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
CHICAGO (June 4, 2011) - The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted five new members in a ceremony that took place this afternoon before the U.S. Men's National Team's match against Spain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The 2011 Induction Class includes Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart in the Player category, Bruce Murray as a Veteran and Bob Gansler as a Builder.
The five will be introduced on the field before the game, along with current members of the Hall of Fame. A record crowd for a U.S. MNT match in the State of Massachusetts and throughout New England will be on hand at Gillette.
Cobi Jones is the U.S. Men's National Team all-time leading cap winner and long-time member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. He joined the national team in 1992 and is a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran. In 1998, Jones was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year with 19 goals and 13 assists for the Galaxy. He is currently the Associate Director of Soccer for the New York Cosmos.
Eddie Pope was a perennial anchor of the U.S. defense for nearly a decade and is tied for the most FIFA World Cup qualifying appearances in U.S. history. Pope played the majority of his professional career with D.C. United where he won three MLS Cups. Pope is the first three-time World Cup veteran to play his entire professional career in Major League Soccer.
Dutch-born Earnie Stewart was a regular midfielder for the U.S. National Team during his 14-year career. He appeared in 101 games and is a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran. Stewart played most of his professional career in Holland, where he was part of several different clubs during 16 years. He also played in the 2003 and 2004 seasons in MLS with D.C. United where he won a MLS championship.
Joining the players in this year's class is veteran 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. At the time of his retirement in 1993, he was the all-time leading scorer with 21 goals and the all-time leader in caps with 86 appearances. He is currently coaching at Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) in Greenville, S.C.
Entering the Hall of Fame as a builder, Bob Gansler remains one of the finest U.S. National Team coaches in history and also a prominent club coach. Gansler was the coach of the U.S. Men's National Team from 1989 to 1991, including the 1990 World Cup, and coached Kansas City of MLS and Milwaukee of the A-League to league titles. He was named Major League Soccer's Coach of the Year in 2000.
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.