FAME FOR FOUR LI Soccer Player Hall of Fame to induct Messing, Armas, LeSueur, Wyant in its first class
Chris Armas starred for Adelphi University, the Long Island Rough Riders, LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire and U.S. National Team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Four former soccer players from Long Island will be the first inductees into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 9.
Former New York Cosmos and New York Arrows goalkeeper Shep Messing, former Major League Soccer standout and U.S. international Chris Armas, ex-Cosmos Paul LeSueur and one-time Long Island Lady Riders and U.S. women's international goalkeeper Kim Wyant will be honored at the Huntington Hilton.
”We have 50 years of some of the most well known players in America that came out of the early German-American League, Cosmopolitan League, the Long Island Soccer Football League and the Long Island Junior Soccer League," said Soccer Long Island Magazine publisher Kevin McCrudden, whose created the Hall. "I am thrilled to be working with the LIJSL and many others in the New York soccer community to celebrate Shep, Chris, Paul and Kim’s careers.”
The Hall was established in cooperation with the Long Island Junior Soccer League.
A quick look at the four inductees:
He backstopped the Cosmos during two tenures in his North American Soccer League career, the second time as a teammate of Pele of the Soccer Bowl '77 championship side. Messing, currently an MSG announcer for Red Bulls games, also was the goalkeeper for the New York Arrows' four Major Indoor Soccer League titles (1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982). He also played for the Oakland Stompers and Rochester Lancers in the NASL.
A graduate of St. Anthony's High School and a standout at Adelphi University (NCAA Division I All-American), Armas emerged as an impact player with the Long Island Rough Riders during their USISL championship season in 1995. He went on to star in Major League Soccer, first with the LA Galaxy before he was traded to the Chicago Fire, playing a key role on their 1998 MLS Cup winning side. In the Windy City, Armas continued to forge his reputation as the prototypical defensive midfielder, defining that position. Armas was voted to the MLS XI five times. He also made 66 international appearances with the U.S. National Team. He coaches the Adelphi women's team.
He was one of the first Americans to play for the Cosmos in 1972-73 and was a member of the team's 1972 NASL championship team and was teammate of Messing. LeSueur also went on to win several amateur national titles before serving in the front office with the New York Power in the Women's United Soccer Association a decade ago. LeSueur is athletic director at the Waldorf School in Garden City, N.Y.
An LI transplant to Long Island from Florida, Wyant distinguished herself as the first goalkeeper of the U.S. Women's National Team. She starred for the Lady Riders, earning W-League all-star recognition as the best keeper in the league, helping the team to a pair of league titles (1995, 1997) . She also served as the club's general manager.
“I think it’s fitting that two members of our first class are former Cosmos with the rebirth of the Cosmos here on Long Island," McCrudden said.
The Hall of Fame dinner has limited seating. There will be opportunities to meet the Hall of Famers and get autographs during the day on Saturday, March 9. More details will be forthcoming with times and locations.
For more information contact, McCrudden via email at SoccerLIMagazine@gmail.com.