Former Nigeria international Mercy Akide-Udoh was last weekend formally inducted into the USL Hall of Fame in Florida, USA.
Akide-Udoh, who began and ended her American football career with the Hampton Roads Piranhas, was the only player, male or female, inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame class.
She won league MVP honours in 2003 as she led the Piranhas to the National Championship, scoring the winning goal in overtime of the title game.
USL President Tim Holt was full of praise for the former Super Falcons star
“Mercy Akide has been one of the most important and impactful players in the history of the W-League,” said Holt.
“Beyond consistently performing at an all-league level throughout her career in the league, she has served as a source of inspiration for countless young female soccer players throughout the world.
“She has accomplished all of this while remaining humble and continues to serve as one of the sport’s great ambassadors.
“Her induction into the USL Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor for a great player and person.”
Akide-Udoh said she was overwhelmed by the honour.
“I don’t know what to say. I have won many awards before but this will have a special place in my heart,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“I would like to thank Marcie Laumann and the Piranhas for giving me the opportunity when I first came here.
“I hope that I can help other young girls have the same opportunity I was given by giving them a chance to also get a good education while playing soccer.
“This is dedicated to my family and all those young girls who believe in themselves that they can be what they want to be.”