[U.S. SOCCER] D.C. United President and CEO Kevin Payne received U.S. Soccer’s Werner Fricker Builder Award at its Annual General Meeting in Las Vegas.
The award is named after the late Werner Fricker, who served as U.S. Soccer president for six years (1984-90) and was instrumental in bringing the 1994 World Cup to the United States.
The honor is bestowed annually to an individual who has worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement.
Coincidentally, Fricker was responsible for getting Payne involved in soccer. Payne was a marketing executive in Vail, Colo., where Fricker, an avid skier, met him. Fricker hired him in 1989 as U.S. Soccer's deputy executive director.
In his role at D.C. United, Payne has overseen the most successful team in MLS history, the winner of four MLS Cups, four Supporters Shields, two U.S. Open Cups, the Concacaf Champions Cup, and the Interamerican Cup.
"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 served on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors for many years. He chairs the U.S. Soccer Technical Committee and the Task Force for Men's Player Development. A founding member of the MLS Board of Governors, he remains a member of that Board and the MLS Competition Committee.
“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 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