May 11, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Former Maryland men's soccer star Desmond Armstrong will be inducted into the Old Timers Soccer Association of Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame on May 11. Armstrong was a three-time All-ACC Team member and went on to represent the United States at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
As a defender and midfielder at the University of Maryland, Armstrong was named to the All-ACC Second Team in 1983 and 1985 and was a First Team member in 1984. He recorded two goals and seven assists as a senior and finished his career in College Park with 24 goals and 18 assists in 78 games.
"On behalf of the University of Maryland soccer family, we congratulate him on this great honor," head coach Sasho Cirovski said. "He is a true pioneer for soccer not only in Maryland, but in the United States, and he is a great role model for all youngsters to emulate."
After his collegiate career in College Park, Armstrong spent three seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League and was a part of the original Baltimore Blast in 1988-89. He also played three seasons in the American Professional Soccer league and two seasons in the USISL.
Armstrong was also the first American to sign professionally in Brazil when he played for Santos FC, which was the club of soccer legend Pele.
Armstrong was a fixture for the United States National Team's defense in the late 1980s and 1990s. He earned a spot on the 1988 Olympic team that competed in Seoul, Korea. The United States finished 0-2-1, earning a 1-1 draw against Argentina.
He then competed for the US National Team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and played every minute of the team's matches against Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Austria.
Armstrong started for the national team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991 and 1993. The United States won the inaugural Gold Cup in 1991 as it beat Honduras on penalty kicks in the finals in front of 40,000 spectators at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The US went undefeated throughout the tournament as it finished 4-0-1.
Armstrong then became the first American to be selected to participate in the UNICEF All-Star Gala in Munich on October 8, 1991.
The US team continued its dominance in the 1993 Gold Cup as it won its three matches in group play and then advanced to the final with a 1-0 win against Costa Rica. Mexico put an end to America's unbeaten streak in the Gold Cup in the final as it won 4-0. Armstrong was second on the US National Team in games played (27) and minutes played (2,128) in 1993.
His international career spanned eight years from his first match against Egypt in 1987 until his final appearance against Estonia in 1994. Armstrong earned 81 caps for the United States in his career.
After retiring from professional soccer in 1996, Armstrong has served as head coach at Montreat College in North Carolina that competes in the NAIA. In 2000, he was named National Director of Coaching for Soccer in the Streets (SITS) where he acts as a liaison to various soccer associates nationwide.
In 1991, Armstrong founded the inner-city ministry Soccer Beats which is now known as Heroes FC. That club won the Division I US Club Soccer National Cup III title in 2004. He holds an "A" License from the US Soccer Federation.