February 24, 2014
FINDING SOME FAME
Lilly, McBride, Bradley elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame
CHICAGO--- Former U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Kristine Lilly and U.S. Men's National Team forward Brian McBride have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, along with former U.S. Men's National Team coach Bob Bradley, who was elected in the builders category.
|Former Women's U.S. National Team and Boston Breakers midfielder Kristine Lilly is soccer's all-time caps leader
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Both Lilly and McBride were elected their first time on the player ballot.
None of the candidates on the veteran ballot received the required amount of votes to be elected this year. Further information regarding the induction ceremony for the 2014 Class will be announced at a later date.
Lilly, the sport's all-time international caps leader, having played 352 games for the USA between 1987 and 2010, and McBride, who starred in three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006) for the U.S. MNT, are first-ballot Hall of Fame inductees. Bradley enters the Hall of Fame after 13 years of coaching soccer at the highest levels in the U.S.
Lilly enjoyed a 24-year international career that included winning two of the five Women's World Cups in which she played. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lilly played six seasons in domestic professional leagues, including five for the Boston Breakers in the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer. Lilly continues to work in the game as director of the Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy and an instructor for TeamFirst Soccer Academy.
"One of the most humbling parts of this is being inducted with so many of the greats that came before me," Lilly said in a statement. "It's always an honor to be recognized for something you've done, especially for something we did for so long on the U.S. team. It was amazing to wear that U.S. jersey for so long, and I'm forever grateful for the time I was able to play and really grateful for this honor.
McBride enters the Hall as one of the most lauded Americans in the history of European club soccer. Between 1993 and 2006, he earned 95 caps with the U.S., and his 30 international goals helped the team reach the semifinals of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, claim the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown and reach the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup - the best finish by the team in the modern era. McBride played 11 seasons in Major League Soccer with the Columbus Crew (1996-2003) and Chicago Fire (2008-10), as well as seven seasons with three English teams, including five with Fulham, where he was named captain in his final season. cBride works as an analyst for FOX Soccer.
"It's such an honor to be part of this select group. My first reaction after hearing about this was I got chills," McBride said in a statement. "For me, it's not something you think about while playing. I'm just honored to be thought of in this light by my peers and the press."
As head coach of the U.S. MNT, Bradley guided the team to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final and a first-place finish in Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As an MLS head coach, Bradley brought success to the Chicago Fire from 1998 to 2002, winning MLS Cup (1998) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (1998, 2002) before coaching the MetroStars from 2003-05 and Chivas USA in 2006. He continues to coach as the manager of Norwegian club Stabaek.
"The game has grown tremendously in the United States through the efforts of a great number of people, and I have always respected those who have given so much to move the sport forward," Bradley said in a statement. "Many of them have been recognized in the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and I am honored to be included."
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.