World Cup vets Reyna, Meola inducted into Hall of Fame
NEW YORK — The National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012 just added some guys you may have heard of.
US Soccer announced on Wednesday that former US national team captain Claudio Reyna and three-time World Cup veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola were elected on the Player ballot.
"It's an incredible honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," Reyna, currently US Soccer's youth technical director, said in a statement. "Soccer has been my life from the moment I could walk. You don't think or play for these type of recognitions, but it is a tremendous honor
Reyna played for the US national team for 13 straight years from 1994-2006 and was a member of four World Cup teams. He earned 112 caps while scoring eight goals and recording 19 career assists.
The former Rangers, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder also expressed gratitude to those closest to him for making his recognition possible.
Standout goalkeeper Meola was a member of three US World Cup squads and helped the Kansas City Wizards to MLS Cup 2000. That season, he also won MLS MVP, MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Cup MVP accolades.
"It's certainly the greatest honor you can have in your chosen profession,” Meola said in a statement of his Hall of Fame induction. “To be mentioned in the same breath as the great people that were before you and one day the great ones that will come after you. I'm certainly humbled and I'm honored, and I'm thrilled to think that somebody actually thought I was worthy of it."
Joining the players in this year's class are Desmond Armstrong on the Veteran ballot and Tony DiCicco on the Builder ballot.
Reyna, eligible on the Player ballot for the first time, was named on 96 percent of the ballots. Meola, also a first-time eligible Player inductee, was named to 90 percent of the ballots. Armstrong was cast on nearly 54 percent of the Veteran ballots and DiCicco was named on 61 percent of the Builder ballots.