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US Hall of Fame unveils player ballot
Nine players with ties to USL leagues among 24 nominees

National Soccer Hall of Fame - www.soccerhall.org

Monday, November 9, 2009

ONEONTA, NY -- The National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum distributed the 2010 Player Ballot Monday to all voters. The ballot features 24 retired national team and professional players who all have contributed to the growth of soccer in the United States, including nine former players of USL leagues.

Among the players on the ballot are three FIFA Women’s World Cup winners who helped launch the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2001, and ten men who have played in the FIFA World Cups of 1990, 1994, 1998 or 2002. Five players on the ballot had international careers and were among the early pioneers of Major League Soccer. The players on the ballot are:

Defensive great Fraser finished with Crew (Greg Bartram / WireImage.com)

• Mike Burns
• Mauricio Cienfuegos
• Raul Diaz Arce
• Thomas Dooley
• John Doyle
• Marco Etcheverry
• Robin Fraser
• Chris Henderson
• Eduardo Hurtado
• Dominic Kinnear
• Roy Lassiter
• Shannon MacMillan
• Joe-Max Moore
• Victor Nogueira
• Peter Nowak
• John O’Brien
• Cindy Parlow
• Preki Radosavljevic
• Mike Sorber
• Earnie Stewart
• Steve Trittschuh
• Carlos Valderrama
• Tisha Venturini-Hoch
• Peter Vermes

Player biographies of all candidates are available on the Hall of Fame’s website at SoccerHall.org [+] 

“The announcement of the Hall of Fame ballot is an important first step in the Hall of Fame’s annual induction process,” Hall of Fame President Jonathan Ullman said. “These players represent some great moments in U.S. soccer history from the 90s and the first decade of the 21st Century. We look forward to learning who the voters believe should join the Hall of Fame.”

Appearing on the ballot for the first time are Chris Henderson, Eduardo Hurtado, and John O’Brien.

Those in the final year of eligibility on the Player Ballot are Thomas Dooley, John Doyle, Dominic Kinnear and Mike Sorber. If not elected, these players will be on the Veteran Player Preliminary Ballot in 2011.

The eligibility and election process is detailed on the Hall of Fame’s web site.

Voters in the player election include selected members of the media, Hall of Famers, past and present U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches, MLS and WPS coaches of four or more years tenure, and a select group of soccer administrators. The ballot deadline is November 19. The results will be announced in early 2010.

Players with background in USL leagues:

Raul Diaz Arce
(Last played in MLS in 2001; last played in USL-1 in 2004)

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via his MLS seasons. A Salvadoran forward who starred for several teams and won several championships in Major League Soccer, Diaz Arce spent the 2004 season with the Puerto Rico Islanders, registering seven goals in 15 games.

Diaz Arce’s greatest fame fame came with D.C. United, which he joined at the start of MLS’ first season after having established an reputation via his play in El Salvador’s national team.

He was one of the stars of the D.C. United team that won the first two MLS championships, and scored 46 goals in those two years. Later in his six-season MLS career, he played for the New England Revolution, the San Jose Earthquakes, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Colorado Rapids, finishing his MLS career with a total of 150 MLS regular-season games and 12 MLS playoff games. He scored 90 goals in those 162 games. In addition to the 1996 and 1997 MLS titles, he also won the U.S. Open Cup in 1996.

John Doyle
(Last played professionally outside the United States in 1993; last played in the U.S. national team in 1994; last played in USL-1 in 1995; last played in MLS in 2000).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via both his MLS seasons and his U.S. national team caps. Doyle played most of his professional career in northern California, for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the USL First Division and the San Jose Clash of MLS, although he also played one season in the Swedish first division and one in the German first division. He first played for the San Jose Earthquakes of USL-1 in 1987 before moving onto the Blackhawks with 1989-90 and 1992. He left the west coast for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1994 and Atlanta Ruckus in 1995. He was honored as a USL-1 All-League selection four times (1989, 90, 92, 95).

