CHICAGO (Aug. 10, 2010) — The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted four new members today in a ceremony that took place before the USA’s match with Brazil at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The 2010 Induction Class includes Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic in the Player category, Bruce Arena as a builder and Kyle Rote Jr. as a Veteran.
The four were also introduced on the field before the game in front of a near-sellout crowd of along with past Hall of Fame inductees.
“Every Hall of Fame class is special in its own way and this one highlights a time of unique growth in our U.S. Soccer history,” said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati. “Clearly Bruce took our national team to new levels of performance and world recognition while also playing a very important role in the development of Major League Soccer. Thomas was a leader on our national team during an important period during the 1990s while Preki was one of the most influential players in MLS history. Kyle is one of our American soccer pioneers and the contribution of his generation should be celebrated.”
A member of the U.S. 1998 FIFA World Cup team, Preki Radosavljevic was a prolific scorer in his MLS career. He earned both the MLS MVP and Scoring Champion honors twice in 1997 and 2003, and is the only player to do so twice. His U.S. career included the game-winning goal against Brazil in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal.
German-born Thomas Dooley joined the U.S. squad in 1992 as a dual citizen and was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1993 when he started 17 matches and scored four goals for the U.S. The defender played every minute of the USA’s four matches at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and later captained the U.S. squad in France during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Entering the Hall of Fame as a builder, current Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has done more to push the U.S. towards the top echelon of world soccer than any previous coach. A former head coach at the University of Virginia, Arena built a dynastic program, winning five national titles (including four consecutive) during 18 years in Charlottesville. After winning MLS titles with D.C. United in the league’s first two years, Arena was eventually named the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team in late 1998. Under Arena, the U.S. achieved its best modern era finish at the FIFA World Cup by reaching the quarterfinals in 2002.
Kyle Rote Jr. joins the hall as the only American-born player to lead the NASL in scoring, taking the top spot in his debut season in 1973 while with the Dallas Tornado. His public spotlight grew even more with his participation in the made-for-television ABC Wide World of Sports Superstars competition, which he won in three out of the four years he competed. Rote defeated athletes like O.J. Simpson, Lynn Swann, Julius Erving and Roger Staubach and was the first to person to win the event three times. He earned five caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1973-1975.
Along with this year’s inductees, Paul Gardner was awarded the Colin Jose Media Award for his extensive work covering soccer throughout a distinguished print and television career.
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.