U.S. Soccer

Veteran Eligibility List

CRITERA: In order to meet the player eligibility criteria established by the Board of Directors, a veteran player must have met No. 1 and either No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 of the following four criteria:

  1. Retired as a player for more than 10 years.
  2. Played at least 20 full international games for the United States. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990 and to five games if they were prior to 1960.
  3. Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and was selected as a league all-star at least once.
  4. Played at least five seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League during the years when there was no first-division outdoor league in the United States (between the end of the NASL in 1984 and the end of the MISL in 1992), and been selected as a first-team postseason all-star in at least one of those seasons.

Players whose eligibility in the Player category has expired are automatically placed on the Veterans eligibility list. For purposes of the 2015 election, this means that they can have retired no later than 2004.

Players who have been candidates in the Veterans election for 8 consecutive years without ever reaching the final round in any of those years have been dropped from the eligibility list for subsequent elections. However, when application is made to the Hall of Fame by anyone seeking to have a dropped candidate restored to the list for an additional 8 years, that application will automatically be accepted.

ABOUT THIS LIST: The following is the list of players known to have met the criteria making them eligible to be candidates in the election that will choose a Veteran player to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015. This list includes both information about the achievements that enabled these players to meet the eligibility criteria and other information about their playing careers. The achievements that enabled them to meet the eligibility criteria are in italics.

Any person who has been officially suspended by FIFA, CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, the IOC or the USOC will be ineligible to appear on this list during the duration of that suspension.

The eligibility criteria were changed slightly by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors in 2008. This list contains some players who do not meet the new criteria, but did meet the old criteria. They have been retained on this list, as the criteria change approved in 2008 specified that players already on the list would not be dropped as a result of the change.

The eligibility criteria were changed by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors in 2013 to allow a onetime inclusion of eligible MISL players via criteria 4 above. In additional to new candidates added to the ballot, the bios of the affected candidates already on the ballot have been changed where necessary to reflect this.

All of the players on this list have been added to it via one or another of the following three processes:

  1. The records of the U.S. National Teams, Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League and the American Soccer League where available have been studied to find players who meet the eligibility criteria via their play in the national teams, MLS, the NASL, the MISL or the ASL.
  2. Nominations for players from certain other pre-NASL leagues have been received by the National Soccer Hall of Fame. The records of these leagues have been studied where possible and other research efforts have been made by the Hall of Fame’s historians to determine whether the players in question meet the eligibility criteria.
  3. Players whose time on the eligibility list for the Hall of Fame’s Player ballot has expired.

Definitions & Clarifications:

American first-division professional league: Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League from 1968
to 1984, or, prior to 1968, in one of various regional leagues that include the American Soccer League, the North American Soccer Football League, the German-American Soccer League of New York, the National Soccer League of Chicago, the St. Louis Soccer League, the Keystone League of Western Pennsylvania, the Greater Los Angeles Soccer League, the San Francisco Soccer League and the National Association Foot Ball League.

Winning the league championship: The player played on the winning team in the championship game or series, or in at least one victory during seasons when there was no league final and the champion was decided by the league standings.

Winning the U.S. Open Cup: The player played on the winning team in the championship game or series.

MLS all-star: selection to the postseason MSL Best XI.

MISL all-star:  selection to the All-MISL first team. Second-team and honorable mention selection are listed in the non-italicized part of the biography.

NASL all-star: First-team all-star. Second-team and honorable mention selection are listed in the non-italicized part of the biography.

NASL North American all-star: The team selected by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association.

Overall seasons in the MISL: refers to seasons both before and after the end of the NASL. 

Predecessors of the APSL: refer to the third American Soccer League and the Western Soccer Alliance/Western Soccer League, which merged in 1990 to form the APSL.

Qualifying seasons in the MISL: refers to seasons after the end of the NASL in 1984.

In many pre-NASL leagues, all-star teams were not chosen. In those instances, winning a league MVP award or a league goal scoring title is considered sufficient to fulfill the all-star requirement.

Sources for the information here include The 1984 North American Soccer League Media Guide, The 2013 U.S. Soccer Federation Men’s National Team Media Guide, The 2013 U.S. Soccer Federation Women’s National Team Media Guide, The 2013 MLS Fact and Record Book, The "Bill Graham" Guides, American Soccer League, 1921-31 by Colin Jose, The North American Soccer League Encyclopedia by Colin Jose, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Newark Evening News.

 

Mike Burns
(Last played professionally outside the United States in 1995; last played in the U.S. national team in 1998; last played in MLS in 2002).

A defender who starred in both the U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS.

Burns’ 75 full internationals for the United States included two games at the 1998 World Cup and 11 games in World Cup qualifying in 1996 and ‘97. He also was a member of the United States squad at the 1994 World Cup, although he did not play any games, and at the 1992 Olympics.

Burns played seven seasons in Major League Soccer between 1996-02, for New England, San Jose and Kansas City, appearing in 169 regular-season games and six playoff games. He also played one season in the Danish first division.

Burns has served the New England Revolution in a number of front office positions since 2005, first as Director of Soccer, then as Vice President of Player Personnel and currently as General Manager.

John Doyle
(Last played professionally outside the United States in 1993; last played in the U.S. national team in 1994; last played in the APSL/A-League in 1995; last played in MLS in 2000).

A defender who was a national team mainstay in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Doyle made his debut in the National Team against Canada in 1987 and eventually played 53 full internationals for the United States, including four World Cup qualifiers in 1988 and ‘89 and two World Cup games in 1990. He had only four national team goals in those games, but one of them was the first goal in the United States’ 2-0 upset of Mexico in a 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal. He also played for the United States at the 1988 Olympic Games. Doyle was a key man in the stiffening of the United States defense for its game against Italy in the 1990 World Cup and also played in the landmark victory over Trinidad in 1989.

