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Assistant coach Hugo Perez named Hall of Fame finalist

March 12, 2007 - USL First Division (USL-1) - California Victory News Release

Hugo Perez, assistant coach of the California Victory, is a finalist in the 2007 Veteran's Ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday.

"Hugo Perez has a perspective that is unrivaled in the growth of US Soccer over the past 25 years," said Victory general manager Terry Fisher. "His record speaks volumes."

Perez was a creative midfielder with a legendary left foot. His play-making prowess earned him 73 caps for the US Men's National Team between 1984 and 1994, during which time he scored 16 goals. He was instrumental in helping the United States qualify for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and in 1991 he was named US Soccer Athlete of the year.

Perez began his professional career at the age of 19 when he signed for the Los Angeles Aztecs of the NASL, and went on to be a member of the United States Summer Olympics squads of 1984 and 1988.

Following a stint at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Perez signed for the San Diego Sockers, where in 1988 he earned the championship MVP.

His illustrious career took him all over the world including stays in France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador, where he he finished his playing days at C.D. FAS -- the club where both his father and grandfather had played professionally.

Perez has devoted much of his life to coaching youth soccer, especially in Novato, Calif., where he coaches for the Novato Youth Soccer Association.

"I knew that I wanted to be a soccer player from the very first time I went to see a professional soccer game," Perez told the Novato Advance. "It was a passion, and I understood that at a very young age."

Perez is among 14 finalists. The inductee will be announced at the end of March, 2007.

The California Victory kicks off its regular home season on Saturday, May 12, against last year's championship game finalist Rochester Raging Rhinos. Go to www.californiavictorysoccer.com for a complete schedule.

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