The Turf and Boards

Arena Soccer News, Features, Opinion

Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame

Mission
To forge a common history for the unique sport of indoor/arena soccer, to celebrate its past, and set the standard for future achievement.

Builders


Earl Foreman (2011) – Foreman co-founded the MISL in 1978 with Ed Tepper and served as commissioner until 1985 and returned for a second stint from 1989-1992. Foreman, a lawyer-turned-sportsman, previously had ownership at various times in the Baltimore Bullets, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Oaks/Washington Caps/Virginia Squires (ABA). Under Foreman’s leadership the MISL blossomed into a 14 team league averaging 9,000 a game with nationally televised games on ESPN and CBS.


Ed Tepper (2014) – Ed Tepper saw the potential indoor soccer had as a viable sport after he took in an exhibition match at the Spectrum in 1974 between the Philadelphia Atoms and Moscow Red Army. That game featured three 20-minute periods and 4’x16′ goals, but Tepper, along with Earl Foreman, set out to turn a demonstration sport into a professional league and in 1978 they launched the MISL. Tepper would go on to own the New Jersey Rockets and later launched the successful Philadelphia Kixx franchise.


Players


Steve Zungul (2011) – Known as The Lord of All Indoors, Zungul set just about every indoor soccer scoring record during his 11 year career. Zungul was to indoor soccer what Wayne Gretzky was to hockey. In 423 games he scored 652 goals, 471 assists and 1,123 points. He added another 189 points in 77 playoff games en route to winning eight championships with the New York Arrows and San Diego Sockers. Amongst his most impressive feats are his 108 goal season in 1980-81, a 76-game point scoring streak from 1978-81, and scoring three goals in 37 seconds in a game in 1982. He was named MISL MVP a record six times.


Stan Stamenkovic (2011) – Stan “The Magician” was perhaps the most skilled ballhandler in the history of indoor soccer. It was not uncommon to see Stamenkovic dribble through three players and then score one of his patented backheel goals. At 6′, 200lbs. Stamenkovic wasn’t a physical specimen, but defensive double teams could rarely contain him. Stamenkovic led the Blast to the 1984 MISL championship as the regular season MVP and playoff leading scorer. Three times Stamenkovic was voted as MVP of the MISL All-Star Game. Stan was 10th all-time in MISL scoring (542 points) despite just playing in 256 games. His career began in Memphis and he attempted a brief comeback with the San Jose Grizzlies. Less than two years later, on January 26, 1996, Stamenkovic tragically died in a fall at the age of 39.


Tatu (2011) – Antonio Carlos Pecorari, known as Tatu, or sometimes the Fantastic Armadillo, was the face of the Dallas Sidekicks for two decades. Playing for Gordon Jago on the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tatu began his famous custom of throwing his shirt into the crowd after every goal he scored. In 1984 he followed Jago to Dallas where he remained as a player and eventually a coach until 2003. Tatu won four championships with the Sidekicks, was third on the all-time MISL scoring list and second in the history of indoor soccer in points. Tatu’s popularity was important to the growth of indoor soccer and the long-time success of the Sidekicks. Tatu played one season for the Wichita Wings while the Sidekicks were transitioning from the MISL to the CISL.


Juli Veee (2011) – “Double deuce and triple E, the one and only Juli Veee” made an indelible mark on the Arrows and Sockers. Veee, born Gyula Visnyei, played just nine seasons indoor, but won six championships and scored 602 points in 263 MISL and NASL Indoor games. Veee was named MVP of the 1983 Championship and played in three All-Star Games. He earned four caps with the US National Team after becoming a US citizen.


Branko Segota (2011) – Often overshadowed by Zungul, Segota was the second all-time leading scorer in the MISL and won nine MISL championships with New York and San Diego and also won a 10th with the Las Vegas Dustdevils of the Continental Indoor Soccer League. Segota scored 463 goals, 378 assists for 841 points in 403 MISL games. He also played with the St. Louis Storm and Baltimore Spirit. He was born in what is now Croatia, but represented Canada in the 1986 World Cup.