Doyle played most of his professional career in northern California, for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the A-League and the San Jose Clash of MLS, although he also played one season in the Swedish first division and one in the German first division.

During his five MLS seasons, he played 132 regular-season games and three playoff games. He was an MLS All-Star and the MLS Defender of the Year in 1996.

Marco Etcheverry
(Last played in MLS in 2003; last played professionally outside the United States in 2004).

A Bolivian midfielder who was a key member of D.C. United’s dynasty of the first MLS seasons.

Etcheverry, known for the pinpoint passes that made him one of MLS’s premier playmakers, played eight seasons in MLS between 1996 and 2003, all of them for D.C. Before joining MLS, he had been a star of the Bolivian national team, including playing in the 1994 World Cup, and he played briefly in Bolivia after retiring from MLS.

Etcheverry won three MLS championships with D.C. United in 1996, 1997 and 1999 as well as a U.S. Open Cup championship in 1996 and a CONCACAF Champions Cup title in 1998. He was chosen as an MLS all-star in each of the league’s first four seasons, and was named the MLS most valuable player in 1998. Etcheverry played 191 MLS regular-season games and 23 MLS playoff games.

Linda Hamilton
(Last played in the U.S. national team in 1995).

A defender who was a regular starter for the United States at both the 1991 and ‘95 World Cups, playing in 12 games in those World Cups.

Hamilton played a total of 71 full internationals for the United States, the first against China in 1987 and the last against Norway in 1995. In the 1991 Women’s World Cup in China, she came on as a substitute in the United States’ opening game and then started the last five games on the road to winning Women’s World Cup. In the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden, she started all six United States games. She also played four games in the qualifying tournament for the 1995 Women’s World Cup the year before.

Mary Harvey
(Last played professionally outside the United States in 1994; last played in the U.S. national team in 1996).

The goalkeeper for the champion United States team at the 1991 Women's World Cup.

Harvey played a total of 27 full international games for the United States, the first against Poland in 1989 and the last against Australia in 1996. Harvey, who was one of the first American women to play professionally overseas, was one of the last players added to the United States roster for the 1991 World Cup, because she was playing in Germany for FSV Frankfurt. In that World Cup, she played every minute of the United States' six games, allowing only five goals and scoring three shutouts.

Harvey was also a member of the United States squad at the 1996 Olympic Games. She played five seasons in professional leagues in Germany and Sweden.

Shep Messing
(Last played in the NASL in 1979; last played in the MISL in 1987).

An NASL-era goalkeeper.

Messing never won a full international cap, but he was a goalkeeper for the United States at the 1972 Olympic Games in West Germany. He played seven seasons in the NASL and was the goalkeeper for the New York Cosmos in 1976 and their NASL title season of ‘77. Messing played 119 NASL regular-season games and nine NASL playoff games. He broke into the NASL with the Cosmos in 1973 and ‘74 and then played for the Boston Minutemen in ‘75 and part of ‘76, the Cosmos again in part of ‘76 and all of ‘77, the Oakland Stompers in ‘78 and the Rochester Lancers in ‘79.

Messing also played extensively indoors, including eight seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League and was a three time MISL All Star. He was also interim head coach of the New York Arrows of the NASL for part of 1983.

Glenn Myernick
(Last played in the U.S. national team in 1979; last played in the MISL in 1980; last played in the NASL in 1984).

A defender who played eight seasons in the North American Soccer League.

Myernick played in the NASL from 1976-84 for the Dallas Tornado, the Portland Timbers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, appearing in 163 NASL regular-season games and five NASL playoff games. He also played one season in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He played 10 full internationals for the United States, the first against El Salvador in 1977 and the last against France in ‘79.

Myernick later was a head coach of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer for four seasons, leading them into the playoffs each year. Myernick also served as an assistant coach on the Men’s National Team from 2002-06 during both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.

Cindy Parlow
(Last played in the W-League in 1999; last played in the WUSA in 2003; last played in the U.S. national team in 2004).

A forward who was a regular in the team that won the 1999 Women’s World Cup and won Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004.

During her career in the U.S. National Team, Parlow played 158 full internationals. Those included two games at the 1996 Olympics, six at the 1999 Women’s World Cup, five at the 2000 Olympics, five at the 2003 Women’s World Cup and two at the 2004 Olympics, plus four World Cup qualifiers. Her first full international was against Russia in January 1996 and her last against Mexico in December 2004.

Parlow played four seasons in the Women’s United Soccer Association, all of them with the Atlanta Beat. She was a member of the Atlanta teams that finished as runner-up for the WUSA title in 2001 and 2003. She was a second-team WUSA all-star in 2001, and during her WUSA career played 55 regular-season games and five playoff games.

Tisha Venturini-Hoch
(Last played in the WPSL in 1997; last played in the W-League in 1998; last played in the U.S. National Team in 2000; last played in the WUSA in 2003)

A midfielder who played in two World Cups for the United States.

Venturini, although not a starter, was one of the most visible stars of the team that won the Women’s World Cup in 1999, playing in two of the six games (including the final) and scoring two goals. She also had been a member of the United States team at the 1995 Women’s World Cup, where she played all six United States games, and the 1996 Olympic Games, where she played all five United States games. She played 132 full internationals for the United States between 1992 and her retirement from the national team in 2000.

Venturini played three seasons in the WUSA, all for San Jose, and won a WUSA championship in 2001. She also played one season in the W-League and one season in the WPSL. She played 60 WUSA regular-season games and two WUSA playoff games.