The National Soccer Hall of Fame revealed its full 2020 ballot on March 11, with Chicago Fire legend Frank Klopas included among first-year eligible players on the Veteran ballot.
Klopas, who returned to the Fire sideline this season as an assistant coach under Raphael Wicky, was signed by Chicago in 1998 and given a chance to end his professional career where it began – in his hometown. Klopas played 40 games and tallied six goals and five assists during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He later served as head coach of the Club from 2011-13.
Also included on the Veteran ballot is Ring of Fire inductee Chris Armas, who led the Fire to three U.S. Open Cup Championships (2000, 2003, 2006) and helped the Fire reach the MLS Cup Finals in 2000 and 2003. The seven-time MLS All-Star finished his decorated playing career in 2007 having tallied 12 goals and 48 assists through 214 games.
In order to be eligible for election as a Veteran, an individual must be a retired player for 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, or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between 1984-1992 and been named a postseason league All-Star at least once.
The Veteran ballot will be voted on by current Hall of Famers who can select up to five (5)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 2020 Class. More than one(1)candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.
Voting for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2020 begins on March 18. Among those on the Player ballot is former MLS MVP and Chicagoland native Mike Magee. You can view the full list here.
The rest of the 2020 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot includes:
- John Doyle
- Marco Etcheverry
- Mary Harvey
- Chris Henderson
- Tiffany Roberts
- Taylor Twellman
- Greg Vanney
- Tisha Venturini-Hoch
- Slavisa “Steve” Zungul