Black History should be celebrated every day, not just in February. So in the month of May, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and acknowledge the great accomplishments that many great black men and women have made in the game of soccer over the last 30 years.
Keith Tucker starts America’s first Soccer Start program based in the Washington, DC region. That same year Tucker’s Howard University defeats Bruce Arena’s University of Virginia in the NCAA soccer tournament, eventually losing to Indiana University 1-0 in the NCAA finals.
Kab Hakim starts America’s first female collegiate soccer program at an HBCU, Howard University, in the team’s first game they tied American University 1-1
Clint Peay becomes the first African-American player to play under Bruce Arena, eventually winning 4 NCAA National Championships during the University of Virginia’s reign.
Desmond Armstrong becomes the first African-American to play for the US Men’s National team in the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.
First black collegiate cup competition is formed by Keith Tucker, Howard University and Clyde Watson, University of District of Columbia called the Ted Chambers Cup.
Howard University Women’s soccer team records first win by an HBCU over NCAA opposition when Howard defeats Trinity College 3-0.
Houston, TX establishes largest inner city recreation soccer program with 5000 participants.
Lincoln Phillips does first soccer clinic for inner city black players at RFK stadium to be televised globally through RAI (Italian TV) in preparation for Italian Super Cup match between Roma and Torino.
Earnie Stewart becomes first non-American born black player to play for the US Men’s National team.
Earnie Stewart, Desmond Armstrong, and Cobi Jones become the first black players on the US Men’s National team to defeat European nation when they defeat Ireland 3-1 at RFK stadium in Washington, DC in front of 36,000+ fans at US Cup ’92.
Phillip Gyau becomes first black American to play professionally in a top European league at the Division 1 level with Genk in Belgium.
Tammy Pearman becomes the first black female player to play in the NCAA Division 1 Championship game when she plays for George Mason against University of North Carolina.
Lincoln Phillips becomes US Men’s National team’s first black Goalkeeper coach.
Soccer in the Streets is founded by Carolyn McKenzie.
DC Scores begins as America Scores first program dedicated to providing literacy with soccer in the inner cities, based in Washington, DC.
Howard University is granted varsity status becoming the first black women’s NCAA program to gain that status. Michelle Street is appointed head coach.
Shaka Hislop becomes first black college soccer player in America to play in England’s Premier League with Newcastle United.
Brianna Scurry and Danielle Slaton become first black females to win Olympic Gold medals for US Women’s National team.
Sheldon Phillips becomes the first black venue Director during the 1996 Olympics, responsible for soccer operations in Birmingham, Alabama, host city of the largest soccer crowd for a women’s soccer match in the USA when 90,000 attended the 1996 Olympic Women’s soccer Gold medal match.
Brianna Scurry becomes the first black female to win the Women’s World Cup as an active participant (starting Goalkeeper)
Lincoln and Sheldon Phillips establish the first black team in American professional soccer with Maryland Mania of the A-League.
Clyde Watson becomes the first black coach (Assistant) to win a professional women’s league title with the WUSA’s Washington Freedom.
At the age of 14, Freddy Adu becomes the youngest black player to play professionally in the US in all of professional sports since 1887. He also became the youngest player to score a goal in MLS.
Freddy Adu signs the largest endorsement deal ever given to an American soccer player when he signed a $1 million deal with Nike.
Alex and Angel Ughiovhe become the first brother and sister to play NCAA Division 1 college soccer together at the same institution when they played and captained Howard University men’s and women’s, respectively.
Shaka Hislop becomes the first player from an HBCU to play in the World Cup finals representing Trinidad & Tobago.
Hislop becomes the first black player from the US to play in a FA Cup Final when he was in goal for West Ham United vs Liverpool.
At the age of 16, Adu becomes the youngest African-American player to play for the US Men’s National team when he played in a friendly against Canada.
Kendall Reyes becomes the first black coach to be appointed as an National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) State Technical Coordinator.
Devon Payton becomes the first black coach to win a national championship in US Futsal Federation.
Victor McFarlane and Brain Davis become the first black owners of an MLS franchise with DC United.
Denis Hamlet becomes the first black head coach in MLS with the Chicago Fire.
Ed Foster-Simeon becomes President and CEO of US Soccer Foundation.
Christen Press becomes the 1st African-American female soccer player to win the Hermann Trophy
Lebron James becomes the 1st African-American stakeholder in a major professional European soccer club with a 2% stake in the Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club.
Steve Hightower becomes minority stakeholder in United Soccer League’s FC Cincinnatti.
Lincoln Phillips and Howard University Men’s soccer become the feature of the first ever soccer movie in America to be produced by Spike Lee for ESPN films. The movie documentary of Howard’s famous NCAA title winning seasons of 1970 and 1974 was aired in June.
Keidane McAlpine becomes the first American born black head coach to win the NCAA’s Division 1 women’s national championship.
Brianna Scurry is the first African-American female soccer player to be inducted into the US soccer Hall of Fame.