Today, the National Women's Soccer League announced that all 10 clubs league-wide will have a moment of silence before the start of all matches this weekend to honor the legendary women's soccer coach Tony DiCicco, who passed away on Monday night. The league will also provide all players on each team with a memorial armband that will have DiCicco's initials.
The 68-year-old's death broke the news on Tuesday, though the details of his death were not released aside from the fact he faced health challeneges. He passed away at his home surrounded by his family.
DiCicco was a pioneer in women's soccer, both on the national and international level. He coached the US Women's National Team from 1994-1999, claiming the United States' second-ever Women's World Cup championship - which happened to be on US soil - in his last year serving as head coach. Before the World Cup, he also helped transform the USWNT into the team that won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
He managed 105 international wins in his time - the most for any USWNT head coach - and a .901 winning percentage with his record being 105-8-8 (win-loss-draw). Throughout his time as head coach, Connecticut native coached legends such as Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Michelle Akers to name a few.
At the youth level, DiCicco coached the U-20 USWNT to victory in the 2008 U-20 FIFA Women's World Cup. He trained with current senior USWNT members Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, Meghan Klingenberg, and Alyssa Naeher.
Specifically for women's soccer in the United States, Tony DiCicco helped start up the first-ever women's professional soccer league. He served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2001. For the next two seasons, he was the league commissioner until the league unfortuantely folded. Once women's professional soccer returned to the US through the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league, he coached the Boston Breakers for a season from 2009-2011.
He also served as a color commentator of many NWSL broadcasts, including the 2013 NWSL Playoffs.