Candace Chapman, Tomasz Radzinski named to Canada Soccer Hall of Fame

Candace Chapman, who won more than 100 caps for her country, and speedy striker Tomasz Radzinski, who played at the highest level in Europe, have been named to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.

Chapman becomes the first member of the Olympic bronze medal-winning squad at the 2012 Olympics to enter the Hall. The 35-year-old centre back and midfielder, born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and raised in Ajax, Ont., made 114 appearances for Canada.

Radzinski played than 500 games at the pro level, becoming the first Canadian to reach the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League in 2000-01. He had stints in Belgium for Germinal Ekeren, RSC Anderlecht, Lierse SK and Waasland-Beveren, in England for Everton and Fulham and in Greece for Skoda Xanthi.

The Polish-born 44-year-old won 46 caps for Canada between 1995 and 2009, with 10 goals and eight assists. Altogether he scored more than 200 goals for clubs and country across all senior competitions, including 35 in the Premier League.

“Chapman and Radzinski were standouts at both the professional and international levels while making a positive impact for Canadian soccer at home and abroad,” Steven Reed, president of the Canadian Soccer Association, said in a statement.

“As a testament to their achievements and passion for the game, they are now both honoured members of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.”

Both players will be honoured later this year — Chapman at the June 10 Canada-Germany international in Hamilton and Radzinski at a men’s game in October to be announced later.

Chapman played in two World Cups, two Olympics and five CONCACAF tournaments.

At club level, she won back-to-back Women’s Professional Soccer titles in 2010 with FC Gold Pride and in 2011 with Western New York Flash.

Chapman also played for the Toronto Inferno, Atlanta Silverbacks, Vancouver Whitecaps, Boston Breakers and Washington Spirit. She was named to named to the All-Time Canada XI as part of Canada Soccer’s centennial celebrations in 2012.

Chapman said she is “incredibly humbled and honoured” to enter the Hall.

“It is quite remarkable for me to think of the incredible women with whom I now share this honour,” she said. “They were pioneers of the game and some fantastic teammates and friends of mine who have laid the foundation for the women’s national team program.”

Youth football

Radzinski played his youth football in Poland, Germany, and Canada, joining the North York Rockets as a teenager in the Canadian Soccer League. He also played for St. Catharines Wolves.

Tomasz Radzinski was Canada’s player of the year in 1998.(Submitted by Canada Soccer)

Named Canada’s player of the year in 1998, Radzinski led the Belgian league in scoring in 2000-01 and won back-to-back Belgium championships with Anderlecht in 2000 and 2001. He then moved to England on a Canadian record transfer fee of 4.5 million pounds ($ 7.9 million Cdn), making close to 200 appearances with Everton and Fulham.

“Playing professional soccer was a dream come true for me,” said Radzinski. “Practising my favourite sport enabled me to discover the world with my clubs and, most notably, with the men’s national team. I am sure most players would agree that representing one’s country on the highest level always feels like an incomparable honour.”

Radzinski’s relationship with the national team was complicated, however.

Former coach Holger Osieck barred the forward from the national team when he failed to show up for Gold Cup qualifying in 1999. Osieck later relented and Radzinski went on to become a loyal member of the squad, captaining the team in 2006 against Hungary in the absence of Kevin McKenna.

This Class of 2018 was selected by the Hall of Fame’s voting group for modern Canadian players from a list of 16 nominations.

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