FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo is among the first-time eligible players on the ballot for the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.
FILE – In this Aug. 3, 2016, file photo, United States’ goalkeeper Hope Solo takes the ball during a women’s soccer game at the Rio Olympics against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. By choosing to actively campaign against the U.S.-led North America bid on the 2026 World Cup host, Solo risks alienating herself further from the soccer community in her homeland. The bid leadership reacted furiously when informed Solo was undermining their efforts heading into the vote on Wednesday June 7, 2018, dismissing her criticism of the governance of soccer in the country as wild and unwarranted. (AP Photo/Eugenio Savio, File)
Solo, dismissed from the team following the 2016 Olympics, joins fellow U.S. national team members Brad Davis, Whitney Engen, Herculez Gómez and Clarence Goodson among 14 players first-time eligible players on the 42-person ballot.
Arguably one of the most successful goalkeepers on the international stage, Solo made 202 appearances with the national team with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts. During the 2015 World Cup championship run, she allowed three goals in seven games with five shutouts.
But her career was marked at times by controversy, and her contract with the national team was not renewed after the Brazil Games, when she called the Swedish team “cowards” for taking a defensive posture against the defending gold medalists.
Former MLS players Mike Magee, Carlos Ruiz, Nat Borchers, Conor Casey, Justin Mapp, Jamison Olave and Robbie Rogers also are on the ballot for the first time, as are Women’s Professional Soccer league players Jen Buczkowski and Kelly Smith.
LA Galaxy President Chris Klein, who played for the Americans and in Major League Soccer, and former national team defender Kate Markgraf, currently general manager of the U.S. women’s national team, are among six players in their final year of eligibility along with American forward Clint Mathis.
A player must appear on two-third of the ballots to gain election. Among the holdovers are LA Galaxy star David Beckham, current U.S. national team coach Gregg Berhalter, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, defender Steve Cherundolo and New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry.
Gomez, currently an ESPN commentator, was on the U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup and had a 17-year pro career in the Mexican league and MLS. He was on the Seattle Sounders team that won the MLS Cup in 2016. Goodsen, a defender, also played in 2010 in South Africa and made 46 national team appearances.
Davis played 15 years in MLS and made 17 appearances on the national team. The left winger was part of the squad that played in the 2014 World Cup.
Engen’s national team career spanned six years and included the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
Voters include current and past men’s and women’s national team coaches, MLS and National Women’s Soccer League head coaches with four years of top-level head coaching experience in the U.S., MLS and NWSL management and commissioners. the USSF president, all Hall of Famers and select media.
Ballots for the veteran and builder categories will be released later.
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