A defender who was a member of the United States teams at the 1988 Olympic Games and the 1990 World Cup and was a national-team mainstay in the early 1990s. Doyle made his debut in the national team against Canada in 1987 and eventually played 53 full internationals for the United States, including four World Cup qualifiers in 1988 and 1989 and two World Cup games in 1990. He had only four national-team goals in those games, but one of them was the first goal in the United States' 2-0 upset of Mexico in a 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal. Doyle, a tall, strong defender, was a key man in the stiffening of the United States defense for its game against Italy in the 1990s World Cup, and also played in the landmark victory over Trinidad in 1989.

During his five MLS seasons, he played 132 MLS regular-season games and three MLS playoff games. He was an MLS all-star and the MLS defender of the year in 1996. In 2009, he completed his second season as general manager of the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS.

Robin Fraser
(Last played in USL-1 in 1995; last played in the U.S. national team in 2000; last played in MLS in 2005).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via both his MLS seasons and his U.S. national team caps. A defender who was chosen to Major League Soccer’ postseason all-star team five times in his 10 MLS seasons, Fraser was one of the top defenders in the USL First Division before the launch of MLS. He was honored what still remains a league high six times as an All-League selection while playing for the Colorado Foxes, reaching three consecutive finals from 1992-94 and winning the title in 1993 and 1994.

Fraser played in MLS from 1996 to 2005, for Los Angeles, Colorado and Columbus, including Los Angeles’ MLS runnerup teams in 1996 and 1999. He was named to the MLS Best XI in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2004 and was the MLS defender of the year twice, in 1999 and 2004. During his MLS career, he played 260 regular-season games and 30 playoff games.

Fraser played 26 full internationals for the United States, the first against Chile in June 1988 and the last against Ecuador in June 2001, including one World Cup qualifying game in 2000. He was a member of the U.S. team at the 1999 Confederations Cup.

Chris Henderson
(Last played in USL-1 in 1989; last played professionally outside the United States in 1995; last played in the U.S. national team in 2001; last played in MLS in 2006).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via his U.S. national team caps. A midfielder and forward who was a regular for the United States in the early 1990s and then had a long career in Major League Soccer, Henderson spent the 1989 season with the Seattle Storm of USL-1.

Henderson’s 79 caps for the United States included two World Cup qualifiers in 1997 and one in 2001. He was a member of the United States team at the 1990 World Cup, when he was only 19. He didn’t play in that World Cup, but a year later, he played every minute of all five U.S. games as the United States who its first major international championship at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Henderson played 11 seasons in MLS, for Colorado, Kansas City, Miami, Columbus and New York. He won an MLS title in 2000 when he was with Kansas City, and also reached the MLS final in 1997 with Colorado. Prior to the start of MLS in 1996, he had played in the Norwegian first division and the German second division. He is among the all-time leaders in MLS appearances, having played 317 MLS regular-season games and 31 MLS playoff games.

Dominic Kinnear
(Last played in the U.S. national team in 1994; last played in USL-1 in 1995; last played professionally outside the United States in 1995; last played in MLS in 2000).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via his U.S. national team caps. Before the establishment of MLS, he had played six seasons in USL-1 and one season in the Mexican first division. He played for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks from 1989-92 before joining the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1994 and Seattle Sounders in 1995. He was honored as an All-League selection five times (1989-92, 94).

A midfielder who was a member of the U.S. national team in the early 1990s and later played in MLS, Kinnear played the first of his 54 games in the U.S. national team against Trinidad on Nov. 19, 1990 and the last against Armenia on May 15, 1994. He was a member of the United States team that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991 and played in the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993.

Kinnear played five seasons in MLS for the Colorado Rapids, San Jose Earthquakes and Tampa Bay Mutiny, appearing in 117 MLS regular-season games and four MLS playoff games. In 2009, he completed his sixth season as a head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo in MLS, after having been named MLS coach of the year in 2005.

Roy Lassiter
(Last played professionally outside the United States in 1997; last played in the U.S. national team in 2000; last played in MLS in 2002; last played in USL-1 in 2003).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via both his MLS seasons and his U.S. national team caps. Lassiter spent the 2003 season in USL-1 with the Virginia Beach Mariners, registering seven goals and six assists on the year.

