National Soccer Hall of Fame

Coordinates: 33°09′12.6″N 96°50′05.7″W / 33.153500°N 96.834917°W / 33.153500; -96.834917
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National Soccer Hall of Fame
Main entrance to the NSHF in 2021
National Soccer Hall of Fame is located in Texas
National Soccer Hall of Fame
Location within Texas
Established1950 (1950) (as institution in 1979)
LocationToyota Stadium
Frisco, Texas
Coordinates33°09′12.6″N 96°50′05.7″W / 33.153500°N 96.834917°W / 33.153500; -96.834917
TypeProfessional sports hall of fame
Visitors17,000 per year[1][2]

The National Soccer Hall of Fame is a private, non-profit institution established in 1979 and currently located in Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The Hall of Fame honors soccer achievements in the United States. Induction into the hall is widely considered the highest honor in American soccer.[3][4][5][6]


The Hall of Fame was founded in 1950 by the Philadelphia "Old-timers" Association, a group of former professional and amateur soccer players that wanted to recognize the achievements of soccer in America.[7]


Former National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum in Oneonta, New York
Giant ball going out of the former National Soccer Hall of Fame Museum

The Hall of Fame museum opened on June 12, 1999, in Oneonta, New York. The museum featured the hall of fame, a library, and an interactive soccer play area. The United States National Soccer Team Players Association partnered with the Hall of Fame to create the Time In program, which honored people with a connection to soccer battling leukemia. Since the disease disproportionately targets children a majority of the honorees were youth soccer players.[8]

Prior to the 2005 induction of the "Magnificent Five" individuals from the early and mid 20th century had been largely ignored. This change was brought about by the acquisition of a large volume of historical records relating to this period. These records combined with previously developed eligibility criteria led to the induction of Tommy Fleming, Alex McNab, Johnny Nelson, Werner Nilsen and Fabri Salcedo. The notable careers of these five players all took place prior to 1950. The "Magnificent Five" were inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame in August 2005.[9]

Sports Illustrated reported on September 4, 2009, that the Hall announced it would be closing to the public. It was open only on certain match days. As a result of financial difficulties the Hall of Fame cut six of its nine employees during that same month.[2] The director of the Hall of Fame for almost ten years, Jack Huckel, left his position on December 18, 2009.[1] On February 10, 2010, it was announced that the Hall would close its facility, though inductions will continue.[10][11]

In September 2015, it was announced that a new Hall of Fame museum would be built at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, the home of Major League Soccer club FC Dallas.[12] The new museum opened during the 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony on October 20, 2018.[13] This new facility features additional memorabilia from soccer legends and high-tech, interactive exhibits.[14]

Rendering of building for the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The opening was October 20, 2018. Image release by Hall of fame.


After the museum was closed, a collection of more than 80,000 items was distributed to various locations across the country, including the headquarters of Eurosport, a long-term corporate sponsor, in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The collection includes the following notable items:[7][15]


Eligible individuals may be inducted into one of three categories: Player, Builder and Veteran (player). New individuals are inducted annually.


To be eligible in the Player category, an individual must have met number 1, and either number 2 or number 3, of the following three criteria:

  1. Retired as a player for at least three years, but for no more than 10 years
  2. Played at least 20 full international games for the United States. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990.
  3. Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league (currently MLS or NWSL), and won either the league championship, or the U.S. Open Cup, or was selected as a league all-star at least once.


Players who have met either no. 2 or no. 3 but who retired more than 10 years ago are automatically placed on the veteran eligibility list.


To be eligible in this category, an individual must have made his or her mark in soccer in a non-playing capacity and have had a major, sustained and positive impact on soccer in the United States at a national or first division professional level. Due to the broad, general nature of the criteria, nominations for this category may be considered. Nominations are screened by the Hall of Fame Historian and Researcher who submit their recommendations to the Hall as to the appropriateness of the nominee's inclusion on the eligibility list.

Medal of Honor[edit]

The National Soccer Hall of Fame's Medal of Honor is the highest honor given to people who have grown the sport of soccer in the United States.[16] The Medal is awarded to individuals who has "demonstrated vision and played an historic role in changing the course of soccer in America."[17] The Medal has been given out only four times in history.

Number Awarded Name Achievements
1 1998 Alan Rothenberg Director of the 1994 World Cup;[18]
President of U.S. Soccer (1990–98);
Oversaw the establishment of MLS.
2 1999 Lamar Hunt Co-founder of the NASL (1967–84);
Owner of 3 MLS teams during the early 2000s;[19]
Built the second soccer-specific stadium in the country after Bethlehem Steel in 1913.[19]
3 2001 1991 Women's national team Won the inaugural Women's World Cup.
4 2006 Phil Anschutz The most influential person in growing soccer in the U.S.;[16]
Owned 6 of 10 MLS teams during the early 2000s;[16]
Pushed MLS's development of soccer-specific stadiums.[16]

Annual ballots[edit]

2009 ballot[edit]

In 2009, the Hall of fame inducted Jeff Agoos and Joy Fawcett into the Hall of Fame in the player category.

2010 ballot[edit]

In 2010, Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljević were inducted in the player category, Kyle Rote, Jr. in the Veteran category and Bruce Arena in the Builder category.