Kim Roentved (2011) – Kim “the Rocket” was the highest scoring defender in MISL history. Roentved scored 504 points in 494 MISL regular season games with the Wichita Wings and Kansas City Comets. He played another 237 games in the NPSL with 124 goals and 189 assists giving 817 career points. Roentved was selected to play in a record 14 All-Star Games and was twice named the MISL Defender of the Year and once earned the same honor in the NPSL.


Victor Nogueira (2011) – The ageless goalkeeper from Mozambique enjoyed a career that spanned the NASL, MISL, and NPSL over parts of four decades before retiring at 45. Nogueira won 12 Goalkeeper of the Year awards, four MVP awards, and seven championships with the Sockers and Milwaukee Wave. Nogueira won 166 games in the MISL with Chicago, Cleveland, and San Diego and was the Wave’s all-time wins leader with 227. He held the MISL records for wins in a season (31) and GAA (2.86).


Kevin Crow (2011) – The only American born player in the inaugural class, Crow was the Sockers steady man in the back. Crow played 10 seasons with the Sockers, and won eight championships, five Defender of the Year awards, and was a six-time All-MISL First Team defender. He played 433 regular season games for the Sockers and earned 13 caps with the US National Team.


Preki (2013) – Preki was an instant indoor sensation when he came to the US at the age of 22 to play for the Tacoma Stars. He played nine seasons for the Stars, St. Louis Storm, and San Jose Grizzlies before embarking on a celebrated outdoor career in MLS and with the US National Team. Preki finished 7th all-time in the MISL in scoring with seven 40+ goal seasons. The Belgrade native topped the 50 goal plateau four times. Preki finished with 796 points in the MISL, where he was the 1988-89 MVP and CISL, where he was the 1995 MVP.


Kai Haaskivi (2013) – Haaskivi, the fifth leading scorer in MISL history, played for the Houston Summit, Cleveland Force, Baltimore Blast, and Cleveland Crunch in the MISL and the Edmonton Drillers in the NASL over a 14 year indoor career, totaling 817 regular season points. Haaskivi was a seven-time All-Star and four-time All-MISL 1st Team selection.


Zoltan Toth (2013) – Toth was overshadowed by Shep Messing in New York early in his career and by Victor Nogueira in San Diego late in his career, but in between he quietly put up some of the best goalkeeping numbers in indoor soccer history. Toth was first in MISL history in winning percentage at .667 on his career 168-84 record. His 4.03 GAA was also an MISL best. He finished fifth in wins. A two-time MISL Goalkeeper of the Year, Toth won seven championships with the New York Arrows and San Diego Sockers before finishing his career with the St. Louis Storm.


Brian Quinn (2013) – Quinn, who was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame, the highest honor for any San Diego athlete, was the engine for eight San Diego Sockers championships. Quinn, considered by some to be the greatest midfielder in indoor soccer history, was a six-time All-Star and two-time Championship Series MVP. Quinn’s 10 year career with the Sockers and Montreal Manic produced 346 points in 314 games. Quinn later joined the US National Team outdoors and succeeded Ron Newman behind the Sockers bench.


Mike Stankovic (2013) – Stankovic was Baltimore’s enforcer and, along with Kim Roentved, one of the MISL’s preeminent two-way players. Stankovic played 15 seasons with the Baltimore Blast and Baltimore Spirit and also played for the Wichita Wings and the NASL’s Dallas Tornado and Memphis Rogues. Stankovic played 424 games in the NASL and MISL scoring 453 points, and winning one championship. Stankovic was named to the MISL’s All-Decade Team in 1988 and later became a player/coach with the Spirit.


Slobo Ilijevski (2014) – Slobo Ilijevski, a goalkeeper who played most of his career in St. Louis, redefined the position in the 1980s, winning 20 or more games four times and appearing in six All-Star Games. Slobo, always one of the most popular and colorful indoor players, was third all-time in the MISL with 193 wins, and won four games in his final season with the NPSL’s St. Louis Ambush. Ilijevski passed away on July 13, 2008.


