Topic: Alexi Lalas

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Panayotis Alexander (Alexi) Lalas (born June 1, 1970, Birmingham, Michigan) is a retired Greek American soccer player who played mostly as a defender, who became one of the most famous soccer players in the United States after he played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He became the first modern-era American soccer player to play in the Italian Serie A. Lalas served as the president and general manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer until August of 2008, and was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.

Lalas attended Cranbrook Kingswood High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While he did not begin playing soccer until he was eleven, he had honed his skills enough to be named the 1987 Michigan High School Player of the Year his senior year. In addition to playing soccer, he was a member and a captain of his state's high school state championship hockey team.

Lalas attended Rutgers University where he played on the men’s soccer team from 1988 to 1991. During his four seasons at Rutgers, he led the Scarlet Knights to the NCAA Final Four in 1989 and the National Championship Game in 1990. Lalas was named a third team All-American in 1989 and 1990. In 1991, he gained first team All American recognition and was selected as both the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year awards. As in high school, Lalas also played hockey in college, leading the team in scoring in 1989.

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