Jason deVos, who captained Canada to the 2000 Gold Cup trophy, is going into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame.
The rock-solid defender will be joined by fellow players Paul Peschisolido and Janine Helland as well as builders Kevin Muldoon, Bill Gilhespy and the late Alex Hylan in the Class of 2013.
The late brothers Roland, Paul Emile and Marcel Castonguay enter in the pioneer category while Vancouver Columbus FC is recognized as the organization of distinction. The 1984 men’s Olympic team is this year’s team of distinction.
Like Paul Stalteri, another player who went on to captain Canada, deVos made his senior debut in August 1997 in a Toronto friendly against Iran. Canada lost 1-0 under a baking sun at Varsity Stadium but deVos won praise from then-coach Bob Lenarduzzi for the composed way he dribbled the ball out of defence.
DeVos’ job was to stop goals being scored, but he was also a threat off set pieces at the other end of the field. He scored the winning goal in the Gold Cup final as Canada downed Colombia 2-0 to notch one of it most memorable achievements.
A cerebral captain, he often spent time on the road with Canada with his nose in a good book.
DeVos saw the best and worst of Canadian soccer. Three years after winning the World Cup, he was on the field for a woeful performance in a 2-0 loss to Cuba at another CONCACAF championship.
“We were awful, end of story,” he said at the time. “There’s no excuse. I think we all need to take a really hard long look at ourselves because we can’t play football like that and expect to win games.
“We have to re-examine the way we play football in Canada because this is just not working.”
He has to continued to be vocal about the road Canada needs to take to improve on the field.
The native of London, Ont., won 49 caps for Canada, calling it quits after a 2004 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. He played domestically in London and Montreal before heading to Britain to play for Darlington, Dundee United, Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town. He currently serves as a soccer analyst for TSN.
“It’s humbling and it’s very much an honour,” the 39-year-old deVos said in an interview Friday.
“The proudest moments of my career have been the times when I’ve pulled on the red jersey of the Canadian national team. It’s what I started out dreaming about in the game as a 12-year-old when I watched Canada appear in our one and only World Cup.
“Fortunately for me I was able to live that dream and make it to that level. To be recognized now, to go into the Hall of Fame alongside so many wonderful players and coaches and administrators, really there are no words to describe it.”
Peschisolido was also a member of the 2000 Gold Cup-winning team. A small, speedy striker from Pickering, Ont., he played 53 times for Canada and had a long career in England as a club pro. After playing for the Toronto Blizzard, he was signed by Birmingham City of the English First Division. He went on to play for Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Norwich City, Derby County and Luton Town before taking up a career in management.
Peschisolido helped pave the way for many of today’s Canadian players overseas, scoring consistently at every club he played for.
Helland won 47 caps for Canada and appeared at the 1995 and ‘99 Women’s World Cups. A defender who played for the University of Alberta and Edmonton Angels, she was twice runner-up for Canadian Women’s Player of the Year.
Muldoon was a fixture with Canadian national teams for four decades, serving as goalkeeping coach, equipment manager and team administrator. He was a constant on some of Canada’s finest teams, including the 1985 Olympic side and 1986 World Cup squad.
Gilhespy’s soccer resume also dates more than 40 years. He was president of the Alberta Soccer Association from 1980 to 1984 and served on the Canadian Soccer Association Executive from 1984 to 1997. He represented Canada as head of delegation around the world.
Hylan was secretary to the Quebec Minor Soccer Association and continued as a member of the Promotions Committee from 1964 to 1973. He was a founding member and was involved with the formation of the Canadian Minor Soccer Association in 1969. After more than 20 years in Quebec, he moved to British Columbia where from 1977 to 1988 he became a member of the Executive of the Canadian Soccer Association responsible for technical programs.
Roland, Paul Emile and Marcel Castonguay were stars in Quebec and Canada. Winger Roland won the national championship with Verdun Park in 1934 and went on to play forward with his brothers in the 1939 final. Paul Emile was offered a trial with Glasgow Celtic that year but was prevented by the outbreak of war.
Roland was voted one of the Players of the Half Century by The Canadian Press in 1950.
Vancouver Columbus F.C. remains one of the most successful men’s amateur clubs in Canada having appeared in a record six national finals with four titles (1964, 1969, 1977 and 1978).
Since its formation 58 years ago, Columbus F.C. has produced more Canadian national team players then any other amateur club in Canada.
The 1984 men’s team was the first Canadian men’s squad to qualified for the Olympic Games. Despite being in a group with Iraq, Yugoslavia and Cameroon, Canada advanced to the quarter-finals, thanks to two goals from Dale Mitchell and one from Igor Vrablic in a decisive 2-1 win over Cameroon.
Canada lost a shootout to Brazil in the quarter-finals to place fifth overall. Many of the players went on to represent Canada at the 1986 World Cup.
The Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place in Toronto on the June 1-2 weekend.