The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that star defender and member of the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cup champion teams, Troy Dayak, will be inducted to the Earthquakes Hall of Fame. He will first be honored at the Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation Dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and the team will honor Dayak and unveil his jersey in the stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22 during a halftime ceremony at the Quakes’ final game of the season against FC Dallas at Buck Shaw Stadium. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT.
The Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation Dinner will take place at the San Jose City Hall Rotunda. In conjunction with Soccer Silicon Valley, the Earthquakes will honor Dayak with a limited edition bobblehead only available to attendees of the event. The evening will also feature 2011 player awards for the Earthquakes and the premiere of ‘City of Champions: 2001, a San Jose Soccer Odyssey’, a History San Jose exhibit in City Hall celebrating the 10th anniversary of the club’s first MLS Cup title. Individual tickets and for fans and Earthquakes Season Ticket Holders as well as table sponsorships are on sale at www.ssvcf.org/annualdinner.html.
“This club has a rich history and I couldn’t be more proud to be selected to its Hall of Fame,” Dayak said. “To me, being a Hall of Famer is a great honor and comes with a huge responsibility to be an ambassador of the game and for the club. Having grown up a Bay Area native and being an original member of this MLS team in 1996, I feel especially lucky to represent them. I won’t let the fans, players and staff of this great franchise down.”
Dayak played in San Jose on the Clash from 1996-1998 and with the Earthquakes from 2001-2005. During his tenure with the club, he scored nine goals and notched seven assists. Additionally, Dayak ranks No. 7 all-time in minutes played (10,830) and games started (122), and No. 8 all-time in appearances (129). He was also selected to the 2001 MLS All-Star team and was named the 2001 MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
The defender, better known amongst Earthquakes fans by his nickname “The Beast”, scored one of the most important goals in club history, sending the Quakes to their first MLS Cup Final in 2001 with a golden goal in Game 3 of the MLS Cup Playoff semifinals against the Miami Fusion.
Dayak is the third player ever selected to the Earthquakes’ Hall of Fame. He joins former Earthquakes great and current general manager John Doyle, who was inducted in 2005, and the club’s all-time leading scorer, Ronald Cerritos, who was inducted in 2010. Dayak’s jersey will be on display at all Earthquakes home games, alongside Doyle’s and Cerritos’. The team established the Earthquakes Hall of Fame as a tribute to honor the players who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to the club both on and off the field throughout its history.
“The Beast” starred at Livermore High School and the University of San Francisco before joining the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks (American Professional Soccer League) at age 17 as the youngest player ever in APSL history. Born in Walnut Creek, Dayak was a member of the original MLS team in San Jose, the Clash, in 1996.
Dayak’s career was always highlighted by his struggle with major injuries, including a herniated disc in his neck in 1996 and another neck injury in 1997. He also overcame a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in 1999.
He spent two seasons with the Bay Area Seals of the A-League from 1999-2000. In 2001, Dayak re-signed with the Quakes and responded with his best MLS season, playing in 25 games and scoring two goals, while helping the team allow a club record low 29 goals. He earned MLS Comeback Player of the Year honors and was also named an MLS All-Star and wore the captain’s armband in the MLS All-Star Game played at Spartan Stadium. He played in every game and helped San Jose win their first-ever MLS Cup Championship. He was also named the team’s Humanitarian of the Year for his efforts in the community.
He continued to battle injuries throughout the rest of the career, but helped San Jose win a second MLS Cup Championship in 2003.
Dayak was a member of the 1992 United States Olympic Team and was a star for the United States National Team at the Under-20 and Under-23 levels. He also made 11 appearances for the senior U.S. team.