Austin Soccer Awards
The annual Austin Soccer Awards banquet provides an opportunity to celebrate significant achievements and contributions through the game of soccer. Awards include recognition of ASF scholarship award recipients, the Austin American-Statesman players and coaches of the year, and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include:
- Ismail Elfath – Ismail is one of only 4 FIFA international referees representing the United States in world competitions. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006, Elfath began a successful career in corporate IT sales. He also rose through the ranks as a soccer referee, making his debut in 2005 and reaching the professional level in 2011. He now has more than 200 professional matches to his name. His success as a referee was recognized with high profile matches such as the 2015 MLS All-Star match, 2 Referee of Year nominations & the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup Final. In August 2016, Ismail made football history as he was the first referee ever to use VAR in a professional match.
- Nick Barbaro – Nick has promoted international, national, and local soccer in the Austin community for over 30 years. He started the Austin Chronicle with friends in 1981 and was a founder of South by Southwest in 1987. Nick began writing the weekly Soccer Watch column in 1985 to provide readers with information he had gathered on the World Cup qualifying campaign. Since then, he has covered every aspect of Austin soccer: from our collegiate teams to supporters group watch parties, from rec tournaments to professional teams. And when he is not in the stands cheering for our local teams, he can still be seen playing central defender for Labor Crew in the Austin Coed Soccer Association.
- Wolfgang Suhnholz – Wolfgang’s numerous accomplishments include winning two national championships with Bayern Munich and an NASL Championship, being selected as 1976 Soccer Bowl MVP and 1st team All-NASL, winning 1988 USYSA South Texas Coach of the Year, serving as U-16 Men’s National Team Assistant Coach (1996-1999), Head Coach of Austin’s 1st professional soccer team (Austin Lone Stars, 1997-1999), U-20 Men’s National Team Head Coach (1999-2001), Head Coach of the 2004 US Club National Champion, and being selected as 2008 USL PDL Coach of the Year. He is currently continuing his legacy of giving back to the community by coaching youth with the Georgetown Force.
- Brian Young – In 14 seasons as Men’s Head Coach at St. Edwards University, Coach Young has the program’s highest winning percentage with a record of 150-87-28. He has led the team to five conference titles, four consecutive NCAA tournaments, and 12 NSCAA/Adidas Team Academic Awards while developing 14 All-Americans and 83 All-Conference players. Brian has been recognized as Conference Coach of the Year on five occasions and NSCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2016. In six years as an assistant at Brown University, he helped the team to four Ivy League championships. Playing at the University of New Hampshire, Brian received All-Conference Tournament honors in 1993 and 1994prior to paying professionally in the USISL from 1995-1997.