Seven individuals who made an impact on several levels of soccer in the United States were named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame builder ballot, U.S. Soccer announced Monday.
The seven were selected by a screening committee.
Great Neck, N.Y. native Dr. Robert Contiguglia, a former U.S. Soccer president, was included on the ballot.
Those also nominated included a former U.S. national team coach (Steve Sampson), a Major League Soccer and youth soccer executive (Kevin Payne), a FIFA referee (Esse Baharmast), a league founder and commissioner (Francisco Marcos), a former team executive and National Soccer Coaches Association of America CEO (Joe Cummings) and a top team executive in MLS (Tim Leiweke).
To be eligible for election as a builder, an individual must be retired for more than 10 years, and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S. This requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990, or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and selected as league all-star at least once, or 3) Played at least five seasons in the MISL between the end of the NASL in 1984 and the end of the league in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason All-Star in at least one of those seasons.
Builders must be at least 50 years of age and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while having a major, sustained and positive impact on American Soccer at the national, federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. Referees must serve as a FIFA referee for at least seven years to be eligible (although a referee who has less than seven years as a FIFA international referee still can qualify for the list via 10 or more years as a United States first-division referee).
Voting began Monday, March 12 and will run through Monday, March 26 for the builder category. The results of the voting will be announced at a later date.
The weekend of Oct. 20-21 will mark the grand opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Saturday, Oct. 20 will feature the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony followed by a performance by the Grammy Award-winning band, Imagine Dragons. On Sunday, Oct. 21, FC Dallas will host Sporting Kansas City in the National Soccer Hall of Fame Game.
Dr. Robert Contiguglia