January 27, 2017
FINDING SOME FAME
Harkes inducted into New Jersey Youth Hall
EAST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Former U.S. national team captain John Harkes was inducted into the New Jersey Youth Soccer Hall of Fame at the organization's 29th annual awards dinner last Friday.
In addition to honoring Harkes, the event recognized the accomplishments of New Jersey’s most successful youth players, coaches and volunteers from the past year.
"I am incredibly honored to be recognized by New Jersey Youth Soccer and to be inducted into its Hall of Fame,” Harkes said. “Growing up in New Jersey and playing ODP created so many opportunities for me to grow and become the player and person I am today. I am forever grateful to be connected to soccer in this great state."
A product of one of New Jersey’s most storied soccer communities -- Kearny, N.J. -- Harkes rose through the youth soccer ranks to achieve massive success as a club, high school and New Jersey Olympic Development Program player. He led his Thistle FC and Kearny High School teams to championship greatness before continuing his career as a player at the University of Virginia and D.C. United (Major League Soccer).
Harkes became the first American to play in the English Premier League. The National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee was also an integral part of the U.S. national team sides that competed in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.
He was named the 1984 Parade Magazine High School player of the year and also played on a New Jersey ODP side that featured fellow Kearny Thistle teammates Tab Ramos and Tony Meola, forming a triumvirate of New Jersey players who anchored the national team for several years. While playing at the Virginia, Harkes was also the recipient of the 1987 MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top player in collegiate soccer.
Harkes joined Ramos and Meola as members of the New Jersey Hall.