Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame Class of 2021
By: Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame
Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame Founder, Kevin L. McCrudden says, "Like most people, I can't believe that an entire year has passed and we are in the same "holding pattern," for the past 12 months. Our heart goes out to those that have lost family members and loved ones, as well as to the Long Island Soccer Community that has also lost many people to the COVID19 global pandemic."
The Hall of Fame Committee battled with whether to hold a virtual event this year or not, but has made the decision to honor the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame Class of 2021, virtually on Saturday, March 13th at 7:00 PM via a Zoom Event!
"Like most annual events, we had the internal discussion of delaying the event or not holding it this year. However, like most other organizations that have board members, when you have a group of really talented and accomplished people they can come up with creative solutions! We decided that we would honor people that are remote and would typically have a difficult time attending a physical event on Long Island due to their soccer commitments,"
Here is the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame Class of 2021:
Alan Mayer - An All-American goalkeeper from Islip with a 16-year professional career from 1974 to 1992. He has been inducted into the Islip High School Hall of Fame; James Madison University Hall of Fame; Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame.
Michael Collins – a graduate from St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip and son of the late Mr. Peter Collins, the longtime President of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Collins was an electifying midfielder with a 17-year career spanning from 1980 to 1997 with over a dozen different indoor soccer teams from Buffalo to San Diego and a stint with the famous New York Arrows.
- Is the Head Women's Soccer Coach at Ohio State University. She played in the Massapequa Soccer Club for the well-known, Massapequa Falcons. The team and Coach, Peter Masatto were known throughout America for the talent on the team, as they were New York State and National Champions.
- She is a graduate of North Carolina where she was a member of four National Championship teams with a career goals-against average of 0.41, allowing only 10 goals in 2,206 minutes of play and holds a share of the NCAA tournament record with an amazing 0.00 GAA.
And the Paul LeSueur Ambassador Award, named after the late Executive Director of the LISPHOF, will be awarded posthumously to Gordon Bradley.
Gordon Bradley was an English-American soccer player and Coach born in Sunderland, England. He moved to and lived in Massapequa, where he became a leading North American Soccer League (NASL) coach who, among other accomplishments, coached the New York Cosmos in two of the three seasons that Pele' was with the team.
Bradley came to the United States in the 1960s after a professional playing career of more than 10 years in England. He was player-coach of the New York Ukrainians team that won the U.S. Open Cup in 1965 and the New York Hota team that won the U.S. Open Cup in 1971 (the latter while he was coaching the Cosmos at the same time).
He coached the Cosmos in the 1971 to 1975 seasons. After leaving the Cosmos, he was Vice President and Coach of the Washington Diplomats of the NASL from 1977 to 1980 and ranks fifth on the all-time list of NASL coaching victories with 114. Bradley became the only man to have coached Pele', Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff, three of the world's greatest players at that time.
Bradley also served as coach of the US Men's National Team (USMNT) for five games in the fall of 1973. In the last of those games, against Israel in Beersheba on Nov. 15, 1973, he placed himself in the U.S. lineup, becoming the only man ever to be player-coach of the U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT).
And, while doing all this, here on Long Island Gordon Bradley helped launch the Massapequa Soccer Club, The Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) Men's League, which then gave birth to the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) one of the first and largest youth soccer leagues in America.
"Gordon Bradley embodied the spirit of the Paul LeSueur Ambassador Award, as he was the ultimate Ambassador of the Game on Long Island and across the United States. His impact on Long Island's soccer history is immeasurable. As the Head Coach of the NY Cosmos, Gordon spread the Soccer Gospel to every part of Long Island. He gave countless clinics and talks and galvanized with his passion and personality. He not only helped start the Massapequa Soccer Club from scratch, but also the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). He was the most humble person and many of us are still in this great game, as a result of the influence of Gordon Bradley." Jim Kilmeade, Executive Director Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame.
Long Island Junior Soccer League President, Andrew Seabury said, "All of us at Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) are proud to work with the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame and be the name sponsor of their annual gala, honoring Long Island's rich soccer history and the amazing players from Long Island."
The Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame states that it has been created in order to honor the greatest players to come from and play on Long Island and to remind today's generation of the rich history of soccer here on Long Island.
"I am very honored and humbled to be inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame. Playing soccer enabled me to travel all throughout the United States and the World, and I was always very proud to say I was from Long Island. It is exciting to be inducted with Michael Collins, a friend and competitor during my soccer career, and I am especially honored to join my good friend Shep Messing who was an original inductee in the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame," said inductee Alan Mayer.
The LISPHOF's first class was in 2013 with Shep Messing, Kim Wyant, Chris Armas and the late Paul LeSueur, who would become the first Executive Director. Kim Wyant is the only female Head Soccer Coach of a Men's NCAA Soccer Team at NYU and is a LISPHOF Board Member.
"Today's generation of soccer players and administrators on Long Island are unaware of the amazing soccer history here on Long Island and at each of their clubs. The "Island" used to be one of the "hot beds" of soccer talent in America. NCAA Division I Coaches would come to Long Island in search of players. Many of the immigrant communities from around the world that settled in New York City and Long Island brought their love of soccer with them and we benefitted from that in so many ways. Unfortunately, today, many parents and families spend thousands of dollars in soccer training in the grand hopes that their child will get a college scholarship for soccer, which is less than 2% of all players," said LISPHOF Founder Kevin L. McCrudden. He continued, "…if it wasn't for the amazing immigrants that came to Long Island, like Mr. Peter Collins, Mr. Pat Reilly and Mr. Gordon Bradley that we are honoring this year, Long Island's soccer history would look a lot different."
"Playing Professional Soccer is an Honor and a Privilege. Play every game like it might be your last, as you never know when that last game will come. That's how I tried to play and live my life over my 17 years as a professional. That came from, Peter C. Collins my father and hero. God Bless," wrote class of 2021 inductee Michael Collins.