Hooper, Neil to enter Canada's Soccer Hall of Fame

Former national team veterans Charmaine Hooper and Andrea Neil and men's internationals Carlo Corazzin and Mark Watson lead the new class of inductees for Canada's Soccer Hall of Fame.

Led Canada to 4th-place finish at 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup

Charmaine Hooper, centre, celebrates her goal over China with teammates Andrea Neil, left, and Christine Sinclair at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup in Portland, Ore. Canada defeated China 1-0 in the quarter-final match. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Charmaine Hooper, a skilled soccer pioneer who scored goals on the field and sometimes ruffled feathers off it, is headed to Canada's Soccer Hall of Fame.

Hooper scored 79 goals in 129 games for Canada, played in three World Cups and was named Canada's Female Player of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 2002.

She is joined by fellow former internationals Andrea Neil, Carlo Corazzin and Mark Watson.

Builders headed to the Hall are Angus Barrett and Gordon Arrowsmith while the late John Richardson gets the Pioneer Award.

The team of distinction is the 1989 Canadian men's side that won gold at the Francophone Games. The organization of distinction is the Victoria West club.

The induction ceremony is set for June in Toronto.

Hooper was no stranger to making headlines during her career.

In 1999, she was selected to a FIFA women's world all-star team that played the world champion Americans and was voted the game's MVP.

More recently she was appointed to the FIFA Task Force 2014, an elite 22-member group that includes the likes of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Sir Bobby Charlton, Cafu and Christian Karembeu.

A pioneer off the field, Hooper had her mother travel with her on tour in 2005 after giving birth to a daughter.

Hooper, and two other players, found herself at odds with then coach Even Pellerud when she was suspended for failing to attend a training camp or play friendlies in China.

The players accused Pellerud of showing bias and argued they didn't attend the training camp because of concerns over the team's residency program funded by Greg Kerfoot, the millionaire owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The matter was eventually settled when an arbitrator sided with Pellerud. The three were not invited back by Pellerud for the 2007 World Cup.

Neil, a well-respected veteran of the women's team, played 132 times for Canada including four World Cups. She is the first female soccer player to be inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Watson, a hard-nosed defender, made 78 appearances for the national team between 1991 and 2004. His club career included stints in Canada, the MLS, England and Sweden.

Corazzin played 59 times for Canada, scoring 11 goals. His club career included stints in England with Cambridge United, Plymouth Argyle, Northampton Town and Oldham Athletic.

He was top scorer in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup with four goals including a penalty in the final against Colombia.

Barrett has been involved in soccer for more than 45 years representing both the Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canadian Soccer Association.

Arrowsmith was a longtime referee in the NASL, who was on Canada's FIFA list from 1982 to 1991. He worked the Canadian Soccer League final in 1988 and 1991.

Richardson was a longtime B.C. administrator, serving as secretary of the B.C. Soccer Commission. He was also a council member of the Dominion Football Association from 1948 until his death.