Kenny Recognized by the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame
From Junior College All-American to Second Team All-American at St. Louis University, Chris Kenny, varsity boys and girls soccer coach, has won many awards from competitions and matches throughout his athletic journey.
However, Kenny will be receiving special recognition this year. He will be inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame, marking the organization’s 50th Anniversary.
Kenny said he was humbled by the recognition. One of his favorite experiences through soccer was the exposure to different people who have helped to guide him and support him along the way.
“All of the different players that I’ve played with and against are a big part of how I developed,” Kenny said. “I had a lot of really good coaches so I think I’m a product of a lot of different groups and people that helped me.”
Throughout his soccer career, Kenny has played professionally for the Chicago Sting, the St. Louis Steamers, the St. Louis Ambush and the Kansas City Comets.
Kenny said he looks at coaching as a way of giving back. By sharing some of the positive opportunities he has experienced, he hopes to help his players to grow as well.
In soccer, Kenny said there is always a winner and a loser. Even when disappointed in a game, Kenny said the setbacks are just as important as successes, and help to shape players.
“Challenges are part of the process,” Kenny said. “Nothing is ever 100 percent good or bad, it’s just how you deal with it.”
Jim Leeker, St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame President, said although induction into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame is sometimes a simple act, in nearly every case, the process takes a long time.
“Soccer players are very humble,” Leeker said. “We don’t like to talk about ourselves, especially our accomplishments on the Soccer Field. So when it comes to nominating a former player, we basically asked candidates to tell us about themselves.”
Leeker said Coach Kenny’s records and accomplishments speak for themselves. From Junior College All-American, Second Team All-American at St. Louis University and his induction into St. Louis University Athletic Hall of Fame, he has had many successes as a former professional outdoor and indoor player.
Leeker said it is important to value and cherish the history of soccer in St. Louis. One of the greatest victories that Leeker said will never be forgotten was when six players from St. Louis competed in the 1950 World Cup, five of whom were on the field when the United States beat England.
“It is a honor to have Chris Kenny be a part of this organization,” Leeker said. “It is truly deserving. He will say that he is not, but we all know that he should be a Hall of Famer.”
When Keri Wood, senior, found out Kenny will be inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame, she was happy for her varsity soccer coach.
Wood said his encouragement as a coach is essential for the team’s improvement. Not only does he support the team, but Wood said he also helps players learn from what they’ve done wrong, giving tips to help players avoid making the same mistakes.
“He’s super big on motivating us to put in the effort and give 110 percent all the time,” Wood said. “Whenever we do something good, he really gives positive reinforcement and helps us to stay positive throughout the whole game.”
Kailin Zhang, senior, is the Online Editor for the Messenger, and has been part of the Messenger since 2017. Kailin is also involved with the National...