Erik Rasmussen (2014) – Erik Rasmussen was a forward nicknamed The Wizard, who made his name with the Wichita Wings. Rasmussen played just five seasons in the MISL, but scored 55 or more goals three times, surpassed the 100 point mark twice, and was the 1987-88 MISL Most Valuable Player. After returning to Denmark, Rasmussen had a second stint indoors in the late ’90s with the Wings and then the Baltimore Blast. Overall in eight seasons he played 320 games, scoring 376 goals and 296 assists.


Bruce Savage (2014) – Bruce Savage earned the nickname Shadow because of his tight man-marking skills. The 1986-87 MISL Defender of the Year was a three-time All-MISL First Team pick and a seven-time All-Star. Savage played seven years for the Baltimore Blast, winning a championship in 1984, and one year each with the Phoenix Pride and Atlanta Chiefs (NASL Indoor). Savage also made 16 appearances with the US National Team. Savage is only the second American-born player to be inducted into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame, joining Kevin Crow.


Dale Mitchell (2014) – Dale Mitchell scored 445 goals in 447 games in 11 seasons in the NASL Indoor and MISL with the Portland Timbers, Tacoma Stars, Kansas City Comets, and Baltimore Blast. Mitchell was a seven-time 40-goal scorer and a four-time MISL All-Star. He ranked third all-time in the MISL in goals and fourth in points. Mitchell had 55 caps with the Canadian National Team.


Fernando Clavijo (2014) – Fernando Clavijo, who was named on 20 of 24 ballots, played 11 years in the MISL and NASL Indoor, was a six-time All-Star, and two-time All-League First Team selection. The defender won four championships with the New York Arrows and San Diego Sockers and later coached the Seattle SeaDogs to a CISL title in 1997. In addition to his vibrant indoor career, Clavijo compiled 61 caps for the US National Team, has coached in MLS, and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.


Coaches


Ron Newman (2011) – A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Newman cemented his reputation by leading the Sockers to 10 titles in 11 years. His career record with the Sockers and Arizona Sandsharks was 371-223. In the MISL years his teams only lost one playoff series in nine years and carried an 80-37 playoff record. Newman only won the 1987-88 MISL Coach of the Year award, a surprising stat given that he was able to overcome adversity year after year to guide the Sockers to title after title. Newman also revolutionized how the game was played, adapting the sixth attacker, super power play and streamlined substitution techniques that put the Sockers on the cutting edge.


Kenny Cooper (2011) – Though Cooper began his indoor coaching career with the Houston Summit and ended with the Tampa Bay Terror, he will forever be recognized as the beloved coach of the Baltimore Blast. Cooper guided the Blast to five championship appearances, winning once in 1984. Cooper compiled a career record of 416-321, was the 1988-89 MISL Coach of the Year, and the MISL’s all-time leader in wins. His impact on the bench was undeniable, but as an ambassador for the game he helped move the Summit to Baltimore and blossom as a franchise. Cooper not only sustained the Blast’s popularity, but was instrumental in finding new ownership when the MISL folded. His legacy lives on as Baltimore has maintained an indoor team for 32 years.


Don Popovic (2011) – Popovic and his New York Arrows were the most dominant team in MISL history. They won the first four championships compiling a 114-26 record. Much of the success of the San Diego Sockers derived from the core group that originated in New York. Popovic would coach six MISL teams and never duplicated what his Arrows did, but found success in Las Vegas and St. Louis, sometimes reuniting with such players as Juli Veee and Zoltan Toth. Popovic finished with a career record of 256-155.
About Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame


Gordon Jago (2013) – Jago coached the Dallas Sidekicks and Tampa Bay Rowdies before moving to the Sidekicks front office and then serving as Commissioner of the World Indoor Soccer League. In 1987 Jago coached the Sidekicks to a championship against the Tacoma Stars in the most memorable seven-game series in indoor soccer history. He won the 1979-80 NASL championship with the Rowdies and led the Sidekicks to a CISL championship in 1993 finishing with a 259-223 overall regular season record. Jago’s legacy includes signing Tatu in Tampa Bay and bringing him to Dallas where he became an indoor soccer icon. Jago worked tirelessly off the field to keep the Sidekicks in Dallas and remained involved in the team as member of their broadcast team.