Georgia resident and American soccer legend Mark MacKain was inducted into the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame in January, commemorating a remarkable career. MacKain’s soccer history spans 39 years as a professional player, coach, and advocate for the sport. It began in 1979 when the NASL’s Atlanta Chiefs drafted MacKain in the first round, straight out of Florida’s Winter Park High School at the age of 18.
His professional career included three years in the NASL plus some time with the New Jersey Rockets of the Major Indoor Soccer Leagues (MISL) before suffering a career-ending knee injury. MacKain also spent four years with the U.S. Youth and Olympic National Teams and he also trained in the youth system of Aston Villa Football Club of the English Premier League.
MacKain has coached for more than 20 years at the Gwinnett-based soccer club Atlanta Fire United (AFU), serving as AFU’s director of coaching and director of operations from 2006-13. During his time at AFU, MacKain coached four U.S. Women’s National Team pool players, four future Major League Soccer players, and one U.S. National Team player. Under his leadership on the AFU board, the club grew from fewer than 900 members to more than 4,500. MacKain has also served on the U.S. Club Executive Board and the World’s Executive Board, dedicated to helping underprivileged inner-city soccer players.
“When I received the call that I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I was so humbled by the fact that I would be even considered worthy of such an honor,” MacKain said in an interview posted on GwinnettPrepSports.com. “There are many accomplishments in my life that I look back on with pride, but this one is different. I was speechless when I heard the news and I’m very appreciative of Georgia soccer for recognizing me in this way.”