Limniatis to be inducted into Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame

John Limniatis, who played 44 times for Canada and currently coaches the Montreal Impact, is headed to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

John Limniatis, who played 44 times for Canada and currently coaches the Montreal Impact, is headed to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

Limniatis will be joined in the class of 2009 in the player category by fellow former national team players Mike Stojanovic, Neil Ellett and Joan McEachern.

FIFA referee Bob Sawtell, longtime administrator Derek Wisdom and soccer historian Colin Jose will be inducted in the builders category.

The Pioneer Award will go to Ted Slade, while the Team of Distinction, on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Hall of Fame, is the World Cup team of 1986 — the only Canadian side to qualify for the finals of the World Cup.

The 2009 class, who will officially be inducted on June 6, will bring the Hall lineup to 113 players and builders, seven teams of distinction and three pioneers.

Limniatis, whose international career lasted from 1987 to 1997, played in Canada for Ottawa and the Montreal Impact and in the U.S. with the Charleston Battery. He also spent time in Greece with Aris Salonika.

This summer he became head coach of the Impact and led them through the CONCACAF Champions League competition, eliminating Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, Real Esteli of Nicaragua, Joe Public of Trinidad and Tobago and Olimpia of Honduras to reach the quarter-finals.

Mike Stojanovic was a star in the old North American Soccer League, scoring 83 goals in 180 appearances with the Rochester Lancers, San Diego Sockers and Golden Bay Earthquakes. He also made a name with the Toronto Serbian White Eagles of the National Soccer League, scoring 52 goals in the 1973 season.

The 1981 North American Player of the Year, he scored five goals in 14 games for Canada after acquiring citizenship.

McEachern won 32 caps

Ellett played 20 times for his country, taking part in the Pan American Games in Winnipeg in 1967 and the 1971 Games in Colombia. When his playing career was over, the defender turned to officiating and later was elected a life member of the B.C. Soccer Association and elected to the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame.

McEachern played for the University of Saskatchewan and the Edmonton Angels. She made her international debut for Canada against Sweden in 1987 in the North American Cup, and one year later played for Canada in China in the test tournament that led to the first ever Women's World Cup. She also played in the 1995 World Cup in Sweden and won 32 caps in all.

Sawtell was appointed to the FIFA list of referees in 1990, and remained on the list until 1995.

Wisdom's involvement in soccer in New Brunswick began in 1965 and spanned 41 years. He helped establish Soccer New Brunswick in the mid-1960s and served as executive director from 1992 to 1998.

Jose has been a researcher and author for more than 40 years and is recognized internationally as an authority on the history of soccer in North America.

Slade was a player, coach and official in Ontario soccer for a period of 60 years.