season as an assistant coach at URI under his college coach, Geza Henni, in 1978. He spent the next three years as an assistant coach at Harvard.
From 1981-85, he was co-Founder and Director of a youth soccer company, The Soccer Network, which created innovated community programs throughout Greater Boston Area. He was also on the Massachusetts State Coaching Staff during that time. From 1983-88, he was Director of the Massachusetts Special Olympics Soccer Program,and in 1987 was named the Mass. Special Olympics Sports Director of the Year.
Frank Pearson made the transition from being an outstanding footballers in his native England to a soccer pioneer in the United States during the first half of the last century. Born on May 18, 1884, Pearson was a prolific scorer, starting with 17 goals in 32 games for Preston North End in 1901-02. He also played for Manchester City (2 goals in 7 games), Chelsea (18 goals in 29 games) and Hull City (6 goals in 13 games).
Shortly after emigrating to Manchester, Connecticut, he fopunded the semi-professional New England Soccer League, which lasted from the 1920s up to World War II. He served as the league’s commissioner, as well as its chief referee. He also had his own team in the league. He also officiated a friendly between England and Ireland in Conn., which raised money for the 1924 Olympics. He spent the rest of his life helping to start soccer programs in towns, schools and colleges. He died on Jan. 13, 1953, at the age of 68. While his name may have been forgotten, those playing the Beautiful Game in Southern New England owe a debt of gratitude to Frank Pearson.