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Former U.S. WNT Captain Carla Overbeck and Former MNT Defender Alexi Lalas Eligible for Hall of Fame Induction


Ten Newcomers Now Eligible for Hall of Fame Induction Along with 47 Others;
2006 Hall of Fame Inductees Will Be Named April 22

CHICAGO (March 7, 2006) – Ten former U.S. Men’s National Team, Women’s National Team and MLS veterans have been added to the ballot of players eligible for induction into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006. Among the 10 newcomers are former U.S. WNT captain Carla Overbeck and former U.S. MNT players Alexi Lalas and Roy Lassiter.

Hall of Fame ballots will be distributed this week. The 2006 class of the National Hall of Fame will be announced on April 22, live on ESPN2, at halftime of the national broadcast featuring the MetroStars against D.C. United.

Also eligible for induction this year are former Los Angeles Galaxy midfield leader Mauricio Cienfuegos, Columbus defender Mike Clark and MLS veterans Chad McCarty and Tom Presthus, as well as WNT and WUSA veterans Jena Kluegel, Nikki Serlenga and Tisha Venturini-Hoch.

The newcomers join 47 players who were on the ballot in 2005, when Marcelo Balboa, John Harkes and Tab Ramos were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Besides the trio of former MNT stars, leading vote getters on the ballot included MNT veterans Thomas Dooley and Hugo Perez, who is in his last year of eligibility.

Two players are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year, provided they receive the most votes and are named on at least 50 percent of the ballots cast. A third candidate may be elected if that candidate is named on 80 percent of the ballots cast.

Players are eligible for election following their third year of retirement from professional soccer and can stay on the ballot for ten years following retirement. To be eligible, a player must have played at least 20 full international matches for the United States or five seasons in a United States first-division professional league and have met certain other qualifications.

Several players are on the ballot for the final time. These players will be eligible for election to the Hall of Fame through the Veteran’s process should they not be elected this year. Among them are Desmond Armstrong, Erich Eichmann and Bruce Murray, members of the 1990 World Cup squad, and Mary Harvey of the 1991 Women’s World Cup team.

Four groups vote for the Hall of Fame inductees, including:
• Media: selected by the Hall of Fame,
• Hall of Famers: current members of the Hall of Fame,
• Coaches: present and former U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches and MLS coaches with four or more years of tenure,
• Administrators: and select U.S. Soccer and MLS league and team executives. 

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