Lenarduzzi And Wilson Inducted To The National Soccer Hall of Fame

Two former Canadian internationals and veteran Whitecaps players Bob Lenarduzzi and Bruce Wilson are to be inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the United States.



Lenarduzzi, a Canadian defender-midfielder played more games in the North American Soccer League than any other man, 312, including 288 in the regular season and 24 in the playoffs. In the course of this achievement, playing in a league dominated by United States-based teams, he probably had more influence on American soccer than any other player ever who wasn’t an American citizen and never played for an outdoor American club.

Two former Canadian internationals and veteran Whitecaps players Bob Lenarduzzi and Bruce Wilson are to be inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the United States.



Lenarduzzi, a Canadian defender-midfielder played more games in the North American Soccer League than any other man, 312, including 288 in the regular season and 24 in the playoffs. In the course of this achievement, playing in a league dominated by United States-based teams, he probably had more influence on American soccer than any other player ever who wasn’t an American citizen and never played for an outdoor American club.



Lenarduzzi’s entire 11-season NASL career, from 1974 to 1984. was spent in his hometown with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He played in 35 games in the Whitecaps’ championship season of 1979 and more than 30 in five other seasons. Although primarily a defensive player, he did score 33 NASL goals. Lenarduzzi was an NASL North American all-star in 1978, ’79, ’81, ’82 and ’84.



Lenarduzzi won 47 full international caps for Canada. He played for Canada in both the 1984 Olympic Games and the 1986 World Cup finals, and was Canada’s national-team coach from 1992 to ’97. He played two seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League.



Wilson, a Canadian defender for several North American Soccer League teams who was one of the best North American players in the NASL’s history.



Wilson was a stay-at-home style of defender. Although his 299 games (276 regular season and 23 playoff) rank him second only to fellow Canadian Bob Lenarduzzi in NASL appearances, he scored only eight NASL goals. He played 11 seasons in the NASL, 1974-77 with the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1978 and ’79 with the Chicago Sting, 1980 with the New York Cosmos and 1981-84 with the Toronto Blizzard. He played at least 20 games in each of those seasons.



Wilson was an NASL all-star six times. Three of those were first-team selections, in 1977, when he was with Vancouver, 1979, when he was with Chicago, and 1984, when he was with Toronto. He also was an NASL North American all-star in 1979, ’82, ’83 and ’84. He was a member of the squad when New York won the NASL championship in 1980, and was runner-up in both 1983 and ’84 with Toronto.



Wilson was one of the best players Canada has ever produced and was capped 51 times. He played for Canada in the 1984 Olympic Games and the 1986 World Cup, in which he captained the Canadian team. In 1998, he was the lone Canadian player elected to a CONCACAF “team of the century.”



Carlos Alberto, Captain of the Brazilian Team that won the 1970 World Cup, and Ahmet Ertegun, one of the founders of the world famous New York Cosmos, head the Induction Class of 2003 into the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced nationwide tonight at halftime of the US v Mexico International Soccer Match in Houston, TX. “The North American Soccer League left an indelible mark on the American landscape,” Hall of Fame President/CEO Will Lunn stated. ”The Selection Committees had a difficult task as so many incredible individuals helped develop the NASL on and off the field. We salute the sixteen chosen and look forward to inducting them into the Hall of Fame at the ceremonies in Oneonta this October 12.”

Class of 2003 Players:



– Carlos Alberto (Brazil)

– Paul Child (England/USA)

– Karl-Heinz Granitza (Germany)

– Bob Lenarduzzi (Canada)

– Arnie Mausser (USA)

– Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe (South Africa)

– Alan Willey (England/USA)

– Bruce Wilson (Canada)



Class of 2003 Builders:



– Ahmet Ertegun

– Nesuhi Ertegun

– Steve Ross

– Ted Howard

– Elizabeth Robbie

– Joe Robbie

– Lee Stern

– Clive Toye

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