Burnsville soccer referee now a Hall of Famer
Burnsville’s Lyslo first ref enshrined by US Youth Soccer
Wally Lyslo knew little about soccer in 1971, when the Univac company transferred the purchasing manager from Burnsville to Washington, D.C.
Out East, the international game wasn’t the curiosity it remained in the Midwest. Lyslo’s son was even recruited.
“We had a colonel in the neighborhood who was starting a soccer program and he came to us and said, ‘Can Gunner play?’ ” Lyslo recalled. “Well, he was 5 or 6 years old at the time. That’s when I went to the library and started getting books.”
Gunner played for the Optimists team in Arlington, Virginia, while his father studied up. After the Lyslos moved back to Burnsville in 1973 and Gunner joined a local team, Wally volunteered as a referee.
More than 40 years later, few referees can match his longevity, expertise or reputation. Lyslo was inducted last month into the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame. He’s the first referee inducted since the hall’s founding in 2008.