A forward who was one of the great goalscorers in the early seasons of MLS, Lassiter played seven seasons in MLS between 1996 and 2002, for Tampa Bay, D.C., Miami and Kansas City. He was the MLS scoring leader, and an all-star selection, in 1996 when he was with Tampa Bay. With D.C., he won an MLS title in 1999 and a CONCACAF Champions Cup title in 1998. In addition to his MLS seasons, played three seasons in the Costa Rican first division and one partial loan season in the Italian second division. In his 179 MLS regular-season games and 21 MLS playoff games he scored a total of 101 goals.

Lassiter played 30 full internationals for the United States, the first in 1992 and the last in 2000, including five World Cup qualifiers in 1996 and 1997.

Steve Trittschuh
(Last played in the MISL in 1988; last played professionally outside the United States in 1993; last played in the NPSL in 1995; last played in USL-1 in 1995; last played in the U.S. national team in 1995; last played in MLS in 2001).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via his U.S. national team caps. Trittschuh played six seasons in the USL First Division, spending the first four years with the Tampa Bay Rowdies (1089-93) the fifth with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the sixth with the Montreal Impact. He earned All-League honors times (1989, 92-95).

A defender who starred for the U.S. national team in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was the first American ever to play in the European Champions Cup. Trittschuh played 38 full internationals for the United States between 1987 and 1995, and was a member of the United States team at the 1990 World Cup, where he played one game, against Czechoslovakia, after having played all 10 of the United States' games in qualifying during 1988 and 1989. As a result of that game against Czechoslovakia, Trittschuh was signed to play the 1990-91 season for Sparta Prague of the Czech first division, and it was during that season that he became the first American in the European Champions Cup.

Trittschuh, who also played one season each in the Dutch first division, the MISL and the NPSL, joined MLS at its start in 1996 and played six seasons in that league for Colorado and Tampa Bay. He appeared in 153 MLS regular-season games and nine MLS playoff games.

Tisha Venturini-Hoch
(last played in the W-League in 1998; last played in the U.S. national team in 2000; last played in the WUSA in 2003).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via her U.S. national team caps. A midfielder who played in two World Cups for the United States, Venturini spent the 1998 W-League season with the Delaware Genies.

Venturini, although not a starter, was one of the most visible stars of the team that won the Women's World Cup in 1999, playing in two of the six games (including the final) and scoring two goals. She also had been a member of the United States team at the 1995 Women's World Cup, where she played all six United States games, and the 1996 Olympic Games, where she played all five United States games. She played 132 full internationals for the United States between 1992 and her retirement from the national team in 2000.

Venturini played three seasons in the WUSA, all for San Jose, and won a WUSA championship in 2001. She played 60 WUSA regular-season games and two WUSA playoff games.

Peter Vermes
(Last played in USL-1 in 1991; last played professionally outside the United States in 1992; last played in the NPSL in 1997; last played in the U.S. national team in 1997; last played in MLS in 2002).

Has met the Hall of Fame eligibility criteria via both his MLS seasons and his U.S. national team caps. A forward in the U.S. national team early in his career who later was an outstanding defender in MLS, Vermes spent the 1991 season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of USL-1.

Vermes played 67 full internationals for the United States between 1988 and 1997, including eight of the United States' 10 World Cup qualifiers in 1988 and 1989 and all three of its World Cup games in 1990. He scored a key goal in the United States' landmark victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991.

Vermes was among the first American professional players in Europe, starting in 1988, playing one season in the Hungarian first division, one season in the Dutch first division and one season in the Spanish second division.

He played seven seasons in MLS between 1996 and 2002 for MetroStars, Colorado and Kansas City, and won an MLS championship with Kansas City in 2000, a season in which he also was chosen as an MLS all-star and the league's outstanding defender. Twelve years earlier, he had been the USSF men's athlete of the year after playing for the United States in the 1988 Olympic Games. Vermes played 184 MLS regular-season games and 25 MLS playoff games. Besides his years in MLS and Europe, he also played one season in the ASL and one season in the NPSL. In 2009, while in his third season as technical director of the Kansas City Wizards in MLS, he became head coach of the team in mid-season.


 

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