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U.S. Soccer Names All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI

CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2013) – U.S. Soccer unveiled its All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI to wrap up the Federation’s celebration of its Centennial anniversary. The Women’s National Team Best XI was named Thursday.

For the MNT Best XI, Landon Donovan leads the way with 52 votes. He and Clint Dempsey represent the two players currently active with the National Team through 2013.

The MNT Best XI also features five members of the National Soccer Hall of Fame: defenders Marcelo Balboa (2005) and Eddie Pope (2011), midfielders Tab Ramos (2005) and Claudio Reyna (2012) and forward Eric Wynalda (2004).

Three-time FIFA World Cup goalkeeper Brad Friedel received 25 votes from the panel (44 percent of the vote).

Calculated by total votes, U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Men’s Best XI is arranged in a 4-4-2 formation and listed below in alphabetical order by position:

Goalkeeper – Brad Friedel 1992-2004 (25 votes)

Defender – Marcelo Balboa 1988-2000 (35 votes)
Defender – Carlos Bocanegra 2001-2012 (25 votes)
Defender – Steve Cherundolo 1999-2012 (25 votes)
Defender – Eddie Pope 1996-2006 (33 votes)

Midfielder – Clint Dempsey 2004-present (25 votes)
Midfielder – Landon Donovan 2000-present (52 votes)
Midfielder – Tab Ramos 1988-2000 (42 votes)
Midfielder – Claudio Reyna 1994-2006 (45 votes)

Forward – Brian McBride 1993-2006 (45 votes)
Forward – Eric Wynalda 1990-2000 (43 votes)

Complete voting results are listed below.

In an effort to create a fair and reasonable process to determine the All-Time Best XI, U.S. Soccer appointed a committee of soccer historians and former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the National Team level.

The committee determined the list of eligible players for selection to the Best XI, as well as the criteria to be considered by the list of voters. Voters for the MNT Best XI included 57 former players and administrators, as well as media members. The criteria the voters considered in determining their All-Time Best XI:

  1. Starter or key contributor to overall success on the field, especially in World Cups
  2. Longevity, overall performance and talent on the field with the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team
  3. Impact on the legacy of the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team program

Members of the voting include, in alphabetical order:

Jeff Agoos (former player), Roger Allaway (historian), Bruce Arena (coach), Esse Baharmast (referee), Marcelo Balboa (former player), Roger Bennett (media), Paul Caligiuri (former player), Andres Cantor (media), Jeff Carlisle (media), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (administrator), Rick Davis (former player), Steve Davis (media), Frank Dell’Apa (media), JP Dellacamera (media), Anson Dorrance (coach), Julie Foudy (former player), Werner Fricker Jr. (administrator), Carin Gabarra (former player), Bob Gansler (former coach), Steve Goff (media), Brian Hall (referee), Mia Hamm (former player), John Harkes (former player), April Heinrichs (former player), Chris Henderson (former player), Ted Howard (administrator), Clark Hunt (administrator), Cobi Jones (former player), Grahame Jones (media), Colin Jose (historian), Michelle Kaufman (media), Paul Kennedy (media), Alfred Kleinaitis (referee), Eddie Lewis (former player), Michael Lewis (media), Bob Ley (media), Ridge Mahoney (media), Kyle Martino (former player), Brian McBride (former player), Bora Milutinovic (former coach), Len Oliver (former player), Kevin Payne (administrator), Hugo Perez (former player), Eddie Pope (former player), Tab Ramos (former player), Alan Rothenberg (administrator), Hank Steinbrecher (administrator), Rob Stone (media), Jamie Trecker (media), Jerry Trecker (media), Jim Trecker (administrator), Al Trost (former player), Peter Vermes (former player), Kelly Whiteside (media), Mike Woitalla (media), Alex Yannis (media) and Mark Ziegler (media).

