1. How has soccer impacted your life?
Soccer has been a part of my life since I was a young kid, at a time when very few of those born in the United States played soccer. Through refereeing, I have travelled to some pretty exotic places around the world, been an eyewitness to history––the 1991 failed military coup in Moscow––and had the great honor of carrying the Olympic torch. And since soccer is the world’s game, it’s the ultimate icebreaker when meeting many people for the first time.
2. What inspired you to become a fundraiser for the Foundation?
I spent much of my time from 1980 to 2001, while a college student and in the early stage of my business career, in Manhattan. There are not many soccer fields there or in many other urban locales. Yet many people who live in cities and other areas with a large number of people are immigrants who are passionate about soccer and some of those living in these areas, no matter where they were born, are quite poor. With the U.S. Soccer Foundation providing places to play and programs to participate in underserved communities, soccer becomes an invaluable weapon against gangs, drugs and obesity.
3. How do you plan to inspire others to support your campaign?
Officiating 10,000 games even seems like an awful lot of games to me! When people see that figure, they will know how dedicated I am to soccer and some will donate, just as people donate when a person runs a 10K. It’s just that my 10K was four decades in the making and it’s a 10K for soccer fans. It’s simply a matter of getting the word out.
4. Besides reaching your fundraising goals, what is another goal you are hoping to achieve from this campaign?
Hopefully, some outside of soccer will find out through the media about my 10K and consequently learn about the great work being done by the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
5. Any advice for future fundraisers?
Everybody has a story and you can use yours and your commitment to help out the U.S. Soccer Foundation as well as other non-profit organizations.