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Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2010

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 14, 2010) – Preki Radosavljevic, Major League Soccer’s only two-time MVP, and Thomas Dooley, the 1993 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2010 on the Player ballot.

Dooley, eligible on the Player ballot for the last time, was named on 71 percent of the ballots, while Radosavljevic was named on 68 percent of the ballots. A Player must be named on 66.7 percent of the selection committee’s ballots to earn election.

The two players were both members of the 1998 U.S. FIFA World Cup team, and the European-born duo started back-to-back MLS All-Star games together in 1998-1999.

“What a great pleasure to announce two extraordinary players and individuals as the newest Hall of Famers – Thomas Dooley and Preki,” said National Soccer Hall of Fame President Jonathan Ullman. “These two players have made historic contributions to soccer in the United States, changing the character of the American game by bringing their international experience to our domestic players. Both individuals have been close to election previously, and it is wonderful to see this well-deserved honor finally come to pass.”

Dooley and Radosavljevic were the top two vote-getters not elected in the 2009 balloting, when Jeff Agoos and Joy Fawcett were elected. In 2008, when no player appeared on the required 75-percent of ballots, Radosavljevic and Dooley finished first and fourth in the voting. Dooley had been named on at least 50 percent of the ballots in each of his previous six years of eligibility, but never earned the call.
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. Any player named on less than five percent of the ballots is dropped from eligibility on the Player ballot.
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 coaches with a minimum of four years tenure, select soccer administrators, designated members of the media and all Hall of Famers. The committee members name up to 10 Players from the list of eligible candidates on their annual ballot.

Information on the Veteran Player and Builder 2010 ballot results will be released in the coming weeks. The Class of 2010 induction ceremony will likely be scheduled for this summer. Details are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

2010 Player Ballot Elections Results

 Players  Votes  Percentage
 Thomas Dooley 83  70.94% 
 Preki Radosavljevic 80  68.38% 
 Earnie Stewart 68  58.12% 
 Shannon MacMillan 64  54.70% 
 Joe-Max Moore 61  52.14% 
 Marco Etcheverry 59  50.43% 
 Carlos Valderrama 55  47.01% 
 Cindy Parlow 45  38.46% 
 Peter Vermes 44  37.61% 
 Chris Henderson 37  31.62% 

One of just five players that started every game in consecutive FIFA World Cups for the U.S. (1994, 1998) in the modern era, Dooley captained the U.S. team in France 1998 and closed his eight-year U.S. career with 81 caps and seven goals.

Dooley was used in the back line or as a midfielder, and almost all of his goals were of significance including four in 17 games in 1993 as he was named U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. Two years later, he played each of the first five games of the U.S. team’s run to the semifinals of the 1995 Copa America.

He opened his U.S. scoring account with a goal in the U.S. team’s famous 2-0 win against England in the 1993 U.S. Cup, and then in the next game of the tournament scored twice against his homeland, Germany, just more than a year after his U.S. debut. His other goals include the second score for the U.S. in the 4-0 win against Mexico in 1995, a 90th minute game-tying goal against Mexico in the 1996 U.S. Cup, and the game-winner in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in 1996.

In 1997, he joined the Columbus Crew after winning the UEFA Cup that year with Schalke 04 and went to be named part of the MLS Best XI despite playing just 15 games. He followed up his debut season with a second Best XI selection as well as an All-Star appearance in 1998 along with his national team commitments. In 1999, he made a second All-Star appearance with the Crew. He retired at the age of 39 after playing the 2000 season with the MetroStars.

The son of an American father and German mother, Dooley had a long professional career in his home country beginning with FC Homburg in 1984. A long-time star at FC Kaiserslautern when he was recruited to the U.S. National Team and obtained his U.S. passport in 1992, he also played for Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Schalke 04.

Radosavljevic’s professional career boasts an unparalleled combination of success both indoor and out, with a total of four MVP awards and 16 all-star selections from three different leagues across three decades.

An MLS original, Radosavljevic is the league’s only two-time MVP winner and was also the league’s Budweiser Scoring Champion in his 1997 and 2003 MVP seasons. With the Kansas City Wizards, he won the 2000 MLS Cup and the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He played with the Wizards for all but one of his 10 MLS Seasons, a one-year stint with the Miami Fusion in 2001. He finished his career with 79 goals and 112 assists.

The only player to start the first eight MLS All-Star games, he is one of only three players be named to the game each year during that stretch. In 2005, MLS honored Radosavljevic by naming him to the All-Time Best XI. He was four-time member of the annual Best XI, fewer than only three other players. After the 2005 season, he retired as the all-time MLS points leader and the only player with five 10 goal, 10 assist seasons (although Jaime Moreno has broken and tied those records, respectively).

Prior to making his name as one of the best players in MLS history, Radosavljevic’s dangerous left-foot was well known among indoor soccer loyalists and opponents alike. Radosavljevic was a seven-time All-Star in the Major Indoor Soccer League/Major Soccer League and one-time All-Star in the Continental Indoor Soccer League after two years in the Premier League in England with Everton (four goals in 46 appearances) and one year with Portsmouth in the first division (seven goals). He won the MISL MVP Award in 1989 and the CISL MVP in 1995. With the Tacoma Stars (MISL, 1985-1990), St. Louis Storm (MSL, 1990-1992) and San Jose Grizzlies (CISL, 1994-1995) he amassed 399 goals and 384 assists in 370 games.

Radosavljevic became an American citizen in 1996 and was a member of the 1998 FIFA World Cup team, making two appearances including one against his native Yugoslavia. That year in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, he scored one of the biggest goals ever for the U.S. in a 1-0 victory against No. 1-ranked Brazil in the semifinals – the first and only victory for the U.S. against the world power. He scored four times in 28 appearances for the U.S.