Complete Voting Results for All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI:

Goalkeepers:
Brad Friedel 25, Kasey Keller 14, Tim Howard 13, Tony Meola 4, Arnold Mausser 1, Frank Borghi 0, David Vanole 0

Defenders:
Marcelo Balboa 35, Eddie Pope 33, Carlos Bocanegra 25, Steve Cherundolo 25, Thomas Dooley 20, Paul Caligiuri 18, Jeff Agoos 16, Alexi Lalas 14, Frankie Hejduk 9, Harry Keough 6, Pablo Mastroeni 3, Fernando Clavijo 2, Tony Sanneh 2, Mike Windischmann 2, Gregg Berhalter 2, Desmond Armstrong 0, Jimmy Banks, Brian Bliss 0, Mike Burns 0, John Doyle 0, Mike Lapper 0, Oguchi Onyewu 0, Werner Roth 0

Midfielders:
Landon Donovan 52, Claudio Reyna 45, Tab Ramos 42, Clint Dempsey 25, Michael Bradley 20, Cobi Jones 12, Walter Bahr 6, John Harkes 6, Hugo Perez 3, Adolf Bachmeier 2, Rick Davis 2, John O’Brien 2, Al Trost 2, DaMarcus Beasley 1, Ed McIlvenny 1*, Joe-Max Moore 1, Brian Quinn 1, Mike Sorber 1, Chris Armas 0, Chris Henderson 0, Eddie Lewis 0, Preki 0, Ed Souza 0, John Souza 0

Forwards:
Brian McBride 45, Eric Wynalda 43, Earnie Stewart 16, Billy Gonsalves 7, Jozy Altidore 6, Peter Vermes 3, Joe Gaetjens 2, Archie Stark 2, Roy Wegerle 2, Roy Lassiter 1, Clint Mathis 1, Benny McLaughlin 1*, Ed Murphy 1*, Bruce Murray 1, Kyle Rote Jr. 1, Willy Roy 1, David Brown 0, Brian Ching 0, Aldo “Buff” Donelli 0, Frank Klopas 0, Bill Looby 0, Bert Patenaude 0, Josh Wolff 0

*These three players were not on the eligible list, but were write-in votes

National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction 2011 Presented by Eurosport to be Held June 4 in Foxborough, Mass.

Former U.S. Men’s National Team Stars Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart and Bruce Murray
Join Former U.S. and MLS Head Coach Bob Gansler in Class of 2011 in 12 p.m. ET Ceremony

CHICAGO (April 27, 2011) — Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart, Bruce Murray and Bob Gansler will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on June 4 in Foxborough, Mass., prior to the U.S. Men’s National Team friendly against Spain at Gillette Stadium.

The Soccer Hall and U.S. Soccer will host Induction 2011 presented by Eurosport at Showcase Live at Patriot Place at 12 p.m. in an invitation-only ceremony that will be followed by a reception for the new inductees, Hall of Famers, and invited guests. Current members of the Hall of Fame as well as the newly inducted class will be recognized on the field.

The trio elected on the player ballot has a wealth of experience with the U.S. Men and noteworthy club careers as well. Jones retired as the U.S. MNT all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Pope was a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and winner of three MLS Cups with D.C. United.  Stewart is a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran.

Joining the players in this year’s class is Murray, a midfielder and forward who was one of the leading stars of the U.S. in the late 1980s and early 1990s who was elected on the Veteran ballot. Gansler, a coach of the U.S. at the 1990 World Cup and coach of the 2000 MLS Cup Champion Kansas City Wizards, was elected on the Builder ballot.

More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s match against reigning FIFA World Cup champion Spain. Kickoff for the match is 4:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and Univision.

Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, and Earnie Stewart Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Bruce Murray Elected on the Veteran Ballot;
Bob Gansler Elected on the Builder Ballot

CHICAGO (March 29, 2011) – Cobi Jones, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the LA Galaxy, Eddie Pope, a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and winner of three MLS Cups with D.C. United, and Earnie Stewart, a three-time World Cup veteran, have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011 on the Player ballot.

