Don Garber, Janeicia Neely and Lesle Gallimore honored at U.S. Soccer's AGM

MLS commissioner Don Garber received the Werner Fricker Builder Award, while Janeicia Neely and Lesle Gallimore received new awards at U.S. Soccer's AGM Awards Dinner that concluded the federation's annual meeting held this year in San Diego.

Garber, MLS's commissioner since 1999, received the 2022 Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is the federation's highest honor.

Garber arrived from the NFL midway through the 1999 MLS season and played a crucial role in first stabilizing the league and then overseeing the rapid expansion of the last 15 years. At its low, MLS had 10 teams after it folded Miami and Tampa Bay in 2001. It welcomed its 29th team, St. Louis City FC, last month and should award its 30th team later in the year.

The award is named for Werner Fricker, who served as U.S. Soccer president from 1984 to 1990. Fricker, a Philadelphia area builder, is widely credited for playing a major role in bringing the 1994 World Cup to the United States.

Werner Fricker Award Recipients
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
2020 Esse Baharmast
2022 Don Garber

• Kim Crabbe Game Changers Award. Janeicia Neely is the executive director for The 18th Ward, a New Orleans' youth development program. The award is named after Kim Crabbe, a pioneer in women’s soccer who became the first African American woman to play for the USWNT in 1986.

The award was established by Game Changers United, U.S. Soccer’s external Advisory Council focused on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) across all areas of American soccer.
• Carla Overbeck Leadership Award. Gallimore is the commissioner of the Girls Academy, the first person appointed to the position in 2020, and before that the women's head coach at the University of Washington, where she retired as the winningest coach in program history.

The honor is named after Carla Overbeck, the USWNT's captain when it won the 1996 Olympic gold medal and 1999 Women's Word Cup, and given to an individual who demonstrates a unique ability to lead and guide others.

Photos:  Kristian Carreon/ISI Photos.

2 comments about "Don Garber, Janeicia Neely and Lesle Gallimore honored at U.S. Soccer's AGM".
  1. Dan Woog, March 20, 2023 at 6:44 a.m.

    How great -- and well deserved -- to have an award named after the wonderful and pioneering Kim Crabbe!

  2. Richard White replied, March 20, 2023 at 8:12 a.m.

    Kim played for me when she was in high school. Kim has done so much for underprivileged children, on and off the pitch. It is quite appropriate that this award be named after Kim.
    Richard White 

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