Providence, R.I. – Former Clark University men's soccer player Darius Shirzadi is among nine select individuals who will be inducted as a part of the 36th class of the New England Soccer Hall of Fame it was announced recently by that body's Chairman of the Board Joseph Souza.
The annual induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 24 at the Hilltop Hotel in Seekonk, Mass.
In addition to Shirzadi, the other inductees include former Rhode Island Oceaneers midfielder Juan Cano, Western Mass Pioneers club president Celso Correia, longtime USSF referee George Cortes, former Providence College men's soccer coach Bill Doyle, South Center Premier president Andrea Duffy, former University of Rhode Island men's soccer coach Geza Henni, longtime youth administrator Kathy Palmeiro and former Brown men's soccer coach Cliff Stevenson.
Shirzadi was a three-year starter the Cougar men's soccer team, appearing in 43 games, while scoring a pair of goals and a pair of assists.
His biggest impact on the soccer world came when he co-founded PROJECT GOAL, an organization that provides academic, soccer and life skills to inner city children. Since its inception in 2003, it has become one of the most visible youth soccer outreach programs in North America.
Shirzadi's organization has helped over 700 children and their families, and has raised over four (4) million dollars for scholarships and assistance to at risk children.
PROJECT GOAL was recognized as a recipient of the FIFA Football for Hope Programme Grant in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and earned USSF grants in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Prior to his involvement with PROJECT GOAL, Shirzadi served as assistant coach, general manager and director of operations for the Rhode Island Stingrays from 1995-99.
He also served two stints working for the Kraft family and the New England Revolution, first as an intern in the team's inaugural year, 1995-96, and then as Director of Latino and Cape Verdean Marketing and Community Relations from 2001-2002.
Information about the induction dinner, which is open to the public, is available at nesoccerhall.com or by contacting Chairman of the Board Joseph Sousa at [email protected]