National Soccer Hall of Fame Grand Opening &
Class of 2018 Induction Ceremony
Saturday, October 20, 2018
“An Inspiration for Our Future”
Hello everyone! Thank you, Bob. Distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen—it’s wonderful to be with you.
Baseball has Cooperstown. Basketball has Springfield. Football has Canton. Hockey has Toronto. And as of today, America has a brand-new National Soccer Hall of Fame right here in Frisco!
Just imagine the incredible visit a young boy or girl will have here. Looking up at that statue outside—that majestic bicycle kick. Seeing the game balls our players touched, the jerseys they wore and the trophies they won. Honoring our heroes—all the members of our Hall of Fame who embody the spirit and passion of soccer in our country.
Which, as of today, will include Brad Friedel, Cindy Parlow Cone, Tiffeny Milbrett, Dr. Bob Contiguglia and Don Garber. I’d ask all our Hall of Famers—past and present—to please stand and be recognized. Thank you for inspiring us all. Today, we also salute this year’s recipient of the Colin Jose Media Award—the voice of American soccer—JP Dellacamera.
On behalf of all of us at U.S. Soccer—including my predecessor Sunil Gulati and our CEO, Dan Flynn, both of whom are here tonight—we’re honored to be a partner in this new Hall of Fame. It’s only possible because of the commitment and investment of so many people and organizations, and we thank them all. The City of Frisco and the Frisco Independent School District. FC Dallas. And the Hunt Family—especially Norma and two pioneers of the game, Clark and Dan—your husband and father would be so proud.
Of course, this is only the beginning. Today, because of the efforts of so many of you here in this room, soccer in America is more popular than ever. And in the years to come, we look forward to adding more exhibits. As college soccer, our professional leagues and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup continue to grow. When our Women’s National Team defends their World Cup title next year. When our Men reach new heights in 2022. And when the United States co-hosts the most extraordinary World Cup ever in 2026.
After all, this Hall of Fame isn’t just a celebration of our past, it’s an inspiration for our future. When a young girl or boy comes here, we hope they’ll say to themselves, “I can wear that jersey!” “I can play in that tournament!” “I can bring home that trophy!” In this way, our National Soccer Hall of Fame is going to inspire generations to come and help us come closer to the dream we all share—making soccer the preeminent sport in the United States!
Thank you all for being here, congratulations to the Class of 2018, and have a wonderful evening.