The North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame annual Hall of Fame inducted RailHawks President Curt Johnson, Former MLS veteran Eddie Robinson, the late Barry Howard, and the 1977 Raleigh Spartans make up the 2013 Class.
For more information on the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame and their inductees visit www.NCSoccerHallofFame.com.
2013 Hall of Fame Class Bios
Johnson, a native of Raleigh, was a standout defender at Ravenscroft School, and stayed in the area for college. He played for the N.C. State Wolfpack from 1987-90. During that time, Johnson started 72 games during his four-year career, and as a senior, helped the Pack to the ACC Championship and the NCAA semifinals as a team captain. He would later serve as head coach at Ravenscroft and later as an assistant coach at N.C. State.
Johnson is currently President of the NASL Carolina RailHawks. Johnson’s administrative resume also includes holding the General Manager position with the Richmond Kickers and Major League Soccer’s Kansas City Wizards. He spent seven years as the Kansas City GM, including 2000 when the Wizards were the MLS champions and in 2004 when they won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship.
Robinson, who grew up in Greensboro and was an all-state player at Page High School, was a four-year letterwinner at UNC Chapel Hill (1996-2000). He was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes as the #20 overall pick of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft. He played 11 seasons with the same MLS franchise, first with the Earthquakes and then with the Houston Dynamo when the franchise moved to Texas in 2005.
A starter on defense, Robinson was a member of four MLS Cup championship teams and was selected as an MLS All-Star in 2005. He made 166 total MLS appearances with the Earthquakes and Dynamo.
He played for the U.S. Men’s National Team in a 2-0 win against Sweden in 2008, scoring his only international goal and only international appearance.
Howard grew up in Buies Creek and saw his first soccer game when he watched the Campbell University men play. He helped start the first high school soccer team in Harnett County at Buies Creek High School. Upon graduation he enrolled at Campbell where he was a four-year letterwinner and was coached by the legendary Jim “Catfish” Cole, also a member of the N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame. Upon graduation from Campbell he began a career as a teacher at Buies Creek High School, and as that school’s boys soccer coach, and later after consolidation at Harnett Central.
Howard was instrumental in helping to bring youth soccer to numerous communities throughout eastern North Carolina, and assisted in the formation of high school programs in many of those communities. He was also an assistant men’s coach for seven seasons at Campbell, and later served two years as the Camels head coach (1989-1990).
Howard resigned his coaching position after the 1990 season to devote full-time as the administrator of the Howard Fund, which had been established in 1926 by his father, Rev. Charles Barrett Howard, Sr. Howard was inducted into the Campbell University Sports Hall Of Fame in 2003. He passed away on Dec. 5, 2008 at the age of 63
1977 Raleigh Spartans
The ‘77 Raleigh Spartans, winners of the 1995 US Youth Soccer Under-18 Francis J. “Frank” Kelly Cup national championship, have also been selected as the second team to be recognized on the NCSHOF National Champions Hall of Honor. That Spartans team was coached by longtime Raleigh Broughton HS coach, Izzy Hernandez, who is also a member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame.