More MLS legends added to Hall of Fame ballot

Additions of five new MLS greats makes player vote unpredictable

NEW YORK – Voting for the 2011 class of the National Soccer
Hall of Fame has kicked off and there is a strong chance it could wind up being
an all-MLS class based on the names that are up for election in three different
categories: Player, Veteran and Builder.

The “Player” ballot features 25 names including five new
additions, who are all MLS legends and former US national team players in their
first year of eligibility: Chris Armas, Cobi Jones, Jason Kreis, Carlos Llamosa
and Eddie Pope. Kreis is the current head coach of Real Salt Lake while Carlos
Llamosa is a current assistant at Chivas USA.

These newcomers are in competition with several other
important figures from the early years of MLS: Mike Burns, Mauricio Cienfuegos,
Raúl Díaz Arce, Marco Etcheverry, Robin Fraser, Chris Henderson, Roy Lassiter, Joe-Max
Moore, Peter Nowak, Carlos Valderrama and Peter Vermes. Three are current MLS
head coaches (Fraser, Nowak and Vermes) while two are technical directors
(Burns and Henderson).

in the running are former indoor goalkeeper Victor Nogueira, five former women’s
national team players, two Americans who started in Holland and made it to MLS
(Earnie Stewart and John O’Brien) and Steve Trittschuh, who is in his last
attempt to make it in the Hall of Fame as a player before getting moved to the
Veteran ballot.

player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will be enshrined.

The 2011 edition of the “Veteran” ballot consists of 10
former players, of which the most recognizable among fans will be current San
Jose Earthquakes general manager John Doyle, New York Red Bulls broadcaster Shep
Messing and former Colorado Rapids manager Glenn “Mooch” Myernick.

World greats George Best (Wales) and Teófilo Cubillas
(Peru), who starred in the NASL, are also still in the running for a place in
the Hall in this “Veteran” category. The top vote-getter with at least 50
percent of the ballots earns induction.

The MLS hopefuls of the seven individuals on the “Builder”
ballot are current Seattle Sounders manager Sigi Schmid and Bob Gansler, who
led Kansas City to the 2000 MLS Cup. Here, too, the top vote-getter with at
least 50 percent of the ballots enters the Hall of Fame.

Voting in all three categories by a predetermined pool of
voters runs through March 11 and results will be announced this spring.

Although the National Soccer Hall of Fame is no longer
housed in a permanent headquarters, the elections have continued under the
auspices of the US Soccer Federation. The 2010 induction ceremony was conducted
at the New Meadowlands Stadium in conjunction with the international match
between the USA and Brazil.