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Connecticut Soccer Hall Of Fame

Connecticut Soccer Hall Of Fame


David Caetano, Kerry Connors, John Inho, Kia McNeill, Des MacAleenan, Steve Stokoe, Pierre Venditti, John A. Vinci, Bob Wasserman

The link to all of the photos taken at the induction dinner is below.  You can download pictures to your computer, print if you would like and the name Photographer name will not show up.  To log into the gallery use your email address; to download enter pin 0128.

        JOHN VINCI

John Vinci has been serving West Haven’s youth soccer players and program since 1984. He coached U6-U23 (1984-2003) while also directing the WHYSL (1991-98) and serving as its vice president (1998-2000), district registrar (1993-98), and South Central District Representative (1998-2004). John became WHYSL president in 2000 and continues in that position today.  He was also an active USSF certified referee from 1991-2013. John has also been a long-time advocate for TOPSoccer in Connecticut, a recreational sports program for children and adults with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities offered only through local US Youth Soccer-affiliated soccer clubs. John received the Secretary of State Award for Public Service (2005), was recognized as ‘CJSA Volunteer of the Year (2017), and had the soccer field at Pagels Elementary School dedicated in his name (2008, “John A. Vinci and Michael J. Galbicsek Field”) for his volunteer service to the children of West Haven.


Bob Wasserman has been an accomplished youth coach in Connecticut after a decorated playing career. Bob was a two-time Junior College runner up as a player at Morrisville Junior College and a 1st Team All American (1978). He then attended the soccer power University of Evansville and was named their Most Dedicated Player (1979). Wasserman was a U.S. Under 20 Youth National Team selection (1977) and earned a silver medal playing for the U.S. Men’s Team in the World Maccabiah Games. He played professionally for New York United (ASL) and with multiple teams in the Connecticut Soccer League. Bob has coached both Farmington and Oakwood soccer clubs over the past 34 years, winning 10 Open Cup titles with Farmington and 7 State Cup titles with Oakwood, including one Region 1 Premier League championship. Wasserman also serves as a physical therapist and performance coach for Oakwood.

         JOHN INHO


John Inho was a dominant scorer at many levels in Connecticut soccer for years. As a senior captain at Hartford Public High School, John led them to the 1977 Class LL state championship and earned All State recognition. In 1979 Inho led Post College in Waterbury scoring 25 goals along with 25 assists, including a school record 5 goals in one game. He registered 30 goals and 27 assists in 1980 and still holds the two year scoring mark of 55 goals and 52 assists. John was a two-time All American at Post, earning first team recognition in 1980, and was named Post College Male Athlete of the Year (1980). He then played 20 years in the Connecticut Soccer League winning titles with the Hartford Portuguese and others, and represented the Connecticut All Stars.



Steve Stokoe was recruited to play soccer at Central Connecticut in 1986 and has been an outstanding player and coach in the state ever since. After 4 years at CCSU he played professionally for the Albany Capitals (90-91, APSL) and the Connecticut Wolves (93-94, USISL). He also served as head coach of the CT Wolves (1995-1996). Stokoe then founded the West Hartford Premier Soccer Club and coached for 14 years (1994-2008) earning 6 CT Open Cup titles. He became Director of Coaching for FSA in Farmington (2009-present) and led the program to 6 State Cup championships. His boys U13 FSA team became regional champions and the national runner up (2013). Most recently he led the CT Fusion of the United Women's Soccer League to the national title game (2021).



Kerry Connors was an All-NCCC, All-State (1991, 1992) and All New England (1992) player at Somers High School from 1989-1993. Connors then led UConn with 43 goals and 42 assists (1993-1996) while twice earning NSCAA All America honors (1995, 1996), Big East All Conference, Offensive Player of the Year (1995, 1996) and All Star (1995, 1996). She led UConn to a Big East regular season title (1995), the NCAA final four (1994), and 3 NCAA final eight appearances (1993, 1995, 1996). Connors also earned NEWISA All-New England (1993, 1995, 1996). UConn Club Outstanding Senior Athlete Award (1997), the Gelfenbien Family Academic Achievement Award (1996), and the Jack Dennerley Most Valuable Player Award (1995, 1996). Connors represented the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1997. Connors played professionally in WUSA for San Diego Spirit (2003), Philadelphia Charge (2002), New York Power (2001) and in WPSL for Boston Aztecs (2008), Mass Stingers (2004, 2006-2007), and New England Mutiny (2005) where she was selected as a WPSL All-Star. She also played USL W-League for the Boston Renegades (1998-2000) becoming league All Star (1998) and Division Most Valuable Player (2000). 


