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August 3, 2009

Fawcett, Agoos honored at Hall

ONEONTA _ The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted former U.S. National Team standout defenders Joy Fawcett and Jeff Agoos on Sunday inside its museum.

The 2009 Induction Ceremony, which also honored Alex Yannis as the Colin Jose Media Award winner, drew a crowd that Hall officials estimated at 500 and that included 11 returning Hall of Famers.

Shannon MacMillan introduced former teammate Fawcett, who played a key role as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team that won the first FIFA World Cup in 1991. Fawcett became the eighth player from the "91ers" inducted into the Hall.

Fawcett thanked U.S. Soccer for allowing her to play at the highest level of women's soccer while raising her three children, who attended the ceremony. Her speech, which ended the event, drew a standing ovation and the loudest cheers of the day.

Fawcett played for the U.S. from 1987-2004 and helped the Americans to World Cup titles in 1991 and 1999 and Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004.

Agoos thanked family and friends during his speech after being introduced by his father, Andy. Agoos also acknowledged several coaches who contributed to his Hall of Fame career highlighted by 134 international matches, World Cup appearances in 1998 and 2002 and a 10-year stay in Major League Soccer that helped produce three titles for D.C. United and two for the San Jose Earthquake.

Fawcett and Agoos each received red jackets that are reserved for Hall of Famers. Returning Hall of Famers Walter Bahr, George Brown, Chico Chacurian, Peter Collins, Rick Davis, Alex Ely, Harry Keough, Nick Kropfelder, Gene Olaff, Len Oliver and Bobby Smith also wore red jackets during the ceremony.

Yannis, who spent more than 35 years with The New York Times, was honored for exceptional soccer coverage in the United States.

First-year Soccer Hall President Jonathan Ullman delivered the opening remarks before turning the podium over to master of ceremonies Rob Stone, a soccer commentator who has been with ESPN since 1997.

___

P.J. Harmer can be reached at pharmer@thedailystar.com or (607) 432-1000, ext. 229.

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