Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame 10th Anniversary to Honor Pele'
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KINGS PARK, N.Y. - iSportsWire -- The Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame will hold its 10th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, NY.

Founder of the Soccer Player Hall of Fame, Kevin L. McCrudden says, "The Player Hall of Fame was created specifically to honor the best and most successful soccer players from Long Island.  We have such a rich history of soccer on Long Island because of our proximity to New York City, which is the cultural and soccer "melting pot" of America. Because people from all around the world brought soccer with them to America, it has enriched the soccer culture here on Long Island."

This year's class of 2024 is a perfect example of the cultural diversity of soccer on Long Island. There is a Haitian-born journeyman that played in the NASL, MISL and has been a long-time soccer trainer for Brentwood Soccer Club.  A Puerto Rican National Team player with a 15-year career with the Puerto Rican National Team, as well as playing briefly with the New York Cosmos and many years indoors. And one of the first female players to be named All-American at Hofstra University and go on to play locally for the Long Island Lady Riders. And, finally, arguably, the greatest player to ever play the game of soccer, Pele' from Brazil.

"I have wanted to induct Pele' into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame since we started 10 years ago, said McCrudden.  "Of all the places in the world that he could have lived, he lived and had a vacation home in The Hamptons on the East End of Long Island for almost 30 years. He had a massive influence on soccer in America and around the world, but he certainly had an impact here on Long Island." he concluded.

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Pele's daughter, Kely Nascimento Deluca wrote, "This is a wonderful honor. I am certain he would have been proud! Much heartfelt gratitude to the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame from the Nascimento family."

Class of 2024 inductee, inductee Sue Weber played High School Soccer in Islip and went on the become the first female soccer All American at Hofstra University.  She was named the CAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007.  Weber spent 4 years playing professional soccer with the Boston Breakers, Long Island Lady Riders and Philadelphia Independence.

Weber said, "My journey in soccer has given so much to me in my life on and off of the field.  It has been filled with coaches, teammates, and memories that have made all of my achievements possible.  I'm grateful to be included in the Hall of Fame among so many talented people."

In addition to Weber, are two journeymen that played soccer all across America in the 70's, 80's and 90's when the North American Soccer League (NASL) was creating soccermania in America. Haitian-born Frantz St. Lot had an extraordinary professional career with Tampa Bay, Memphis, Los Angeles and brief stints with the New York Arrows and New York Express, before becoming the long-time Director of Coaching at Brentwood Soccer Club.

Similarly, Mark "Marcos" Lugris had a lengthy professional career that started with the New York Cosmos in 1983 before having stints in Houston, Columbus, Dallas, Fort Wayne, Dayton, Toronto Canton and several other indoor teams.  He was also a mainstay of the Puerto Rican National team with 18 appearances over his career.  Helping the Puerto Rican National Team to its highest FIFA Ranking of 93rd and winning some extraordinary games. Lugris has been the long-time Director of Coaching at Northport Soccer Club.

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There will also be a special, posthumous tribute of Gus Xikis the long time President of the Long Island Soccer Footbal League. One of the oldest adult soccer leagues in America.  Xikis was a constant fixture in the adult men's soccer community for many years and a contributing factor the growth of the LISFL in recent years, as well as a beloved father and community leader.

"This class is such a great example of why it's important for us to recognize these amazing players for their accomplishments on the field. Their love and passion for soccer, as well as being exceptional at it, has enabled them to continue their careers in soccer by sharing, coaching and mentoring our youth players on Long Island and coaches to be better. Many of the people involved in youth soccer have no idea how talented some of these people are! Connecting the past with the present is also one of the goals of the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame," concluded McCrudden

Source: Motivate America, Inc.
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