CHICAGO (May 5, 2016) – Brandi Chastain, Shannon MacMillan and Don Garber have been elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Chastain was selected on the Player Ballot, MacMillan on the Veteran Ballot and Garber via the Builder Ballot. Details about the induction ceremony will be released at a later date.
Chastain, who gained world-wide fame – and the covers of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time – for her game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, enters the Hall of Fame having enjoyed a 12-year international career while playing 192 matches and scoring 30 goals for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1988-2004. Chastain, a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee, competed in three FIFA Women’s World Cups (1991, 1999 and 2003), winning world titles in 1991 and 1999.
"To be inducted into the Hall of Fame and have my name read in the same sentence with our country’s best is truly humbling,” said Chastain. “The opportunity to play the game was given to me by my parents; my competitiveness and enthusiasm was fostered by every coach who I was blessed to be taught by, and my passion was shared and heightened by all of my teammates over my career. It is not enough to say how grateful I am with words, and therefore, I continue to share the game with anyone and everyone."
The two-time Olympic gold medalist (1996 and 2004) and silver medalist (2000) was the first U.S. player to score five goals in one match, accomplishing the feat in 1991 during World Cup Qualifying as a forward when she came off the bench to score the first five goals of her career. While she debuted for the USA in 1988 and played forward (her college position) early in her international career, the vast majority of her international caps were earned after she converted to defender from 1996-2004.
MacMillan, a 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist, enters the Hall of Fame on the Veteran Ballot. She had a 12-year career with the U.S. WNT, playing in 176 matches from 1993-2005. Her 60 career goals are currently ninth all-time in U.S. women’s history. She also won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and played in the 2003 Women’s World Cup. She was the 2002 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
“Playing for the USA was always an honor and privilege for me, and that could only be topped by being selected for the Hall of Fame,” said MacMillan. “I am incredibly humbled and honored by this selection. I will forever be grateful to the great game of soccer for all of the life lessons it has taught me along the way, and for all the friendships I built along the way. I want to thank U.S. Soccer and my teammates for all of the support throughout the years.”
Garber enters the Hall of Fame on the Builder Ballot after 17 years as the Commissioner of Major League Soccer and extensive work growing the sport of soccer in the United States.
“Thanks to the commitment and hard work of many people, our sport has grown significantly during the last few decades and there is no doubt the United States is a true soccer nation,” said Garber. “It is an honor to be inducted alongside Brandi Chastain and Shannon MacMillan, two iconic figures in U.S. Soccer history who have impacted the sport at so many levels. I am also thrilled that FC Dallas and Toyota Stadium will serve as the new home of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, providing soccer fans the opportunity to pay tribute to many of the great players, coaches and leaders in U.S. Soccer history.”
Currently, Garber also serves as CEO of Soccer United Marketing, a company that promotes several professional soccer properties, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League and the Mexican Soccer Federation throughout the U.S. and various international soccer events.
Brandi Chastain Bio:
While playing with the Women’s National Team from 1988-2004, Chastain became a two-time Women’s World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist and was the first U.S. player to score five goals in a single match. Chastain played club soccer in Japan for Skiroki Serena for one season in 1993 before playing in the U.S. for the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) from 2001-2003 and in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2009. In 2013, U.S. Soccer’s Centennial year, she was named to the U.S. WNT's All-Time Best XI. Currently, Chastain continues to coach women’s soccer at her alma mater Santa Clara, where she was an All-American, assisting head coach and husband Jerry Smith.
Shannon MacMillan Bio:
From 1994-2006, MacMillan played for the U.S. WNT, earning a Women’s World Cup title (1999) and an Olympic gold medal (1996). At the University of Portland, she was honored with the 1995 Hermann Trophy and MAC Player of the Year awards, and in 2002, was named U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year. She was one of the founding players of WUSA, playing three seasons for the San Diego Spirit. Currently, she is the director of club operations for the Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks soccer club in her native San Diego.
Don Garber Bio:
Before joining MLS, Garber worked for 16 years in the National Football League as the Director of Marketing for the NFL and then Senior Vice President of Business Development. Since being appointed in 1999, MLS Commissioner Garber has helped bring about the creation of 13 expansion teams and construction of multiple soccer-specific stadiums, while also bringing a more international standard to the game in the U.S. Garber also serves as CEO of SUM to help promote several soccer properties between international organizations and U.S. Soccer. In 2011, he was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the nation’s top sports commissioners and has been named among the top 50 most influential people in sports business by the SportsBusiness Journal every year since 2005.