News Detail


February 25, 2012

Six National Championship Cal South Teams Also Honored at JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE

Saturday, February 25, 2012 (Los Angeles, CA) - Carin Jennings-Gabarra and Lee Popejoy were named to the Hall of Fame tonight at the 2012 Cal South Awards Banquet. Held in conjunction with Cal South's annual celebration of "the beautiful game," Soccer Nation Expo, the Awards Banquet took place in the Platinum Ballroom of the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live following the close of the expo's Day One action at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Jennings-Gabarra certainly carried her soccer dream far past her youthful days playing on the fields of Southern California for the Palos Verdes Breakers and FRAM. Scoring 226 goals as four-time High School All-American and a three-time California Most Valuable Player for Palos Verdes High School from 1980 to 1983, Jennings-Gabarra then set a national record for goals (subsequently broken by Mia Hamm) as a forward for the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor's degree in business management. While at UCSB, Jennings-Gabarra was a second team All-American twice (1984 and 1985) and a third team All-American in 1987. Named as UCSB's Athlete of the Decade, she was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1991. She next played for the adult women's Los Angeles Blues and then Southern California Ajax (along with fellow Cal South Hall of Famer Joy Fawcett), where she led them to win the USASA National Amateur Cup in 1992 and 1993.

But it was as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team where Jennings-Gabarra made her true mark, earning 117 caps from 1987 to 1996, scoring 53 goals along the way. In 1991, she was a member of the U.S. WNT that captured the first FIFA Women's World Cup. Jennings-Gabarra, scoring six goals in the tournament, distinguished herself further by being awarded the Golden Ball as the top player. She was named as the US Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1987 and 1992, and as the U.S. Olympic Player of the Year in those same years. In 1995, her U.S. WNT came up just short in the next Women's World Cup by losing to Norway in the semis, but they rebounded to capture the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, when soccer was included as a women's event for the first time. She then retired from international soccer, shifting her full focus to coaching, which she began doing in 1987 with stints as a head coach at Westmont College and then as an assistant at Harvard. She was hired by the United States Naval Academy in 1993 as its first women's soccer coach, which she developed into a competitive program, and where she continues to coach today. In 2000, Gabarra was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame followed in 2003.

Lee Popejoy's long tenure as a referee has seen him officiate at nearly every level of the game, including high school, college, semi-pro, pro and international matches. A former president of the Poway Vaqueros Soccer League and equally at home coaching youth soccer, Popejoy is a board member and president of the San Diego County Soccer Referees Association. He is the current State Director of Instruction and State Director of Assessment for the Cal South Referee Committee. Additionally, he has served as a referee assessor at all levels and a referee instructor at the local, state and national levels.

While the sold-out banquet audience was comprised largely of Cal South staff and members, Soccer Nation Expo exhibitors, and award winners and their families, several luminaries of the soccer world also filled the attendee list, including Dan Ashworth of West Bromwich Albion, U.S. Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Sam Snow, Marco Garces of C.F. Pachuca, Les Howie and Tony McCallum of the Football Association [FA], and the original CEO of the English Premier League, Rick Parry. Representatives from numerous Cal South sponsors and partners also attended the event, including Nike, LA Galaxy, Sports Authority, NSCAA, the LA84 Foundation, NCSA, SCMAF and the latest Cal South partner, AstroTurf.

Following cocktails and dinner, over 35 awards were given out at the Banquet, including recognition of the top players, youth referees, parent, volunteers, developmental coaches, competitive coaches, and honorees from each of Cal South's seven districts. Special recognition was also given out to the six Cal South teams which won national championship trophies throughout 2011. [A full list of winners and honorees appears at the end of this article.]

Preceding the Awards Banquet, thousands of soccer players, coaches and fans poured through the doors at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the first day of Soccer Nation Expo 2012. The Expo was a flurry of activity throughout Saturday, with live coaching clinics taking place on the enormous AstroTurf VIP Coach Pitch at the center of the show and on the Kohl's Recreational Pitch, autograph signings by soccer stars such as Leslie Osborne and Clint Mathis, soccer gear demonstrations, skill zones, food sampling, and much more.

For more about the Cal South Awards Banquet and Soccer Nation Expo, please visit


Cal South Parent of the Year Josh Armstrong
L.A. Galaxy Volunteer of the Year Dick Bednar
Sports Authority Player of the Year - Girls Kayla Mills
Sports Authority Player of the Year - Boys Bilal Abdallah
Kohl's Recreational Achievement Award Yucaipa Valley Youth Soccer Organization
District 1 Honoree Patty MacDonald
District 2 Honorees Frank Zimmerman
John Gomez
District 3 Honorees Terry Edwards
Jenny Cochrane
Katie Guerrero

District 4 Honorees Don Jacks
Angela Batres
District 5 Honorees Gareth Bowen
Cindy Howard
District 6 Honoree Russ Miller
District 7 Honoree Ramon Arceo
President's Award Debbie Miller
Cal South TOPSoccer Buddies of the Year Katie Gafford
Jacqueline Rodriguez
Cal South Youth Referees of the Year Kate Chapman
Conner Curnick
Nike Developmental Coaches of the Year Ernesto Parra
Hugo L. Torres
Carrie R. Taylor
Nike Competitive Coach - Boys Youngers Teddy Chronopoulos
Nike Competitive Coach - Boys Olders Bryan Wallace
Nike Competitive Coach - Girls Youngers Noah Kooiman
Nike Competitive Coach - Girls Olders Josh Hodges

Cal South Hall of Fame Inductees Carin Jennings-Gabarra
Lee Popejoy
National Championship Teams Honored: 

US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Champions Corona Eagles BU14
US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Champions United FC White GU14
US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup Champions AVSC Ambush BU15
US Youth Soccer National Champions Fullerton Rangers White BU14

USASA Adult National Champions Eagles SC Women's U23
USASA Adult National Champions San Diego Surf Men's Over 30