Dallas Sidekicks legend and Head Coach Tatu was recently nominated to the 2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot, earning the chance to be inducted into the illustrious group when voting ends on Friday. This is the first time in its history the organization has permitted the inclusion of indoor soccer in the voting.
To be included on the Veteran Player Ballot, nominees must have played at least five MISL seasons between 1984 and 1992, and been chosen as a first-team postseason All-Star at least once. Having made the All-Star team 12 times over his memorable career, Tatu more than fits the bill for a worthy inductee.
One of the most accomplished indoor soccer players of all time, Tatu retired on March 23, 2003 after 21 seasons of indoor soccer, 18 with the Sidekicks. In his career the Brazilian native scored 857 career goals and 728 assists, putting him at or near the top of all-time indoor offensive leaders.
The forward was part of all four Sidekicks championship teams (1987, 1993, 1998, 2001) and became famous for throwing his jersey into the stands after scoring a goal. Tatu is a six-time MVP, 11-time scoring champion, 12-time all-star, and three-time championship series MVP. He holds Sidekicks franchise records for seasons played (18), games played (557), goals (736), assists ( 672), points (1408), shots (4182), power play goals (98), game-winning goals (68) and overtime goals (7). Tatu took over as head coach of the Sidekicks in 1998 and that season won both player of the year and coach of the year. His overall coaching record with the Sidekicks is 106-73.
Outside the pitch, Tatu had the honor of serving as Torch Bearer for the Olympic Flame when it came through Dallas on its way to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Heavily involved the DFW soccer community, he has run Tatu’s All-Star Soccer Camps in the area for more than 20 years and serves as head coach at the seven-time state champion Prince of Peace Christian School.
Tatu’s Sidekicks (12-2) currently sit in the top spot of the Central Division, trailed by the Hidalgo La Fiera and Monterrey Flash. Having already secured playoff positions, these three teams will soon battle it out to see who advances to the Ron Newman Cup Finals in Chicago this March. The Sidekicks won their sixth straight match last Friday, defeating Pacific Division leader Las Vegas 8-6 at the Allen Event Center, where the Sidekicks have never lost a game. The team will take on the Harrisburg Heat (4-9) to close out the 2013-14 regular season at home on Sunday, February 16 at 4 p.m.
To view highlights from Tatu’s playing days, CLICK HERE