2011 ballot[edit]

On February 17, 2011, the Hall of Fame announced the candidates eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2011. This list included individuals for all three categories, Player, Veteran and Builder. On March 29, 2011, the Hall of Fame announced that Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart had been elected for induction into the Hall of Fame in the 2011 Player category. Bruce Murray was selected in the Veteran category, and Bob Gansler was elected in the Builder category.[20]

2012 ballot[edit]

On January 31, 2012, the United States Soccer Federation announced that the ballots were finalized for the Class of 2012. Voting began on the day of the announcement and will continue until February 17. Twelve players were added to the ballot after qualifying for the first time. They included Tony Meola, Claudio Reyna, Jose Burciaga Jr., Ronald Cerritos, Lorrie Fair, Jennifer Lalor, Ronnie O'Brien, Ante Razov, David Regis, Thori Staples Bryan, Greg Vanney and Kerry Zavagnin. Of the remaining nine players in the pool, Mike Burns, Peter Nowak, Carlos Valderrama and Peter Vermes are in their final year of eligibility.[21]

On February 29, 2012, the USSF announced the induction of Tony Meola, Claudio Reyna, Tony DiCicco, and Desmond Armstrong into the Hall of Fame. Reyna and Meola greatly exceeded the two-thirds threshold required to enter the Hall, receiving 96.08% and 90.20% of the vote respectively.[22]

2013 ballot[edit]

On October 11, 2013, the USSF inducted two former U.S. international and MLS stars into the Hall of Fame. Forward Joe-Max Moore and the versatile Peter Vermes were the only players inducted in 2013.

2017 ballot[edit]

On August 3, 2017, former U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper Briana Scurry, and Joe Machnik were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the player and builder categories respectively.[23]

2018 ballot[edit]

On May 31, 2018, five new Inductees were announced Cindy Parlow, Brad Friedel, Tiffeny Milbrett, Bob Contiguglia, Don Garber (Deferred from 2016).[24] The 2018 class was the first class enshrined at the new facility in Frisco, Texas.




Colin Jose Media Award[edit]

The Colin Jose Media Award is an honor bestowed on members of the media whose contributions to soccer in the United States are deemed of an "exceptional and sustained" quality. The award is named for Colin Jose, who served as official historian of the National Soccer Hall of Fame from 1997 to 2007, and who is recognized internationally as the preeminent authority on the history of soccer in North America.[28]

MLS Hall of Fame Game[edit]

The MLS Hall of Fame Game was an annual friendly match between two MLS teams. It corresponded with the induction of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. The game took place at At-A-Glance Field in Oneonta, NY.

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Score
October 11, 2004 MetroStars 2 Chicago Fire 0
August 29, 2005 D.C. United 6 Colorado Rapids 2
September 6, 2006 New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew [30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Soccer Hall museum director leaves position". Utica Observer Dispatch. December 18, 2009. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Shane Evans (September 4, 2009). "National Soccer Hall of Fame to close". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  3. ^ "Red Bulls' Jeff Agoos gets inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame". Daily News.
  5. ^ "2010 Hall of Fame Induction Quote Sheet". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "Rutgers Standout Lalas Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on September 10, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "National Soccer Hall of Fame: Hall History". U.S. Soccer. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "Thursday's Daily: The Hall Without An Address". US Soccer Players. February 11, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  9. ^ "US Soccer Hall of Fame inducts five top veterans of the early 20th century". The American Soccer History Archives. Dave Litterer. July 11, 2005. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Fran Perritano (February 10, 2010). "Soccer Hall of Fame closes". Utica Observer Dispatch. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "National Soccer Hall of Fame to Change Operating Model, Relocate Exhibits and Archives". National Soccer Foundation. February 10, 2010. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  12. ^ staff (September 30, 2015). "US Soccer, FC Dallas announce new National Soccer Hall of Fame to be built at Toyota Stadium". Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Wigglesworth, Valerie (December 12, 2017). "New Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco will kick off in October with induction ceremony, games". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "History Associates Celebrates the History of Soccer with the Grand Opening of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  15. ^ L.E. Eisenmenger (February 2, 2010). "National Soccer Hall Of Fame Looks Ahead". Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d Sports Business Journal, Soccer’s visionary: Phil Anschutz, June 5, 2006,
  17. ^ Lamar Hunt Receives National Soccer Hall of Fame Medal of Honor, May 15, 1999,!topic/
  18. ^ Sports Illustrated, From obscurity to respect, August 20, 1998,
  19. ^ a b ESPN FC, Hunt a quiet pioneer of U.S. soccer, December 13, 2006,
  20. ^ "Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, and Earnie Stewart Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011". United States Soccer Federation. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013.
  21. ^ "National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Ballots Finalized". United States Soccer Federation. January 31, 2012. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  22. ^ "Reyna, Meola Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012". United States Soccer Federation. February 29, 2012. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  23. ^ "Briana Scurry, Dr. Joe Machnik Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017". U.S. Soccer. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  24. ^ "FIVE MEMBERS OF 2018 CLASS OF THE NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCED". US Soccer. May 31, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  25. ^ | National Soccer Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2016
  26. ^ "Kasey Keller, Sigi Schmid and Glenn "Mooch" Myernick Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame".
  27. ^ a b "US Soccer Hall of Fame Membership". Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  28. ^ "National Soccer Hall of Fame".
  29. ^ "Grant Wahl Named 2023 Colin Jose Media Award Winner". National Soccer Hall of Fame. 25 January 2023.
  30. ^ Game was canceled due to injuries on both teams.

External links[edit]