The Texas Soccer Walk of Fame is a monument to Texas soccer history at Toyota Stadium and Toyota Soccer Center. It includes commemorative markers with plaques recognizing members of the soccer community and key events that have been instrumental in helping build the sport of soccer in Texas.
This unique landmark is not only a tribute to those who have dedicated much of their lives to the sport of soccer, but is also a point of historical interest for all fans visiting the facility.
2005 Inaugural Class
Lamar Hunt has been a soccer pioneer for four decades. In 1967, as one of the original investors of the North American Soccer League, he founded the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club. Almost 30 years later he became a charter investor of Major League Soccer. Regarded as the father of modern professional soccer and soccer-specific stadiums in the United States, he is a member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame, a recipient of the National Soccer Hall of Fame Medal of Honor and the U.S. Soccer Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gordon Jago’s life has been devoted to the game as a player, coach and administrator. He came to Dallas as head coach of the Dallas Sidekicks, leading the team to three indoor championships and earning three Coach of the Year honors. Thereafter, he became Commissioner of the WISL and Executive Director of the highly regarded Dallas Cup.
A native of Dallas, Carla Overbeck was the captain and MVP of the 1999 US Women’s National Team that captured a second World Cup. She played in a record 63 consecutive international soccer games, more than any U.S. male or female player, and had 168 total appearances. She retired in 2000 as a leader of the most dominant team in the history of American team sports.
In 1973, Bill Kinder formed the Sting Soccer Club in response to increasing interest in the women’s game and went on to coach numerous Sting teams to regional and national championships over several decades. His contributions significantly impacted women’s soccer not only in North Texas, but throughout the United States.
Kyle Rote, Jr.
While many were watching the NASL’s international stars, Kyle Rote, Jr. was proving that Americans could play the game, too. In 1973, he was the NASL’s scoring leader with 30 points. In seven years (six with the Dallas Tornado and one with the Houston Hurricane), he scored 128 goals. He was equally famous for his domination of the “Superstars” show on TV, consistently topping athletes from other sports.
Antonio Pecorari, or Tatu, emigrated from Brazil and signed with the Dallas Sidekicks in 1984. Nearly two decades later, he retired from the indoor game after recording a phenomenal 736 goals, 672 assists and 1,408 points in 557 games. He won league MVP awards six times, and after retirement he went on to also earn a Coach of the Year award.
A distinguished coach who led the Dallas Tornado to the NASL Championship in 1971, Ron Newman coached the Tornado for seven years from 1969 to 1975, claiming Division titles in 1973 and 1974. Before he began coaching, Newman had an illustrious playing career in England and the NASL. He won a total of 13 championship rings as a head coach and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.
Jeff Agoos was an area high school soccer legend who later went on to earn 134 caps for the National Team and represent the U.S. at the 2002 World Cup. He starred at J.J. Pearce High and went on to become a four-time All-American at the University of Virginia before becoming a marquee player in MLS. He won the MLS Cup a record five times – three with D.C. United and two with San Jose.
Kenny Cooper, Sr.
A former Dallas Tornado goalkeeper, Kenny Cooper, Sr. has contributed to the growth of soccer as both a player and coach. His nine-year career with the Tornado produced a team record 52 shutouts and an NASL Championship in 1971. He went on to a 15-year MISL coaching career that included a championship with the Baltimore Blast before returning to Texas to serve as an ambassador for the sport of soccer.
As a college coach, Schellas Hyndman assumed the reigns of the SMU soccer program in 1984 and went on to become the winningest coach among all sports at SMU. In more than two decades on the Hilltop, he proved to be one of the all-time great collegiate soccer coaches, never having a losing season and ranking second in career victories among men’s Division One soccer coaches. Hyndman assumed the FC Dallas reigns in 2008 and has already established himself as a coach committed to bringing a championship to Pizza Hut Park.
Neil Cohen was a Dallas-born graduate of Bryan Adams High School and first-team Texas High School All-American who played eight seasons in the NASL, including five with the Dallas Tornado. He earned one cap with the U.S. National Team and became the first player to represent his country at all three levels: Youth, Olympic and National Teams. He also played six seasons in the MISL, including one with the Dallas Sidekicks.
