WASHINGTON, June 21, 2011 — Former soccer player and legendary local coach John Kerr, Sr. (1944-2011), passed away on June 19 at his home in North Carolina at age 67.
Kerr played for the New York Cosmos and the Washington Diplomats the North American Soccer League and later became a successful pioneer of soccer in the Washington D.C. area.
Born in Scotland, Kerr became a naturalized Canadian citizen and played ten times for Canada. His son John Kerr, Jr., played for the U.S. national team and is now the head coach at Duke.
Kerr began his professional career with Partick Thistle in Scotland. He emigrated to Canada and later signed with the Detroit Cougars of the NASL in 1968. In 1969, he joined the Washington Darts of the second division American Soccer League where he was a First Team All Star.
In 1972, Kerr became a member of the New York Cosmos where he played 36 games. He then played the 1976 and 1977 seasons with the Washington Diplomats, serving during the 1977 season as an assistant coach to Gordon Bradley.
Kerr later became well known in the Washington D.C. region as a coach. He took the amateur Fairfax Spartans to the 1986 National Amateur Cup.
He later coached the semi-professional Washington Stars in the American Soccer League. Noted players on the Stars team were Kerr’s son John, and Hall of Fame striker Bruce Murray. He coached the Stars until the team folded following the 1990 American Professional Soccer League season.
In 2008, Kerr was inducted into the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame.
Throughout the 1990s Kerr was the Major League Soccer’s Players Association executive director.
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