Washington D.C., February 14, 2011 — D.C. United president Kevin Payne, was honored at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting in Las Vegas this past weekend as the recipient of the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award. The honor is bestowed annually to an individual who has worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer.
The award is named after Werner Fricker, who is credited for his role in bringing the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States.
Payne has been at the helm of United since the club’s inception in 1996 and has seen the team win four MLS titles and eight other major trophies.
“Kevin has been at the forefront of the game for more than 20 years,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “His vision, leadership and commitment have contributed significantly to the progress we have made in the sport in this country. He has devoted his career to advancing soccer, and he is certainly deserving of this honor.”
Payne has also served on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors for many years and chairs the U.S. Soccer Technical Committee and the Task Force for Men’s Player Development. He is a founding member of the MLS Board of Governors and is also a Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
At United, Payne helped found the charitable arm of team, United for D.C., which includes reading programs for children in the D.C. area.
Payne, who started his career as radio journalist in New York City, often said that his goal at United was to win titles and serve the community.
“Werner Fricker was very important to me,” said Payne. “He brought me into U.S. Soccer originally and was a man I admired greatly. As this award recognizes individuals for their work in building our sport on a national level, I am deeply honored to have been chosen and proud to join the previous winners of the Werner Fricker Builder Award.”
Werner Fricker himself was honored posthumously with the inaugural award in 2002.
The President of U.S. Soccer appoints a selection committee to review the nominations and select a winner.
WERNER FRICKER AWARD
2002 Werner Fricker, Sr.
2003 Sunil Gulati
2005 Gerhard Mengel
2006 Sal Rapaglia
2007 Francisco Marcos
2008 Bob Gansler
2009 Alan Rothenberg
2010 Bob Contiguglia
2011 Kevin Payne
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