Seven icons have been selected for the 13th annual induction ceremony of the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame — and 2 are Staples soccer alumni.
Kyle Martino ’99 and Mike Noonan ’79 join 8 others already inducted with Westport ties at this year’s ceremony: Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Farmington Marriott.
Kyle — the 1998 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year — went on to register 17 goals and 21 assists in 3 years at the University of Virginia. ACC Rookie of the Year, a 2-time Hermann Trophy finalist and 2001 ACC Player of the Year, he was drafted by the Columbus Crew and in 2002 was MLS Rookie of the Year.
Kyle had a stellar 6-year career with the Crew and LA Galaxy, where he teamed with David Beckham.
He represented the US at the 2001 World Youth Championships in Argentina, and earned 8 caps for the men’s national team. Kyle scored against Panama in a 2006 World Cup qualifier.
He was an MLS and World Cup broadcaster for ESPN. Kyle now works for Fox Soccer Channel, and is a soccer blogger.
Mike played on Staples’ 1978 state championship team. A 4-year starter and 2-time 1st team All-American at Middlebury College, he played professionally in Sweden and with both the Major Indoor Soccer League and American Indoor Soccer Association.
Mike started the men’s soccer program at Wheaton College. He moved on to the University of New Hampshire, then Brown University.
In 15 years at Brown, Mike compiled a 160-77-31 record. He led the Bears to 10 NCAA tournament berths, including 2 quarterfinal appearances; 8 Ivy League championships, and the team’s highest national ranking ever (3rd) iin 1995.
Last winter, Mike moved to the ACC, as head coach of Clemson University. He also is a long-time NSCAA national staff coach.
Of the 102 members inducted since the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame was founded in 1999, 8 have Westport connections: Staples soccer program founder Albie Loeffler; longtime Westport coach and former college star Jim Kuhlmann; current Staples head coach Dan Woog; professional players Tim Hunter ’71 and Paul Hunter ’73; former Duke University NCAA national champion and current sports marketer Mark Noonan ’83, and Mickey Kydes, coaching director of the Westport Soccer Association.
Three others also have Westport connections, though weaker: Ray Reid, Pedro de Brito and Elvis Comrie all played with the famed Bridge Grille U-23 team of the late 1970s and early ’80s.
Of the 7 inductees in Kyle and Mike’s 2011 class this year, 3 others have Westport ties. Steve Waters is head coach of the Farmington High School team that defeated the Wreckers 2-1 in last fall’s state final; Paul Toomey (Coventry High School) was a University of Pennsylvania teammate of Peter Dickstein ’73, and Mark Holowesko was at the Staples-Simsbury state quarterfinal match this year, to watch his son play for the Trojans.
The 2011 ceremony on Jan. 29 begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $40; for reservations, call 860-676-1161.