The National Soccer Hall of Fame has announced that Brian McBride, Kristine Lilly and Bob Bradley have been elected as the Class of 2014.
There can be little argument against Lilly or McBride who were justly honored for their contributions on the field, while Bradley’s credentials in the Builder category are equally noteworthy.
McBride is remembered almost as much for his fearless style of play as he is for his goal scoring prowess for the U.S. MNT and clubs like Fulham, the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew. A two time Player of the Year at Fulham, McBride was so popular with the Fulham faithful that the club named a pub at their Craven Cottage home McBride’s.
McBride is both the first player ever selected in the MLS SuperDraft and the first American man to score a goal in two World Cups. McBride scored in both 1998 and 2002. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan have each matched McBride’s accomplishment since.
Lilly was there almost from the beginning of Women’s soccer, earning her first cap as a 16 year old in 1987. Lilly would amass an astounding 352 caps, more than any other player, male or female. Lilly won two World Cups and two Olympic Gold medals as she straddled generation’s, doing more than her share in establishing the U.S. WNT as the standard bearer in the women’s game.
Bradley has been the quintessential American coach, making his name as college coach, then moving on to Major League Soccer, before eventually taking over as the national team coach.
Bradley was a success at all of those stops, winning an MLS Cup in 1998 with the Chicago Fire, and coaching the U.S. MNT to the top spot in its group in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Bradley’s team also reached the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup, beating Spain along the way.
In recent years Bradley has become something of a trailblazer for American coaches, taking charge of the Egyptian national team before moving on to Norway, as coach of Stabaek, where he beame the first American to coach a division one club in Europe.
The date and location of the induction will be announced at a later date, the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. having closed its doors in 2010.