CHICAGO (Feb. 26, 2015) – Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2015 elections, and voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. Voting will continue through Friday, March 20, and the election results will be announced shortly after. Induction ceremony details for the Class of 2015 will be announced at a later date.
Players in their first year of eligibility include the following: two-time FIFA World Cup participant and current Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter; 13-year MLS veteran Jimmy Conrad; 13-year MNT fixture and MLS Cup champion Frankie Hejduk; 2008 Olympic gold medalist Natasha Kai; four-time FIFA World Cup participant and three-time CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion Kasey Keller; 10-year MNT veteran and current LA Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski; 1996 Olympic gold medalist and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Tiffeny Milbrett; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Pat Onstad; three-time MLS Cup champion Eddie Robinson; Colombian MLS star Diego Serna; two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Tarpley; 15-year veteran and two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Zach Thornton; and six-year WNT forward Christie Welsh.
Of the 31 players on the Player ballot, Robin Fraser and Shannon MacMillan are in their final year of eligibility.
In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three years, but for no more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S., or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason All-League or All-Star team at least once.
The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members, and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can list up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.
2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player BallotChris Armas
* First year of eligibility
** Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2016
In addition to the Player ballot, voting is also set to begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Nine players are up for selection on the Veteran ballot, which is voted on only by current Hall of Famers after the list has been narrowed down by a screening committee.
Voters can name up to five Veteran candidates, and the top vote-getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. If no individual appears on 50 percent of the ballots, then no Veteran will be elected to the 2015 Class. More than one candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.
In order to be eligible for election as a Veteran, an individual must be retired for more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason All-League or All-Star team at least once. or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between 1984 and the end of the league in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason All-Star in at least one of those seasons.
2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
The 2015 Builder ballot includes nine individuals selected by a screening committee and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot, although the voting pool is expanded to also include select soccer administrators.
Builders must be at least 50 years old and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on American Soccer at the national federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible (although a referee who has less than seven years as a FIFA international referee still can qualify for the list via 10 or more years as a United States first-division referee).
2015 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot
Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at ussoccer.com.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame closed its Oneonta, N.Y., facility in 2010. The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
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.
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team faces Cuba in Group A play to open the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship on Friday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. ET. The match, which takes place at Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, will be shown live on FOX Sports 2. Four teams from the tournament will qualify directly to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
Here is a breakdown of the USA’s previous encounters with Cuba in this event:
- The USA is 5-0-2 in the all-time series against Cuba in this tournament.
- The series started with the USA defeating Cuba 1-0 on Nov. 25, 1988, in the final round of the 1988 CONCACAF U-16 Championship. The USA and Cuba, as well as Canada, advanced out of the group to qualify for the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship.
- The U.S. and Cuba met twice in the 1991 CONCACAF U-16 Championship, drawing 1-1 in Group 2 on March 28, followed by the USA’s 1-0 victory in the final round on April 2 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was the USA’s only win in the final round, but it was enough as the U.S., Cuba and Mexico advanced to the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship.
- On Aug. 23, 1992, the USA defeated Cuba 2-0 in the final round of the 1992 CONCACAF U-16 Championship. With its second consecutive win, combined with a draw between Mexico and Canada, the U.S. leapfrogged Mexico to win the tournament.
- The USA and Cuba tied 1-1 in Group A of the 2005 CONCACAF U-17 Tournament, which proved to be the only small setback for the U.S., which won its group with a 2-0-1 record.
- The USA’s most lopsided win against Cuba was on the shortened 2009 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, opening the tournament with a 5-0 win on April 21. Jack McInerney scored two goals and assisted two others. Luis Gil added a goal and set up both McInerney goals, and Stefan Jerome’s opening goal proved to be the game-winner. The U.S. won Group A with a 3-0-0 record. The event in Tijuana was then canceled because of a swine flu outbreak. The four semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U-17 World Cup: Group A winner USA, Group A runner-up Honduras, Group B winner Mexico and Group B runner-up Costa Rica.
Photos from the U.S. WNT's third day in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup. The USA takes on Norway on March 4 in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt,@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.
Below is a gallery from the players post-training scavenger hunt that had the team in stitches by the end.