National Soccer Hall of Fame inducts six new members
FRISCO, Texas — The National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium inducted six members — five from the Class of 2022 and one from the Class of 2021.
U.S. National Team alumni Shannon Boxx, Clint Dempsey and Linda Hamilton joined three-time Major League Soccer champion Marco Etcheverry and FIFA international referee Esse Baharmast in entering the Hall of Fame from the 2022 class. U.S. National Team alumnus Christie Pearce Rampone entered the Hall of Fame after deferring her induction last year.
U.S. National Team alumnus Hope Solo, who was elected in the Class of 2022, previously deferred her induction until 2023.
A midfielder who made 195 appearances for the U.S. Women’s National Team between 2003 and 2015, Boxx won three Olympic championships and one World Cup.
“Making it into the Hall of Fame started with a dream of just wanting to play sports and wanting to be great at something,” Boxx said. “Both of my kids are going to walk through that museum, and I’m so excited that they get to see the talent and know that women can be amazing and do anything they want to do.”
A forward who was one of the best goal scorers in U.S. national team history, Dempsey played 141 games for the USMNT and nine seasons in MLS, with two Best XI selections.
“As a kid, I dreamed about this moment of representing my country in a World Cup by scoring in the World Cup,” Dempsey said. “But I never thought I’d be recognized among the top U.S. players of all time, so it is truly an honor.”
Hamilton, one of two candidates elected from the Veteran ballot, played 71 full internationals for the U.S. between 1987 and 1995.
“It means a lot to me as a defender,” Hamilton said. “We don’t always get the statistics that would back up the [Hall of Fame] criteria. It’s easy when you’re the most prolific scorer or you’ve got millions of assists.”
A defender who earned 311 caps and played in five World Cups over a 19-year international career, Pearce Rampone played all of the first 11 seasons in U.S. women’s professional soccer leagues.
“It’s amazing to have a facility like the Hall of Fame where you can go back and reflect,” Pearce Rampone said. “It brings back a lot of amazing memories and makes you realize how much work it takes to put in. It doesn’t just come in the snap of a finger.”
Etcheverry, who was chosen from the Veteran ballot, was born in Bolivia and played eight seasons with D.C. United; he was a four-time Best XI selection and the league’s most valuable player in 1998.
“I always say you need to live your dream and complete it,” Etcheverry said. “And for me, I take pride in being able to get to where I am and receive the highest recognition for my career. I’ve said that now I can die happy after receiving this honor.”
Baharmast, elected from the Builder ballot, officiated two games at the World Cup, three at the Olympic Games, one at the Copa America and five at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“To look in the Hall of Fame and see the people who paved the way for this sport to become what it is in this country is absolutely incredible,” Baharmast said. “For me to have even a small corner of this place is mind-blowing.”