Three individuals have been chosen for the USL Men's and Women's Hall of Fame Class of 2013. The lone inductee into the USL Men's Hall of Fame in 2013 is Charleston Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser (Coach), while Charlotte Lady Eagles President Pat Stewart (Builder) and former Hampton Roads Piranhas star Mercy Akide-Udoh (Player) will join the Women's Hall of Fame.
These individuals are being recognized for helping to make USL a success through the years because of their tremendous efforts and personal sacrifices made on behalf of the sport of soccer in North America. Additionally, the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO), Laredo Heat (PDL) and London Gryphons (W-League) are being honored as 10+ Clubs after having completed 10 years in their respective leagues.
The USL Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be inducted at the USL Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, December 13, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach. Honorees were chosen through a vote of current Hall of Fame members, USL teams and the USL Hall of Fame Committee.
2013 USL Men's Hall of Fame Inductee
Coach – Mike Anhaeuser, Charleston Battery
A former player and assistant coach with the Battery, Anhaeuser assumed the head coaching position in 2005 and has continued the remarkable success of his predecessors. Named Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2010, Anhaeuser has won two championships with the Battery (2010 and 2012). Anhaeuser's finest moment may have come in 2008, however, as the Battery advanced to the final of the U.S. Open Cup, becoming the only lower-division club to achieve that feat since the Rochester Rhinos' championship in 1999.
In addition to success on the field, Anhaeuser has helped develop young players such as Osvaldo Alonso, Ryan Richter, Lamar Neagle, Tom Heinemann and Alex Caskey, all of whom now feature in Major League Soccer.
2013 USL Women's Hall of Fame Inductees
Builder – Patrick Stewart, Charlotte Lady Eagles
Stewart has been an integral figure to the Eagles' success on and off the field since joining the club full-time in 2002. In addition to leading the club to success on the field, the Eagles have reached the W-League postseason six times in the past eight seasons. After advancing to the semifinals in 2006, the Lady Eagles reached the conference finals four consecutive years from 2009-12. Perhaps more importantly, Stewart has helped lead the club's off-field mission that has helped change the lives of many in inner-city Charlotte.
Player – Mercy Akide-Udoh, Hampton Roads Piranhas
One of the most indelible names associated with the Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach) Piranhas, Akide spent seven seasons with the club, helping it to a championship in 2003. Akide appeared in 73 regular season games with the Piranhas, tallying 44 goals and 16 assists. She was named MVP of the 2003 W-League Championship when she scored the winning goal in overtime.
Also widely recognized as one of the most famous and accomplished women's player to come out of Africa, Akide represented the Nigerian Women's National Team nearly 100 times and holds the record for most international goals scored by an African woman. She represented her country at three FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments, two Olympic Games and three African Women's Championship tournaments. She is also a three-time nominee for FIFA World Player of the Year and has been a two-time FIFA All Star. She earned NAIA All-American honors while playing with Milligan College, and became the first African woman to play professionally when she joined the WUSA's San Diego Spirit. Akide has been a youth coach with Beach FC in Virginia since 2008.
2013 USL 10+ Clubs
Harrisburg City Islanders
The City Islanders have been one of the more successful members of USL's professional divisions since joining the USL Second Division in 2004. After reaching the playoffs their first season and the semifinals their second, the City Islanders captured their only title in 2007 in only their fourth season. Overall they've reached the postseason eight times in 10 seasons, reaching the final again in 2010, and have posted a regular-season record of 95-66-53 in 10 seasons. Among the former City Islanders now playing in Major League Soccer are Sheanon Williams, who recently made his 100th appearance for the Philadelphia Union, and Tom Heinemann, while the club has been a proving ground for its MLS partner, the Philadelphia Union, with players such as Jack McInerney and Antoine Hoppenot among those to spend time on City Island.
Success has been a constant for the Laredo Heat, who have reached the postseason each of the past nine seasons. Since 2005 the Heat have captured six division titles and have never finished lower than second, compiling an overall record of 88-34-28 and reaching the title game on four occasions. Laredo reached the pinnacle in 2007, defeating the Michigan Bucks in penalties to capture the PDL title.
The Gryphons joined the W-League in 2004 and enjoyed success early, posting an 8-4-2 record in 2005 to fall a single point short of the playoffs. The mission of the Gryphons organization is its strong commitment to providing its players a world-class environment for soccer training focused on player development. The Gryphons have helped multiple players move on to achieve success, including current Indiana star Jessie Bujouves and former Hoosier Devon Beach.