CHICAGO ( March 28, 2016) – Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2016 elections, and voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. Voting will continue for three weeks, and the results will be announced shortly after. Induction ceremony details for the Class of 2016 will be announced at a later date.
Players in their first year of eligibility include the following: two-time Women’s World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain; MLS’s second all-time regular season goal scorer Jeff Cunningham; three-time Olympic gold medalist and 2011 Women’s World Cup participant Heather Mitts; two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup participant Aly Wagner; 2002 and 2006 World Cup participant and two-time CONCACAF Gold Cup champion Josh Wolff; and nine-year MLS veteran Wilman Conde.
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, 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.
Of the 28-player ballot, Chris Henderson, a member of the MNT that won its first CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion, John O’Brien, star of the 2002 World Cup, and Tiffany Roberts, 1999 Women’s World Cup champion, are in their final year of eligibility.
2016 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf
* First year of eligibility
** Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2017
In addition to the Player ballot, voting will also begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Ten 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 2016 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.
2016 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
The 2016 Builder ballot includes seven 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).
2016 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.