Christie Pearce Rampone was elected on the players ballot into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photot)
FRISCO, Texas — The National Soccer Hall of Fame Wednesday announced the four members of its 2021 class: U.S. National Team alumni Christie Pearce Rampone and Steve Cherundolo, four-time Major League Soccer champion Jaime Moreno and longtime MLS executive Kevin Payne.
They will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 2 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, along with former U.S. men’s national team captain Carlos Bocanegra and Colin Jose Media Award winner Andrés Cantor, whose 2020 inductions were postponed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will take place inside the National Soccer Hall of Fame, followed by the Hall of Fame game between FC Dallas and Minnesota United FC and a concert featuring Willie Nelson.
Class of 2019 Hall of Famer Abby Wambach surprised Pearce Rampone, her former USWNT teammate, with the news of her election at Pearce Rampone’s home in Manasquan, New Jersey. A defender who earned 311 caps and played in five World Cups over a 19-year international career, Pearce Rampone was elected in her first year of eligibility after also playing all of the first 11 seasons in U.S. women’s professional soccer leagues.
Cherundolo was informed by Tim Howard and Taylor Twellman at halftime of ESPN’s broadcast of the friendly between the United States and Costa Rica. A defender who earned 87 caps and played in two World Cups over a 13-year international career, Cherundolo played 15 seasons in Germany for Hannover 96.
Moreno’s former United teammate and Hall of Famer John Harkes (2005) informed him during halftime of Univision’s broadcast of the USA-Costa Rica match. Moreno’s election came in his first year of eligibility on the Veteran Ballot. Moreno played in MLS for 15 seasons with D.C. United and MetroStars and was an MLS Best XI selection five times.
Former U.S. Soccer President and Hall of Famer Sunil Gulati (2019) along with New England Revolution head coach and Hall of Famer Bruce Arena (2010) surprised Payne with the news of his election to the Hall of Fame from the Builder Ballot during a lunch meeting in Mount Pleasant, S.C. During Payne’s 15 seasons as president and general manager of D.C. United, the team won four league championships and two U.S. Open Cup titles.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame voting committee determined the 2021 class with new voting rules and procedures, which were created to provide more consistency in the screening of candidates and within voting pools. Selection committees for the Player, Veteran and Builder categories narrowed the list of candidates from 245 people to 40 finalists before voting committees in each category elected the four new Hall of Famers.