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Perry Van Der Beck’s number to be retired by FC Tampa Bay Rowdies

Van Der Beck for Tampa in 1980

TAMPA, Fla. (September 15, 2010) – FC Tampa Bay will honor former Tampa Bay Rowdies (Rowdies) player and Tampa Bay Mutiny (Mutiny) head coach Perry Van Der Beck, the current executive vice president, technical director and director of player development for FC Tampa Bay, by retiring his number 12 jersey at the last regular season match on October 1, 2010 at George M. Steinbrenner Field against Crystal Palace Baltimore.

Van Der Beck wore jersey number 12 as a midfielder for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and no FC Tampa Bay player will be permitted to wear that number.

“Perry is a well respected member of this community. His positive impact can never truly be measured,” said FC Tampa Bay President and Owner Andrew Nestor. “He has represented Tampa Bay with class for years both on and off the field and retiring his number 12 is a well deserved honor.”

Van Der Beck began his professional soccer career with the Rowdies in 1978, after he was drafted straight out of high school.  At the time, Van Der Beck was the youngest American-born player to be playing soccer and was the first American drafted out of high school.  With the Rowdies in the North American Soccer League (NASL), he made 73 appearances and scored six goals between 1978 and 1982. He was part of the squad which made it to the championship game in 1978 and 1979.

After a year with Team America and one more season with the Rowdies, Van Der Beck joined the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) with the Dallas Sidekicks from 1984-1987, St. Louis Steamers from 1987-1988 and Wichita Wings from 1988-1990.  Van Der Beck made 195 total appearances and scored 41 goals while playing in the MISL.

Van Der Beck returned to the Rowdies in 1991, playing for them 58 times and scoring four goals in three seasons.

While playing for the Rowdies and MISL, Van Der Beck made 23 caps for the U.S. National Team, scoring two goals. Van Der Beck was named captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team and in 1985, he was selected U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.

Van Der Beck retired in 1998 and joined the Mutiny of Major League Soccer (MLS) as assistant coach and then became the head coach in 2001.

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