CHICAGO (April 12, 2010) – Kyle Rote, Jr., one of the leading U.S.-born players in the original North American Soccer League and the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1973, has been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2010 on the Veteran ballot.
Rote, who played seven seasons in the NASL, was named on more than 60 percent of the ballots. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame as a Veteran, a player must be retired for more than 10 years and either 1) Have played at least 20 full international games for the U.S. Men’s National Team (10 if the games were prior to 1990) or 2) Have played at least five seasons in a first-division professional league in the United States and elected as an all-star at least once.
“We are pleased to announce Kyle’s election as a Hall of Famer,” said National Soccer Hall of Fame President Jonathan Ullman. “As one of the best American-born forwards to play in the North American Soccer League, his on-field performance allowed for him to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s greatest players. Additionally, his success in the Superstars competitions proved the athleticism of soccer players and raised the sports’ profile nationally.”
The Veteran ballot is cast by all living Hall of Famers. The individual who is named on the most ballots and more than the minimum of 50 percent of ballots cast is elected.
Joining Rote in the Class of 2010 are the Player electees, Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic, and the Builder electee, Bruce Arena. The 2010 induction ceremony will likely be scheduled for this summer. Details are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.
2010 Veteran Ballot Elections Results
| Kyle Rote, Jr.
| Glenn 'Mooch Myernick
| Shep Messing
| Desmond Armstrong
| George Best
| Linda Hamilton
| Teofilo Cubillas
| Bruce Murray
| Bill McPherson
| Lori Henry
Kyle Rote, Jr.
Class of 2010
Born: Dec. 25, 1950
International Caps/Goals: 5/0
Dallas Tornado (NASL - 1973-1978)
Houston Hurricane (NASL - 1979)
Kyle Rote, Jr. was one of the leading U.S.-born players in the North American Soccer League during the 1970s and the only American-born player in the league’s history to win the scoring title.
Drafted No. 1 by the Dallas Tornado in the NASL’s first college draft in 1972, Rote debuted in 1973 as the league’s top scorer with 30 points (10 goals, 10 assists), Rookie of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-Star. Known for his athleticism and skill in the air, Rote scored a header in a 1-0 win against the New York Cosmos in a 1973 playoff semifinal to lead the Tornado to the championship game, which they dropped to the Philadelphia Atoms. In 1974, he was a part of an NASL All-Star team that faced the Red Army of Moscow club in an indoor match at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.
Rote played with Dallas through the 1978 season, and led the team in scoring in 1973, 1975 and 1977 before leaving prior to the 1979 season as the Tornado all-time leading scorer. He was obtained in the offseason by the Houston Hurricane in a transaction involving the highest purchase price ever paid for an American soccer player.
Promoted by his team and the NASL as a home-grown star equal to the international soccer heroes of the day, Rote drew considerable attention to soccer among American sports fans during his career. The son of former Southern Methodist and New York Giants football star Kyle Rote, he represented soccer in the made-for-television ABC Wide World of Sports Superstars competition for four years from 1974-1977. He won his preliminary competition all four years and the final event in 1974, 1976 and 1977 beating 100s of the world’s greatest athletes like O.J. Simpson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lynn Swann, Julius Erving, Roger Staubach and winners of three Olympic decathlon gold medals. He was the first to win the event three times, and one of only three people to win the event at least three times.
Rote earned five caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1973 to 1975. He debuted off the bench in a 1-0 win against Poland on Aug. 12, 1973, and started the next match for the U.S., a 1-0 win against Bermuda in Hartford, Conn., in September. Before his hometown Dallas fans in 1974, he started in a 0-1 loss to Mexico in 1974. In March of 1975, he joined the U.S. team on a European tour, earning his final cap off the bench in a loss to Poland. He also took the field for the U.S. against Italy in an exhibition that was not an official FIFA match.
Rote was originally a football player at Oklahoma State, but transferred to the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he began a varsity soccer career. In three seasons and just 35 games, Rote scored 47 goals and recorded 16 assists. He was the Team MVP all three years and captained the Tigers as a junior and senior.
While active as a player, Rote stepped upstairs to the broadcast booth to serve as color commentator for CBS in the 1970s. Slated to be the soccer commentator for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow before the U.S. boycott, during the 1980s he worked on-air for ESPN, USA Network and CBS broadcasting MISL and other events.
Highly regarded as one of sports most respected men, shortly after retiring Rote moved to the business side of sport and in 1984 founded Athletic Resource Management. He continues to serve as a consultant for the agency that has represented some of sports biggest names on the field and sidelines including Bill Parcells, Nick Saban, Reggie White, Scottie Pippen and others.
Kyle Rote, Jr. Career Statistics
Awards and Honors
- NASL Scoring Champion – 1973
- NASL Rookie of the Year – 1973
- NASL Honorable Mention All-Star – 1973
- Dallas Tornado Leading Scorer – 1973, 1975, 1977
U.S. Men’s National Team
| 3-Year Totals