Recognised for his work and service in promoting soccer in the US
US Club Soccer CEO/Executive Director Kevin Payne will be among 11 inductees this year into the DC Sports Hall of Fame. The group includes Olympians, pro football and pro hockey stars, NCAA champion college coaches, the defending Stanley Cup champions Washington Capitals and more. The entire class, representing eight sports, will be honoured before a Washington Nationals home game on June 23.
Payne’s career includes more than 25 years of high-profile, executive leadership positions with U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer. He was instrumental in establishing D.C. United in Major League Soccer and in the Washington sports market. Payne served as the organisation’s first president, led the team to four MLS Cup championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004), a CONCACAF Champions Cup (1997), three U.S. Open Cups (1996, 2008, 2013) and the Supporters’ Shield four occasions (1997, 1999, 2006, 2007). Payne also served as a Board Member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (1999-2014), and is the Vice Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation (1999-present).
In 2011, Payne was awarded the Werner Fricker Builder Award by the U.S. Soccer Federation for creating or fostering programs “that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States.” Four years later, Payne was inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition.
“Being part of this 2019 class inducted into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame is a tremendous honour,” Payne says. "I can’t really express my appreciation to the players, coaches, staff, and especially the supporters who made DC United the standard bearer for MLS Soccer during my time as President and CEO. It was a very special time, and this recognition brings many great memories back into clear focus for me and my family, who deserve most of any credit that has been given to me over the years.”
The 2019 Hall of Fame class also includes the following individuals:
- Andrew Beyer, Washington Post horse racing columnist
- Tom Brown, former professional football and baseball player
- Sasho Cirovski, University of Maryland men’s soccer coach
- Tom Dolan, U.S. Olympic swimming champion
- Danny Ferry, former professional basketball player
- Ray Flaherty, late Washington Redskins coach
- Charles Mann, Washington Redskins Pro Bowl defensive end
- Cathy Reese, University of Maryland women’s lacrosse coach
- Allie Ritzenberg, late tennis instructor and player