– Press Release –
The six inductees are Fernando Clavijo, Slobo Ilijevski, Erik Rasmussen, Bruce Savage, Dale Mitchell, and Ed Tepper. Voting was conducted by a 24-member panel made up of current and former coaches, administrators, players and media. Hall of Fame inductees also become eligible to vote. The Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame announced in March its class of 2014, consisting of five players and one administrator. This is the Hall’s third induction class, bringing its membership to 24.
Fernando Clavijo, who was named on 20 of 24 ballots, played 11 years in the MISL and NASL Indoor, was a six-time All-Star, and two-time All-League First Team selection. The defender won four championships with the New York Arrows and San Diego Sockers and later coached the Seattle SeaDogs to a CISL title in 1997. In addition to his vibrant indoor career, Clavijo compiled 61 caps for the US National Team, coached in MLS, and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.
Slobo Ilijevski, a goalkeeper who played most of his career in St. Louis, redefined the position in the 1980s, winning 20 or more games four times and appearing in six All-Star Games. Slobo, always one of the most popular and colorful indoor players, was third all-time in the MISL with 193 wins, and won four games in his final season with the NPSL’s St. Louis Ambush. He passed away on July 13, 2008.
Erik Rasmussen was a forward nicknamed The Wizard, who made his name with the Wichita Wings. Rasmussen played just five seasons in the MISL, but scored 55 or more goals three times, surpassed the 100 point mark twice, and was the 1987-88 MISL Most Valuable Player. After returning to Denmark, Rasmussen had a second stint indoors in the late ’90s with the Wings and then the Baltimore Blast. Overall in eight seasons he played 320 games, scoring 376 goals and 296 assists.
Bruce Savage earned the nickname Shadow because of his tight man-marking skills. The 1986-87 MISL Defender of the Year was a three-time All-MISL First Team pick and a seven-time All-Star. Savage played seven years for the Baltimore Blast, winning a championship in 1984, and one year each with the Phoenix Pride and Atlanta Chiefs (NASL Indoor). Savage also made 16 appearances with the US National Team. Savage is only the second American-born player to be inducted into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame, joining Kevin Crow.
Dale Mitchell scored 445 goals in 447 games in 11 seasons in the NASL Indoor and MISL with the Portland Timbers, Tacoma Stars, Kansas City Comets, and Baltimore Blast. Mitchell was a seven-time 40-goal scorer and a four-time MISL All-Star. He ranked third all-time in the MISL in goals and fourth in points. Mitchell had 55 caps with the Canadian National Team.
Ed Tepper saw the market potential indoor soccer had after he took in an exhibition match at the Spectrum in 1974 between the Philadelphia Atoms and Moscow Red Army. That game featured three 20-minute periods and 4’x16′ goals, but Tepper, along with Earl Foreman, set out to turn a demonstration sport into a professional league. In 1978 they launched the MISL. Tepper would go on to own the New Jersey Rockets and launch the successful Philadelphia KiXX franchise.