A number of former MLS standouts may be taking a place in the US Soccer Hall of Fame as the ballots have been finalized for the 2017 elections.
Fomer MLS players in their first year of eligibility include:
- Chris Albright
- David Beckham
- Danny Califf
- Joe Cannon
- Brian Ching
- Eddie Gaven
- Amado Guevara
- Kevin Hartman
- Pablo Mastroeni
They join the following former MLS stars on the ballot:
- Chris Armas
- Gregg Berhalter
- Jeff Cunningham
- Frankie Hejduk
- Chris Klein
- Jason Kreis
- Eddie Lewis
- Clint Mathis
- Jaime Moreno
- Ben Olsen
- Pat Onstad
- Steve Ralston
- Ante Razov
- Tony Sanneh
- Taylor Twellman
- Josh Wolff
According to the National Soccer Hall of Fame release:
In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S.; if played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason league 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/Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.
Each voter can select 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.
Armas and Kreis are on their final year on the ballot. If not elected this year they would move to the Veteran Ballot. Via the release, the Veteran Ballot,
In addition to the Player ballot, voting will also begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Fifteen 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 2017 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 selected as league All-Star 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.
There are also a number of candidates on the Builder Ballot. To be eligible for this list:
The 2017 Builder ballot includes ten 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).
Here is the full list of players eligible on the Player Ballot, Veteran Ballot, and Builder Ballot.
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Chris Albright*, Chris Armas**, David Beckham*, Gregg Berhalter, Danny Califf*, Joe Cannon*, Steve Cherundolo* , Brian Ching*, Jeff Cunningham, Tina Frimpong Ellerston*, Eddie Gaven*, Amado Guevara*, Kevin Hartman*, Frankie Hejduk, Chris Klein, Jason Kreis**, Eddie Lewis, Kate Sobrero Markgraf, Pablo Mastroeni*, Clint Mathis, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather Mitts, Jaime Moreno, Ben Olsen, Pat Onstad, Leslie Osborne*, Steve Ralston, Ante Razov, Tony Sanneh, Briana Scurry, Taylor Twellman, Aly Wagner , Josh Wolff
*First year of eligibility
**Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2018
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
George Best, Chico Borja, Mike Burns, John Doyle, Marco Etcheverry, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Chris Henderson, Dominic Kinnear, Shep Messing, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts, Mike Sorber, Tisha Venturini
2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot
Esse Baharmast, Gene Chyzowych, Robert Contiguglia, Eddie Firmani, Richard Groff, Gordon Jago, Tim Leiweke, Joe Machnik, Francisco Marcos, Kevin Payne