Everton North America All Star Nominees

Four-person shortlist revealed for inaugural award.

The Everton North America All Star Awards will formally recognise the contributions of players, coaches and managers from the continent that have represented Everton and also those who have a connection to the Blues and have played in North America.  

Tim Howard, Preki, Brian Quinn and the late Jimmy Gabriel form the four-person shortlist for the inaugural award. Read more about each of the players below. 

Each profile has been taken from a new book, Toffee Soccer, profiling the links between Everton and North America.

JIMMY GABRIEL            
Everton appearances: 302(1)
Everton goals: 37        
Two caps for Scotland

Recruited from Dundee by manager Johnny Carey for £27,000 in 1960, the 19-year-old kilted warrior instantly endeared himself to the Goodison faithful with his wholehearted and unselfish toil. ‘The Angel Gabriel’ was a linchpin of the sides that captured the league title and the FA Cup in the 1960s. Following the arrival of Howard Kendall, the popular right-half and occasionally swashbuckling forward moved to Southampton and then to the NASL as player-coach with the Seattle Sounders and first-team coach with the San Jose Earthquakes. After returning to Everton as assistant-manager to Colin Harvey and serving as caretaker-manager on two occasions, he resettled to the Pacific North West in 1997 to coach the Seattle Sounders and the University of Washington. In retirement, Gabriel is rightly celebrated as ‘Mr Soccer’ in his adopted city.

Played for: Dundee North End, Dundee, Everton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Swindon Town (loan), Brentford, Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes

Coached at: Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Storm, Bournemouth, Everton, Seattle Sounders, University of Washington Huskies

Everton appearances: 414(0)
Everton goals: 1
121 caps for USA

The most recognisable face of men’s soccer in North America joined Everton from Manchester United for £3.0 million in 2007, after a highly productive season on loan. The bald, chiseled Adonis, then minus his trademark body tattoos and luxuriant beard, displayed feline reflexes and superior confidence during most of his decade at Goodison. Brave to the point of being foolhardy, the American dived in where others hesitated to place a boot. The goalkeeper made 210 consecutive League appearances between 2007-2013, a record bettered only by Neville Southall. Lauded as a gifted spot-kick savior, he was also a fortunate goalscorer − netting with a wind-assisted kick against Bolton Wanderers in 2012. Howard represented the USA at two World Cup finals and became an American hero when his record-breaking 15 saves against Belgium in 2014 electrified his nation.

Played for: North Jersey Imperials, New York/New Jersey MetroStars, MLS Pro-40 (loan), Manchester United, Everton (loan), Everton, Colorado Rapids, Memphis 901

Everton appearances: 25(28)
Everton goals: 4 goals
28 caps for USA

Born in Belgrade, ‘Preki’ was blessed with an amazing left foot. After moving to the USA, he spent seven seasons in the MISL where he netted 322 goals in his 338 games. In 1992, the attacking midfielder was sold to Everton for £100,000. As expected, it was a massive leap from North American indoor soccer to the English top tier. Though acclaimed − or perhaps cursed − as the ‘Next Kevin Sheedy’, he was used primarily as an impact substitute. With the advent of Major League Soccer, Preki excelled at the Kansas City Wiz and was voted the MLS MVP in both 1997 and 2003. He first appeared for the USA national team at age 33 and hung up his playing boots nine years later to focus on coaching in the USL and MLS. Predrag Radosavljević was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Played for: Čukarički Stankom (Yugoslavia/Serbia), Red Star Belgrade, Dallas Sidekicks, Tacoma Stars, Råslätts (Sweden), St Louis Storm, Everton, San Jose Grizzlies, Portsmouth, Kansas City Wiz, Miami Fusion, Kansas City Wizards

Coached at: Chivas USA, Toronto, Sacramento Republic, Saint Louis, Seattle Sounders 

Everton appearances: 0
Everton goals: 0
48 caps for USA

After his stunning display against Everton in a youth tournament in Le Havre, the 19-year-old midfielder was signed from Larne of the Irish League by manager Gordon Lee for £30,000 in 1979. Though skillful and nippy, he struggled to adapt to the robust nature of professional football and had departed to the Los Angeles Aztecs by 1981. When the NASL collapsed, Quinn’s skills lit up the indoor arenas like a pinball machine and helped the San Diego Sockers harvest eight consecutive MISL titles. After gaining his US citizenship, he re-focused on the outdoor game and was awarded 48 USA caps. In retirement, Quinn coached at clubs, colleges and academies throughout California and was tagged as ‘Mr Soccer’ in San Diego. In 2012, he was inducted into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame.

Played for: Larne, Everton, Los Angeles Aztecs, Montreal Manic, San Diego Sockers, Hamilton Steelers, US Soccer Federation, San Diego Sockers

Coached at: San Diego Sockers, San Jose Clash, San Diego Sockers, University of San Diego Toreros