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USMNT Jan 25, 2017

John Harkes inducted into NJ Youth Soccer Hall of Fame

EAST WINDSOR, N.J. (Via NJ Youth Soccer) – John Harkes, widely acknowledged as one of U.S. Soccer’s greatest players ever, was inducted into the New Jersey Youth Soccer Hall of Fame this past Friday night at their 29th Annual Awards Dinner. 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 stated. “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.”

John Harkes Inducted into NJ Youth Soccer Hall of Fame

A product of one of New Jersey’s most storied soccer communities, Harkes rose through the youth soccer ranks to achieve massive success as a club, high school and New Jersey Olympic Development Program (ODP) player. A native of Kearny, he led his Thistle FC and Kearny High School teams to championship greatness before continuing his title-winning career as a player for the University of Virginia and D.C. United of Major League Soccer.

A pioneering figure in American soccer history, Harkes received international acclaim when he 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. Men’s National Team sides that competed in the FIFA World Cup in 1990 and 1994.

Before embarking upon his professional career, Harkes earned many of soccer’s most significant accolades. He was named the 1984 Parade Magazine High School Player of the Year, and he 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 would eventually anchor the U.S. Men’s National Team for over a decade. While playing at the University of Virginia, Harkes was also the recipient of the 1987 MAC Hermann Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in collegiate soccer.

With his induction this past Friday night, Harkes now joins his former teammates Ramos and Meola as members of the New Jersey Youth Soccer Hall of Fame.

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