U.S. Soccer to Honor and Celebrate First 100 Years

U.S. Soccer Centennial Week Marked by New York Stock Exchange Bell Ringing, Soccer Event in Times Square, Press Conference at New York City Hall, Lighting the Empire State Building and WNT Watch Party at Nevada Smiths

CHICAGO (March 29, 2013) – In commemoration of its 100th anniversary, U.S. Soccer today announced plans for a weeklong celebration in New York City – the birthplace of the Federation – which will culminate on April 5, the exact date the U.S. Soccer charter was signed back in 1913.

U.S. Soccer Centennial Week will span from Tuesday, April 2, through Friday, April 5 and is a continuation of a year-long celebration honoring the history of the game with a focus toward the future. Numerous U.S. Soccer representatives will be present during Centennial Week to help celebrate the momentous occasion, including U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Others on hand include current U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd and a number of U.S. Soccer’s most recognizable and accomplished former players, including Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Michelle Akers, April Heinrichs, Walter Bahr, Tab Ramos, John Harkes and possibly more.

An organization only has one opportunity to celebrate 100 years of existence, and U.S. Soccer has several activities planned to commemorate the important anniversary. Below are some of the activities that will take place during the week. Make sure to follow U.S. Soccer via Twitter @ussoccer and on Facebook for new updates directly from New York City. U.S. Soccer is encouraging everyone to be part of the celebration on Twitter @ussoccer by using the hashtag #100Years.

New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell
U.S. Soccer will have the honor of ringing the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell at 4 p.m. ET. Sunil Gulati, Jurgen Klinsmann and Carli Lloyd are scheduled to ceremonially close the market on Tuesday. Be sure to check U.S. Soccer’s social channels for photos from the bell-ringing.

2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Class
U.S. Soccer and the National Soccer Hall of Fame will announce the 2013 Induction Class in the Player, Veteran and Builder categories. A second round of voting in the Player category occurred after none of this year’s 22 candidates collected the necessary 66.7 percent of the ballots to be inducted. The five players who received the most votes in the first round were eligible for the second ballot, and include Chris Armas, Marco Etcheverry, Shannon MacMillan, Joe-Max Moore and Cindy Parlow.

U.S. Soccer in Times Square
U.S. Soccer is putting on a special event for fans and supporters in Times Square (specifically, the Fence Island space) on Broadway between 45 th and 46th streets. All day, fans will be able to: play soccer on a small-sided field; sign their name and make a pledge to the future of U.S. Soccer; take pictures with the 1991 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup trophies; and share their favorite soccer stories with U.S. Soccer. Representatives from U.S. Soccer – including Gulati, Klinsmann, Lloyd, Lalas and many more – will be on hand throughout the day playing soccer and chatting with fans. Follow U.S. Soccer’s social channels leading up to the event to get updates on event details and which U.S. Soccer representatives will be in attendance at which times.

Press Conference at New York City Hall
U.S. Soccer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office will hold a joint press conference in the morning to honor U.S. Soccer’s Centennial. Howard Wolfson, the Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs and Communications, and Sunil Gulati, President of U.S. Soccer, will speak about the influence U.S. Soccer has had on the sport during the past 100 years.

There is great significance to holding the press conference at New York City Hall as just across the street once stood a luxury hotel called The Astor House – on Broadway between Vesey and Barclay streets – which is where the U.S. Soccer charter was signed in 1913.

U.S. Soccer Lights the Empire State Building
Following the press conference at New York City Hall, U.S. Soccer will continue to honor its Centennial by participating in one of New York City’s finest traditions – lighting the top of the Empire State Building. Fans should make sure to get a glimpse of the Empire State Building and see it shine red, white and blue.

Women’s National Team Watch Party at Nevada Smiths
To close-out Centennial Week, U.S. Soccer will toast to its 100th anniversary at the mecca of places to watch soccer in New York City, Nevada Smiths. Fans are invited to the famous Official U.S. Soccer Bar to hang out with some of U.S. Soccer’s most recognizable faces and watch the U.S. Women’s National Team match against Germany starting at 12:15 p.m. ET. The match is live on ESPN3.com.

“The Centennial has allowed us to share stories about people, events and moments that have truly contributed to U.S. Soccer’s success through these first 100 years,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Celebrating in New York City – where 100 years ago a group of visionaries came together to pave the way for soccer in the United States – is truly merging our past with the present, while demonstrating a 100 percent commitment to the future of the game and our organization in the U.S. We hope that our membership, fans and supporters take a moment during the week to reflect on the first 100 years of U.S. Soccer and imagine all the things we can accomplish in the next 100 years.”

The Centennial celebration truly began last Friday, March 22, when the U.S. Men’s National Team debuted vintage jerseys – produced by Nike and inspired by U.S. Soccer’s original 1913 design – in a 1-0 win against visiting Costa Rica in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match. The men wore the jerseys again this past Tuesday against rival Mexico, where the team earned a valuable point in a 0-0 draw. The U.S. Women will wear the Centennial jersey for the first time when they take on Germany on Friday, April 5.

After Centennial Week, fans can look forward to more Centennial events throughout 2013, including a unique celebration on June 2 when the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams will both play matches back-to-back live on the ESPN family of networks. The U.S. Men will take on Germany at 2:30 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas, while the U.S. Women take on Canada at 4:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field in Toronto, live on ESPNews.

The Centennial celebration will continue throughout the year at all Men’s and Women’s games, including the MNT’s four remaining FIFA World Cup home qualifying matches in Seattle (June 11), Salt Lake City (June 18), Columbus (Sept. 10) and Kansas City (Oct. 11).

Additionally, ussoccer.com is displaying historic content with never-before-seen photos, unique videos and engaging interviews that celebrate the sport’s history in the United States. Later this year, fans can look forward to a commemorative book featuring articles, interviews and photos from U.S. Soccer’s archives.

Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for 100 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been clear and simple: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com .

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