Know a Soccer Builder, Help Them Get a Fricker Award

By Sean McCaffery, November 7, 2019

No, I did not mispell a curse word, the nomination time is now upon us for the US Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award. This tribute is given on an annual basis and is the highest of honors given out by US Soccer to a person(s), below are the criteria.

-Can be a person or group who is/are alive at time of nomination.

-Minimum of 20 years of service in Soccer.

     -Players may count their playing time, but must have continuted in the game following that.

-Their service must go above and beyond in such a way as to separate them from the crowd.

-One must have nurtured or begun programs or innovations that will outlive their time in the Beautiful Game.

-Their effforts must have a clear effect towards bettering the game at the national level.

Please submit nominations to or by snail mail ...USSF    C/O the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee    1801 S Prairie Av Chicago IL 60616. Financing is not avail. for postage. The form is at and is downloadable, any & all applications must be submitted by Nov. 15, 2019. 

The Werner Fricker Taskforce reviews these submissions and determines those so recognized. Members are selected by the Pres. of the USSF, then confirmed by the US Soccer Board of Directors. Appointees are made up of different representatives of US Soccer nationwide and previous Honorees. This is done on a yearly basis, open to all, it is award to just one winner annually, but there is no mandate to award each and every year.

Werner Fricker was the USSF President from 1984-1990, garnering much credit for his efforts in bringing the 1994 World Cup to the USA. Born in then Yugoslavia, and raised in Austria, his adulthood was spent in Philadelphia, and he was a top midfielder for the United German Hungarians there from 1954-'69 as well as a member of the 1964 US Olympic Team. 1992 saw him inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame, he passed in 2001 just 65 years young. His son, Werner Jr. received the first of these awards posthumously in the name of his father in 2002.

We are proud to know Werner Jr. as well having met 11 of the winners of this prestigious award, and anxiously await the naming of the next recipiente.

Fully one quarter of all named below are New Yorkers, a pair Long Islander. 

Past Winners:

2002: Werner Fricker Sr.

2003: Sunil Gulati.

2005: Gerhard Mengel.

2006: Sal Rapaglia.

2007: Francisco Marcos.

2008: Bob Gansler.

2009: Alan Rothenberg.

2010: Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia.

2011:Kevin Payne.

2012: Hank Steinbrecher.

2014: Richard Groff.

2015: Bruce Arena.

2016: Anson Dorrance.

2017: Mary Harvey.

2018: Tony DiCicco.

2019: April Heinrichs.