Announced on Monday, voting has launched for the 2018 Class of the National Soccer Hall of Fame — with Columbus Crew SC represented by eight nominees on the Player Ballot. Current technical staff members Gregg Berhalter, Pat Onstad and Josh Wolff join former Crew SC players Jeff Cunningham, Brad Friedel, Frankie Hejduk, Ante Razov and Tony Sanneh on the ballot.
Berhalter (Sporting Director and Head Coach), Onstad (Assistant Coach), Wolff (Assistant Coach) and Hejduk (Brand Ambassador) all currently hold positions with the Black & Gold.
U.S. Soccer and the National Soccer Hall of Fame will announce the voting results at a later date. The two-day grand opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, will launch in late October: Oct. 20 will feature the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony followed by a performance by the Grammy Award-winning band, Imagine Dragons, presented by Budweiser; Oct. 21, FC Dallas will host Sporting Kansas City in the National Soccer Hall of Fame Game presented by Budweiser.
The 1997 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year with Crew SC and Three-time FIFA World Cup squad member Brad Friedel is on the ballot for the first time, while Ante Razov — who appeared seven times and scored once with Crew SC — is entering his final year on the Players Ballot.
Eligibility for selection on the Player Ballot hinges on whether the player has been retired for at least three full calendar years, but for no more than 10 full calendar years AND they meet one the following criteria:
- A player must have played at least 20 full international games for the United States. This 20-game requirement is reduced to 10 games if the games were prior to 1990.
- A player must have played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and been a postseason league all-star at least once.
- Played at least five seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League 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.
Voters are made up of all past and present Men's and Women's senior National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a top-division professional head coach, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS Commissioner and NWSL Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers. Each voter can select up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn the honor, while any player that does not appear on at least 5 percent of ballots will be ineligible until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.
2018 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Juan Pablo Angel*
Kate Sobrero Markgraf
BOLD - Crew SC representatives
*First year of eligibility
**Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2019
In addition to the prestigious Player Ballot, voting is also open for the Veteran and Builder candidates. Nine veteran players and seven individuals recognized as "Builders" are also eligible for enshrinement.