Mark Peterson, a Tacoma native who played with the NASL Seattle Sounders and the indoor league Tacoma Stars died unexpectedly Thursday at the age of 51.
Peterson attended Wilson High School and played for the school as well as the Norpoint Royals Soccer Club. He was a member of the Olympic team in 1980 -- the year the U.S. boycotted the Games held in Moscow.
He played for the Sounders from 1980 to 1983 and scored 14 goals as a 19-year-old rookie. In 1982, he scored two goals in the club’s 3-0 win over Manchester United. In 1983, he scored the lone goal in the final NASL meeting of the Sounders and Portland Timbers. After those Sounders folded in 1983, he played for the Stars from 1983-86.
He and Jeff Stock – a fellow Tacoman who played for the Sounders and Stars -- were honored with the Sounders FC Golden Scarf before the May 14 game against Portland.
“He meant a lot to me,” Stock said today. “We grew up together and kind of went through everything together: the youth national team, the Olympic team, the Sounders and the Stars. We were pretty close afterward too. It was a proud moment when we were both given the Golden Scarves. I guess it’s no secret how he felt to me: He was like a brother. … He was one of the top scorers for the Sounders, a battler and an all-round good guy.”
The club also put out this statement from assistant coach Brian Schmetzer:
“I am deeply saddened over the unfortunate loss of Mark Peterson. Mark was a very close friend of mine from the years we played together with the Sounders. Mark was a very talented goal scorer and always a nice man. I have nothing but respect for him. He was too young to go at 51. This is a sad day.”