Bobby Moffat started his professional career with Portsmouth FC in England in 1961 before spending nine years with the Dallas Tornado, winning the NASL Championship in 1971. Moffat became a seminal figure in the development of youth soccer in North Texas after moving to Dallas permanently in 1970. His camps have helped thousands of young players develop their skills.
The first head coach in SMU men’s soccer history, Jimmy Benedek led the Mustangs to four NCAA tournament appearances. An All-American player at Ithaca College, he logged four caps with the U.S. National Team and was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team and Pan American Team. Benedek played six seasons in the NASL, including four with the Dallas Tornado, and also coached the women’s team at North Lake College from 1999-2008.
2009 Historic Events
Additionally, four more markers were installed in 2005 recognizing key events in Texas soccer history. The historical monuments included the acknowledgment of the following events:
The 1987 Dallas Sidekicks MISL Championship
Known forever in Dallas as the “Never Say Die” season, the Dallas Sidekicks defeated a heavily favored Tacoma Stars squad to win the 1987 MISL Championship. Down three games to two in a best-of-seven series, the Sidekicks won the final two games 5-4 and 4-3 respectively, both in overtime and both in front of sold-out arenas in Tacoma and Dallas.
The 1997 Dallas Burn U.S. Open Cup Championship
In October 1997 the Dallas Burn won their first title as they topped DC United to win the US Open Cup Championship. After 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, which featured dazzling saves by Burn goalie Mark Dodd, the Burn claimed a 5-3 penalty kick victory. Jorge “Zarco” Rodriguez clinched the win with the Burn’s fifth consecutive penalty kick tally.
The August 6, 2005 opening of Pizza Hut Park
August 6, 2005, marked a historical day in soccer as the largest, most comprehensive soccer facility in United States history – Pizza Hut Park – made its debut. Featuring a 20,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium, coupled with 17 regulation size, tournament grade soccer fields, this 140-acre facility officially opened its doors as FC Dallas battled the MetroStars to a 2-2 draw.
The Tornado’s 1971 NASL Championship
Despite losing the first game 2-1 in overtime to the Atlanta Chiefs, this best-of-three Championship series was far from over. The Dallas Tornado dominated the second game at home 4-1, and captured the third and decisive game in Atlanta, winning 2-0. The Tornado’s NASL Championship marked the first professional Championship ever won by a Dallas team.
Richard “Dick” Hall
Hall has been a prominent figure on the North Texas soccer scene for more than four decades. In 1970, he moved to the U.S. from England to sign with the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League. In seven years with the Tornado he earned several league All-Star honors. After gaining his U.S. citizenship, Hall made four appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team between 1973 and 1975. While playing on the professional and international level, Hall still took time to mold the game’s future generations of players. In 1971, he became the boy’s soccer coach at Greenhill School in Addison. Under Hall’s leadership, the Greenhill School’s varsity teams have earned more than 500 wins and 15 Southwest Preparatory Conference titles. Hall also spent more than 20 years as a coach with the Longhorn Soccer Club in North Texas.
Former Dallas Burn star Oscar Pareja came to Dallas in 1998 and was immediately a fan favorite and a fixture on the pitch. Pareja directed the attack on opposing defenses for years in the Burn midfield, accumulating 13 goals and 52 assists in 189 games. After hanging up his cleats in 2005, Pareja began a distinguished coaching career with included a stint with the U-17 National Team before becoming Director of the FC Dallas Academy. As part of the Academy, Pareja was instrumental in creating The FCD Way, a comprehensive youth curriculum that will impact generations of young soccer players to come.
Side note: Pareja was inducted before becoming Rapids, FCD, Xolos, and ORL head coach.
Longtime player for both the Dallas Burn and FC Dallas, Bobby Rhine left his mark on the sport of soccer through this achievements on the field (212 games played, 23 goals, and 34 assists); his days coaching in the FC Dallas Youth system; and as the enduring voice of the club, serving as team broadcaster after retiring from the sport in 2008. Rhine was an ambassador for the sport in the truest sense, and his impact will be felt forever by the people with whom he shared his love for the beautiful game.