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Chicago Fire alums featured on 2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot

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CHICAGO (May 24, 2017) — Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017 elections and voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. The results of the voting and induction ceremony details for the Class of 2017 will be announced at a later date.

Five nominees with ties to the Chicago Fire are featured on the 2017 player ballot, including: Ring of Fire honoree Chris Armas(1998-2007), former assistant coach Clint Mathis (coach: 2014-15), Ring of Fire honoree and all-time leading goal-scorer Ante Razov(1998-2004), defender Tony Sanneh(2005-06), and Fire original Josh Wolff (1998-2002). Additionally, midfielder Mike Sorber (2000) is a nominee on the Veteran ballot.

Players in their first year of eligibility include the following: 2006 FIFA World Cup participant and 15-year MLS veteran Chris Albright; two-time MLS Cup champion and three-time MLS All-Star David Beckham; 2002 Gold Cup, MLS Cup and MLS Supporters Shield champion Danny Califf; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Cup champion Joe Cannon; three-time FIFA World Cup squad member and 14-year U.S. MNT veteran Steve Cherundolo; three-time MLS Cup Champion, all-time Houston Dynamo leading goal scorer and 2007 Gold Cup champion Brian Ching; 2007 Women’s World Cup participant Tina Frimpong Ellertson; 2008 MLS Cup champion with Columbus Crew SC, Eddie Gaven; seven-year MLS veteran and 2004 MLS Most Valuable Player Amado Guevara; two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and all-time leader in MLS appearances Kevin Hartman; 2002 and 2006 World Cup participant and 2007 and 2007 Gold Cup champion Pablo Mastroeni; 2007 Women’s World Cup participant Leslie Osborne.

In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S.; if played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and named to a postseason league All-Star team at least once.

The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS and NWSL Commissioners/Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.

Each voter can select up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.

Of the 33-player ballot, Chris Armas, who in addition to his Fire tenure was a member of U.S. teams that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2002 and 2005, and Jason Kreis, the 1999 MLS leading goal scorer and most valuable player, are in their final year of eligibility.

2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot

Chris Albright
Chris Armas
David Beckham

Gregg Berhalter
Danny Califf
Joe Cannon

Steve Cherundolo
Brian Ching

Jeff Cunningham
Tina Frimpong Ellerston
Eddie Gaven

Amado Guevara
Kevin Hartman

Frankie Hejduk
Chris Klein
Jason Kreis

Eddie Lewis
Kate Sobrero Markgraf
Pablo Mastroeni
Clint Mathis
Tiffeny Milbrett
Heather Mitts
Jaime Moreno
Ben Olsen
Pat Onstad
Leslie Osborne

Steve Ralston
Ante Razov
Tony Sanneh

Briana Scurry
Taylor Twellman
Aly Wagner
Josh Wolff

First year of eligibility
*Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2018

In addition to the Player ballot, voting will also begin for the Veteran Player and Builder ballots. Fifteen players are up for selection on the Veteran ballot, which is voted on only by current Hall of Famers after the list has been narrowed down by a screening committee.

Voters can name up to five Veteran candidates, and the top vote-getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. If no individual appears on 50 percent of the ballots, then no Veteran will be elected to the 2017 Class. More than one candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.

In order to be eligible for election as a Veteran, an individual must be retired for more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and selected as league All-Star at least once, or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between 1984 and the end of the league in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason All-Star in at least one of those seasons.

2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot

George Best
Chico Borja
Mike Burns
John Doyle
Marco Etcheverry
Linda Hamilton
Mary Harvey
Chris Henderson
Dominic Kinnear
Shep Messing
Cindy Parlow
Tiffany Roberts
Mike Sorber
Tisha Venturini-Hoch
Roy Wegerle

The 2017 Builder ballot includes 10 individuals selected by a screening committee and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot, although the voting pool is expanded to also include select soccer administrators.

Builders must be at least 50-years-old and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on American Soccer at the national, federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible (although a referee who has less than seven years as a FIFA international referee still can qualify for the list via 10 or more years as a United States first-division referee).

2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot

Esse Baharmast
Gene Chyzowych
Robert Contiguglia
Eddie Firmani
Richard Groff
Gordon Jago
Tim Leiweke
Joe Machnik
Francisco Marcos
Kevin Payne

Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at

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.