Brian McBride. Kristine Lilly. Bob Bradley. We all know these names. These names are special – really special. These three soccer-stars are this year’s National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Brian McBride was the face of US Soccer during the late 90s and early 2000s. As one of the most notorious players to ever grace the USMNT, he is 100% deserving of his Hall of Fame induction. Having scored 30 goals for the USA – third highest all-time – McBride set high standards for American Soccer as we know it today. As a mentor and a leader, McBride’s positive energy on and off the field filtered throughout an entire program.
McBride earned 96 caps as a member of the USMNT. He was the first American player to score at two World Cups, and he has the third most World Cup goals for the USA, with three. McBride also led the program through the 2008 Olympics, serving as Captain – even though he retired two years prior.
It’s that kind of spirit that qualifies McBride for the 2014 Hall of Fame.
The 1999 Women’s World Cup Team paved the way for many young girls playing soccer. It wasn’t until 1999 that the USWNT became a common subject, and players, including Kristine Lilly, became household names.
Among Lilly’s many accomplishments, she has scored 130 goals – third highest of all-time for the women, just behind Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, she was the first woman to compete in five World Cups, she’s a two-time world champion, competed in three Olympics, and has the title for most capped player in the history of the sport. That’s right, with 352 caps, no man or woman has more than Kristine Lilly.
After retiring in 2008, Lilly has stayed very relevant in the soccer community, helping to operate camps with Mia Hamm and Tisha Venturini and serving as the assistant coach for the Boston Breakers since 2012.
Lilly’s success and leadership has not only served to inspire young women like Alex Morgan and progress even her younger peers like Abby Wambach, but it has also earned her a much-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame.
We all know Bob Bradley. After the disappointing 2006 World Cup finish, Bob Bradley took the USMNT to a second place finish in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Shortly thereafter, Bradley took his team to the 2010 World Cup.
The USA team faced a strong group in 2010, with matches against Algeria, England, and Slovenia. Though all games were hard fought, the United States topped the group, going 1-0-2 during the group stage. Unfortunately, the USMNT lost to Ghana in a 2-1 heartbreaking defeat in the second round.
After the World Cup, Bradley led the USMNT to the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Finishing second to Mexico, the team did very well only losing to Panama along the way.
After the Gold Cup, Bradley went on to manage Egypt’s National team. Now he’s coaching Stabæk Fotboll in Norway. He is the first American Manager to coach in a Premier European Division.
Though his reign with the USMNT was but a chapter in his 33-year-long and prosperous coaching career, the infamous coach is the epitome of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
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