Carlos Metidieri (right), nicknamed El Topolino, playing with Mickey Mouse, certainly wasn’t a Mickey Mouse operation, as an NASL scoring star. (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Two former Rochester Lancers owners and two ex-players have been placed on their respective eligibility lists for the National Soccer Hall of Fame, it was announced Wednesday.

Owners Charlie Schiano and Pat Dinolfo are among 99 candidates on the veteran eligibility list that will be whittled down to 10 candidates in 2021 balloting.

The two men were owners of the team from its start in the American Soccer League (1967) to its finish in the North American Soccer League (1980). With the NASLs teetering on extinction in 1969, Dinolfo and Schiano decided to join league for 1970, saving it from oblivion.

Forward Carlos Metidieri and Branko Segota were named to the veteran eligibility list as was goalkeeper Shep Messing, who played with the club in 1979.

Metidieri is the only player in NASL history who won MVP honors and the scoring championship in back-to-back seasons (1970 and 1971). He was a member of the NASL 1970 championship team. He scored 61 goals in 130 matches for the Los Angeles Wolves, Boston Minutemen and Lancers in the NASL. Metidieri also performed for the Buffalo Stallions during the 1979-80 Major Indoor Soccer League Soccer.

Nicknamed El Topolino (Little Mouse) by Italian fans in Toronto, the Brazilian-born Metidieri became a naturalized U.S. citizen and made eight appearances for the U.S.  men’s national team in 1973.

Segota played two seasons in Rochester, connecting for 14 goals in 13 games while earning rookie of the year honors from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association as an 18-year-old in 1979. He finished with 11 goals in 1980.

A member of three MISL championship teams with the New York Arrows from 1978-81, Segota enjoyed a 20-year career, mostly with indoor teams. He also performed with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Golden Bay Earthquakes, San Diego Sockers, Toronto Blizzard, St. Louis Storm, Las Vegas Dustdevils and Baltimore Spirit.

He also made 20 appearances for the Canadian national team, scoring three goals, and competing at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Messing made ehis reputation performing for the Cosmos and backstopping the New York Arrows to four consecutive Major Indoor Soccer League championships.