David Caetano played soccer at Danbury High School (1974-1978), was a 3x all state player (1975-78), and led his team to the state LL finals in 1977. His Ridgefield soccer club reached the national finals and he was selected to try out for the youth national team. Caetano was a 4-year player at University of Rhode Island (1978-1982) where he was selected as a New England all star 3 times. Caetano led URI over UConn in the 1979 NCAA tournament with a goal and assist in the dramatic 3-2 overtime victory. He played in the 1982 Senior Bowl and is still one of the all-time scoring leaders at URI. Caetano was the 6th player selected in the 1982 NASL draft by the legendary New York Cosmos. He went on to sign professionally for Benfica (1983) and Maritimo (1984) in Portugal. Dave returned to the United States and continued his professional career playing for the Canton Invaders (1984-85, AISA), Boston Bolts (1988, ASL), Albany Capitals (1989, 1990, 1991 ASL/APSL), and New York Kick (1991, NPSL). Caetano holds his U.S. National B and Portuguese Level 1 Coaching licenses and held coaching positions at Western Connecticut State University (1984-85) and Brookfield High School (2001-2003). He also organized and directed Caetano Pro Soccer School for 31 years (1981-2012). Caetano became the first player inducted into the Danbury High School Sports Hall of Fame (2006) and entered the New England Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012. 


Pierre Venditti was one of the most decorated youth players in Connecticut soccer history. At Jonathan Law High School, he was named Gatorade National Player of the Year (1994-95), NSCAA and Parade All American two times (1993-94, 1994-95) and All New England (1993-94, 1994-95). Venditti was the leading goal scorer for the U.S. Under 17 national team while playing CONCACAF competition in Cuba (1992) and U17 World Cup in Japan (1993). He was also a Under 20 National Team player. Venditti attended the University of Maryland and made 1st team All ACC (1997) and ACC Tournament MVP (1996-scoring the game winner against Virginia) while Maryland won the ACC for the first time (1996) and reached the NCAA four consecutive years (1995-1999). Pierre was honored one year when Milford proclaimed January 31st ‘Pierre Venditti Day’ and Venditti was inducted into the Milford Sports Hall of Fame in 2022.

       KIA McNEILL

Kia McNeill was a tremendous player from Avon, Connecticut. McNeill led Avon High School to 3 consecutive undefeated seasons and Class ‘M’ state championships (2001, 2002, 2003). She led Avon in scoring each of her 4 years while amassing 93 goals and was Class M Tournament MVP (2001, 2003), NSCAA High School All American (2002, 2003) and Connecticut Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2003). McNeill was a member of the US U16, U17 and U21 National Player Pool and played for the U.S. in Under 19 World Cup Qualifying. McNeill was a 4 year starter at Boston College and was the Big East Rookie of the Year (2004). She is 8th on BC’s all-time scoring list. McNeill played professionally for New England Mutiny (WPSL, 2005), Bay State Select (WPSL, 2007), Kristianstads DFF (2008, Sweden), St. Louis Athletica (WPS, 2009), Atlanta Beat (WPS, 2010), Philadelphia Independence (WPS, 2011), Rossiyanka (Russia, 2012), Boston Breakers (NWSL, 2013). She has since coached Brown University to 3 consecutive Ivy League seasons and championships (2019, 2021, 2022) earning Ivy League Coach of the Year twice (2019, 2021).

        DES MacALEENAN

Des MacAleenan is being inducted posthumously into the CT Soccer Hall of Fame. The Ireland native played college soccer at Central Connecticut State University (1988-92) before launching a tremendous international goalkeeper coaching career. He played professionally for the Connecticut Wolves (1992-1995) and Albany Alleycats (1996) and locally in the CT Soccer League for Hartford Polonia and Glastonbury Celtic. He began his coaching career with the Newington High School boys team before joining Trinity College as goalkeeper coach. From there, his career took off as he became goalkeeper coach for the NY/NJ Metrostars (MLS, 2002-2011), Al Hilal SFC Saudi Arabia (2011-2017), U.S. U18, U19 and U20 Men’s national teams, and the Colombia Men’s National Team (2019-2020). He was a coach at the 2017 and 2019 U20 FIFA World Cups. He coached many successful goalies, including U.S. internationals Tim Howard and Tony Meola.


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