Roy Lassiter’s imprint
on North Carolina and U.S. soccer will be difficult to match
for many years. Remembered as one of the fastest players
in the state in high school, he led Athens Drive HS as its
captain to the 4-A state championship in his senior year
and was named the 1988 North Carolina H.S. Player of the
Year and a member of the Gatorade Circle All-America team.
After high school, he led Lees-McRae College as team captain
to the 1990 National Junior College Athletic Association
Men’s Championship and was named to the NJCAA 1st
After leaving Lees-McRae,
Roy played for two years at North Carolina State University.
He again distinguished himself, being chosen to 1st Team
All-ACC Conference in 1990 as the league’s leading
scorer, to the All-ACC Tournament Team and to the All-American
team. NC State won the ACC Championship in Roy’s first
year and advanced to the Final Four before falling to eventual
national champion UCLA on penalty kicks. In that year, Roy
scored 22 goals in 23 games. He was named to the NSCAA All-South
team both years that he was at NC State, 1990 and 1991.
Roy’s contributions as a player at his alma mater
were later recognized when he was selected to the Atlantic
Coast Conference Golden Anniversary Team for men’s
soccer as one of the top 50 players during the league’s
first 50 years. In the August 2002 announcement by the ACC,
Roy was cited as having compiled 40 points as a senior,
the fourth best scoring season in the NC State record books.
Roy aspired to play soccer professionally after graduating
from college. He was invited to try out for the US National
Team but during one of the earliest practices his left ankle
was broken because of a hard tackle. The injury appeared
to end his prospects with the team. Undaunted, he looked
for opportunities elsewhere. After his ankle mended, he
left the country to play soccer and was given a chance in
Costa Rica, where he played in consecutive years for three
different First Division teams between 1992 and 1995. Roy
led the last of the three teams with 17 goals and the team
finished its season in second place. Based on his significant
contributions, Roy was named the league’s "Foreigner
of the Year," an accolade which again drew the attention
of U.S. National Team coaches. Given the opportunity to
play on the team, he made the most of it, scoring the game-winning
goal for the U.S. in a match against Saudi Arabia.
Roy was signed in 1996 as one of the first players to join
Major League Soccer and was allocated by the league to the
Tampa Bay Mutiny. He led the MLS in scoring in his first
year with 27 goals and was awarded the league’s Golden
Boot as the league's top scorer. That MLS single-season
record still stands. After a brief period on loan with the
Italian club Genoa, Roy was signed by the Mutiny to a 3-year
contract. With 37 goals, Roy stands as the all-time leading
scorer of the Mutiny, which ceased operation in 2001. In
1998, he was traded to D.C. United, a move that benefited
both Roy and the team. He scored in 12 of the team’s
first 15 games. Roy became the all-time leading goal scorer
in the MLS in 1996 and held that position until his record
was broken in 2004 by Jason Kreis. As of July 2010, he still
ranked at # 8. Through October 2010, with 13 goals he ranked
third all-time for playoff goals scored.
D.C. United had won the MLS Cup in 1997 and, as MLS champion,
in 1998 played in the CONCACAF Champions Cup in addition
to its regular MLS league games. The team became the first
U.S. club to ever win the CONCACAF Championship Cup and
Roy was named MVP of the championship. Leading the MLS in
scoring for 8 years straight, 1996-2003, Roy was voted to
the MLS All-Star Team three times (1996,1998 and 1999).
He appeared in three MLS All-Star games and was named to
the AT&T "Best 11" Team after the 1996 season.
Roy was inducted into the DC United Hall of Fame in 2010.
In addition, he appeared in 32 international matches and
scored 4 goals with the US Men’s National Team. In
1996, he was a Honda Player of the Year Finalist.
After his playing years ended,
Roy maintained his devotion to soccer, first in Virginia
in 2003 as a player/coach of the Beach Mariners (USL-Professional)
and then in Texas for 5 years, where he served in a variety
of club coaching and director positions, including as Director
of Boys Austin United Capitals SC. In 2008, he moved to
San Diego, CA, to become the Director of the Albion Soccer
Roy was born in Washington,
D.C, on March 9, 1969, to Roy and Jeannette Lassiter. He
and his wife, Wendy, have two children, Ariel and Isabella.
Roy’s brother, Arick, a standout player in his own
right, is the head soccer coach at Huston-Tillotson University
in Austin, TX.