Lalas, Overbeck Lead 2006 Induction Class in First Year of Eligibility
CHICAGO (May 6, 2006) – Former U.S. National Team defenders Alexi Lalas and Carla Overbeck were named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame 2006 Induction Class. The two central defenders helped define their teams in the 1990s, and were known first-and-foremost for their World Cup exploits with the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams.
The two players will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame at the Induction 2006 ceremonies on Monday, August 28, in Oneonta, N.Y. Results of the Veteran’s and Builder’s elections will be announced later.
Unlike any player before him, Alexi Lalas helped raise the stature of the game in the United States both on and off the field. He appeared in 96 games for the United States, scoring nine goals and 11 assists, an impressive total for a defender. Professionally he was the first born-and-bred American to play in the Italian Serie A and was a standout in Major League Soccer for seven seasons.
Representing the U.S. at two World Cups, he was literally the "face" of U.S. Soccer during the landmark 1994 World Cup with his long red hair and goatee. Off the field he was known for his intelligent banter with the press as much as for his stellar defense on the field. Since retiring as a player he has surfaced in a management capacity for several MLS teams.
Part of the USA’s original crop of U.S. Women’s National Team stars, Carla Overbeck served as the team’s longtime on-field leader through two Women’s World Cup titles and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal triumph. The popular defender scored seven goals across 168 caps during a career that spanned 13 years from 1988 to 2000.
Overbeck started each and every game for the USA at the 1991, 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and was the team’s captain during their glorious championship run in the summer of 1999. She also started and played every minute of the team’s 1996 conquest at the Atlanta Olympics, which was followed four years later by a Silver Medal at the Sydney Games in Australia.
Lalas received 95 votes and Overbeck 85 votes on the 113 ballots cast by members of the soccer media, Hall of Famers, National Team coaches, MLS coaches, and soccer administrators from across the country. They were named on 84.07 percent and 75.22 percent of the ballots, respectively. U.S. National Team star Thomas Dooley finished third in the voting, receiving 71 votes or 62.83 percent. For a third player to be elected to the Hall of Fame that player must be named on a minimum of 80 percent of the ballots.
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