Joining the players in this year’s class are Bruce Murray, a midfielder and forward who was one of the leading stars of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the late 1980s and early 1990s who was elected on the Veteran ballot, and former U.S. Men’s National Team and Kansas City Wizards head coach Bob Gansler, who was elected on the Builder ballot.

The Class of 2011 induction ceremony will likely be scheduled for this summer. Details are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Jones, eligible on the Player ballot for the first time, was named on 87 percent of the ballots, while Pope earned a spot on 74 percent of the ballots and Stewart on 71 percent of the ballots. Murray and Gansler were both named on 58 percent of their respective Veteran and Builder ballots.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame as a Player, an individual must have been retired for at least three full calendar years but no more than 10 years, and either 1) Played at least 20 full international games for the United States or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and was selected as a league All-Star at least once.

The selection committee for the player election includes all current and former coaches of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team, active MLS and WPS coaches with a minimum of four years tenure, select soccer administrators, designated members of the media and all Hall of Famers.

Eligibility for the 2011 Veteran ballot was the same as the Player ballot except that a player must have been retired for more than 10 years. The Veteran ballot is voted on only by current Hall of Famers.

The 2011 Builder ballot includes seven individuals selected by a screening committee of select soccer administrators and Hall of Famers and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot. Only one Builder can be elected each year and must have appeared on at least 50 percent of the ballots.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame as a Builder, an individual in a non-playing capacity must have demonstrated a major, sustained and positive impact on U.S. soccer on a national or first division professional level for a minimum of 10 years.

2011 Player Ballot Results

Cobi Jones               87.13 %
Eddie Pope               74.26
Earnie Stewart          71.29
Marco Etcheverry      56.44
Shannon MacMillan   54.46
Joe-Max Moore         51.49
Cindy Parlow            43.56
Carlos Valderrama     42.57
Peter Vermes            38.61
Chris Armas              32.67

2011 Veteran Ballot Results

Bruce Murray              58.14 %
Desmond Armstrong   48.84
John Doyle                 48.84
Linda Hamilton            46.51
Teofilo Cubillas           44.19
Shep Messing              41.86
Glenn Myernick            41.86
George Best                39.53
Bill McPherson             18.6
Julio Cantillo                4.65

2011 Builder Ballot Results

Bob Gansler               58.49 %
Tony DiCicco              56.60
Chuck Blazer               52.83
Sigi Schmid                50.94
Bob Contiguglia           49.06
Francisco Marcos         41.51
Fritz Marth                  26.42

Eddie Pope’s successful career for the United States Men’s National Team includes nine World Cup matches played since 1998 and 82 appearances overall. His first appearance for the MNT came against Trinidad in November 1996 and the last was against Italy in June of 2006. Pope ended his eleven-year international career for the U.S. tied with Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna for the most ever World Cup qualifying appearances in U.S. history, playing in 31 matches during three qualifying campaigns.  He turned in one of the standout performances for the U.S. defense at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starting all five matches. He also played two games each at the 1998 and 2006 World Cups.

Pope recorded eight goals for the United States, none bigger than his strike in the USA’s 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Mexico on April 20, 1997. Also scoring the game-winner against Mexico on April 28, 2004 in Dallas, he added two goals to his account in 2006, netting in back-to-back games against Norway and Japan. Pope also collected a Gold Cup championship medal in 2005.

In addition to his many accolades for the United States National Team, Pope is the first three-time World Cup veteran to play his entire professional career in Major League Soccer. Pope spent his entire 11-year professional career in Major League Soccer, beginning with D.C. United in 1996. A three-time MLS champion, his greatest professional moment came when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give D.C. United the inaugural MLS Cup title in 1996. Selected for the All-Star game in each of his 11 seasons, the Real Salt Lake defender was named to the league’s All-Time Best XI last in 2005. He was named an MLS all-star four times, 1997 (a season in which he also was a MLS defender of the year), 1998, 2003 and 2004. During his 12 MLS seasons, he played 254 regular-season games and 27 playoff games.

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