U.S. Soccer announced the finalized ballot for the eligible members of the Hall of Fame class of 2017. Seven former Crew SC players and personnel made the cut.
Current Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter played for the L.A. Galaxy from 2009 to 2011 where he mentored a young Omar Gonzalez in the process. In Berhalter’s first season with the Galaxy, he made an immediate impact as he helped lower the number of goals conceded from 61 to 30. In addition, Berhalter enjoyed success on an international level with the United States. He had 44 caps and was pivotal at the back for the U.S.
Jeff Cunningham was a member of several Major League Soccer clubs, but is most notably remembered for his time with Crew SC. During his tenure with the Black & Gold, Cunningham managed to find the back of the net 64 times. His assist numbers aren’t to be overlooked as Cunningham registered 43 helpers for Columbus. He also picked up MLS Best XI honors in 2002.
Eddie Gaven had his soccer career cut short by injury, but was incredibly effective in his time with Crew SC. Gaven tallied 35 goals as a member of “America’s Hardest Working Team.” One of the craziest moments in his career was when he famously replaced a young goalkeeper by the name of Tim Howard in net during a New York/New Jersey MetroStars match. Following the substitution, the 16-year-old Gaven, who quickly swapped to a field player to give the Metrostars 11 men, scored his first professional goal.
What can be said about Frankie Hejduk that hasn’t already been said? The defender’s lively, charismatic, and in your face attitude is known throughout Crew SC nation, as well as the U.S. Hejduk lifted MLS Cup twice in his career, once in 2008 with Columbus and the second time with L.A. as a teammate of Berhalter. He scored seven goals for the Black & Gold, perhaps none bigger than to send Crew SC to their first ever title. Frankie will long be adored by Columbus fans old and new.
Pat Onstad made 223 appearances in MLS and he spent the majority of his time with the Houston Dynamo where he won the 2006 MLS Cup. Onstad also has 57 caps for the Canadian National Team. It should be noted that he is still making an impact on the field despite his playing days being over as he is now the goalkeeper coach for Crew SC. Zack Steffen attributed Onstad’s experience and success as a main reason why he chose to leave Freiberg and come to Columbus to play stateside.
Ante Razov is best known for his time with the Chicago Fire as he is the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 76 goals. Razov also is the leading scorer is Chivas USA‘s brief history, where he tallied 30 goals. He appeared 25 times for the United States and scored six times. He played seven games for the Black & Gold, scoring one goal and registering one assist.
Josh Wolff played 14 years in MLS, most notably for the Chicago Fire scoring 32 times in 84 appearances. He also enjoyed success in Kansas City and with D.C. United. Wolff perhaps will be best known for international success with the U.S. as he scored nine goals in his 52 caps. His most famous international goal coming on February 28, 2001 in a frosty Columbus, OH. Along with the rest of the national team, Wolff helped the Americans to their first win over Mexico in World Cup Qualifying since 1980 and helped pave the way for “Dos A Cero.”
In order for a player to be eligible for selection, he or she must be retired for three full calendar years, but fewer than 10 full calendar years. In addition, he or she must have played in at least 20 full international games for the U.S. If they played prior to 1990, the game requirement is reduced to 10 games. The candidates must have played in at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league, and named to a postseason league all-star team at least once.
Check out the press release from U.S. Soccer for more information.