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Contact: Dan Kurtz at 215.561.6900 ext.4158
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SOCCER GREAT AND MACCABI USA ALUM JEFF AGOOS SELECTED FOR INTERNATIONAL JEWISH SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Philadelphia, PA, February 22, 2022 – With great pride, Maccabi USA congratulates Maccabi alum Jeff Agoos on his selection by the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022. The induction ceremony will take place on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 in Israel coinciding with the start of the 21st Maccabiah Games.
Agoos credits his participation in the 12th Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1985 as the youngest member of the open men’s soccer team with helping launch him on his historic career and toward his current role as Major League Soccer’s Senior Vice President of Competition and Medical Administration.
“I don’t know if I would be here [at the MLS] without that experience in Israel…,” remarked Agoos in 2020. “There is a thread that literally leads me into the seat that I am sitting in today and that is because of my first experience at the Maccabiah Games.”
The most decorated Maccabiah soccer player of all time, Agoos played on the U.S. Men’s National Team for more than 15 years, including two FIFA World Cups and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, and ranks fifth all-time in appearances with 134 caps. He is a five-time MLS Cup champion and was a MLS All-Star nine times and named one of the 25 best players in MLS history. He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009.
“Jeff had an impressive playing career in MLS and with the U.S. national team, and he’s become an important executive within our league,” shared Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer. “His induction into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame this summer will be another well-deserved accolade in his storied career. The leadership of MLS and I offer our congratulations and are proud to be his teammate.”
“Jeff embodies all that we strive for at Maccabi USA,” said Donald Kent, Commissioner, Maccabi USA Soccer, “Yes, he is a world-class soccer player who excelled on the sport’s highest stages, but more importantly he is a mensch who remains connected to the Maccabi USA and Jewish communities.” When Agoos competed in 1985, there was just one soccer team in the US delegation. The coach, Al Albert, head soccer coach at William & Mary, initially named Agoos as an alternate. By the time of the Maccabiah, he was appointed to the team, played every minute of every game, and was named MVP.
At the 21st Maccabiah Games this summer in Israel, Maccabi USA will send nine soccer teams and three futsal teams to compete against Jewish teams from countries around the world. The success Agoos enjoyed following his participation with Maccabi USA helped create the growth of the Maccabi USA soccer program over the last 37 years. The 180 soccer players headed to Israel this July are honored to follow in his footsteps.
About Maccabi USA:
Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. MUSA is the official sponsor of the United States team to the World Maccabiah Games and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America. As the official Maccabi representative in the United States, Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the US, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
Maccabi USA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes all over the world the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.
Maccabi USA is a US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Affiliate Organization, one of 38 Affiliates nationwide to be recognized by the USOPC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level. MUSA is rated as a three-star non-profit by Charity Navigator.
About the Maccabiah:
The first Maccabiah was held in in Ramat Gan in 1932 with 390 athletes from 18 countries taking part. Traditionally held every four years, interrupted only by the Second World War, by 2017 the Games had grown to include nearly 10,000 Jewish athletes from more than 75 countries competing in 40 sports, making it the third largest international multi-sport event in the world following only the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. The Maccabi USA delegation to the 20th Maccabiah in the summer of 2017 numbered 1,131 members, the largest traveling delegation in the history of not just Jewish sporting events but all international multi-sport competitions.