Kansas City Wizards Assistant Coach Brian Bliss is eligible for one of U.S. soccer’s highest honors as he and 37 other former players are on the ballot for election into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Over 120 voters, including media, coaches, and league executives, the largest voting pool in Hall of Fame history, have received their ballots and will determine which of the 38 eligible players’ career achievements will be honored by induction.
"The players on this ballot are extraordinary. Some have received the highest honors possible in national and international soccer," said Will Lunn, President/CEO of the Hall of Fame. "We have selected a range of voters, those who have had an opportunity to see these players play and have an informed opinion about that play. It is an exciting time of the year for us. Soon we will announce who will be honored this year!"
Bliss was a standout defender for the U.S. National Team in the 1980s and 90s. He was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team as well as the 1990 U.S. National Team that qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 40 years. Bliss played left midfield on that fateful day in November 1989 when the U.S. defeated Trinidad 1-0 to earn a spot in the 1990 World Cup. His throw-in to Tab Ramos helped set up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”. In all, Bliss has appeared 38 times for the U.S. National Team after making his international debut against Ecuador in December of 1984 and most recently against Colombia in June 1995.
The Rochester, New York native also played three years in MLS with the MetroStars and Columbus Crew before finishing his playing career with the Kansas City Wizards in 1998. Prior to MLS, he played six years in Germany where he amassed over 100 career appearances in the Bundesliga. Following his playing career he was named head coach of the Connecticut Wolves of the A-League before joining the Wizards coaching staff prior to the 2000 season. With the Wizards, he was reunited with Head Coach Bob Gansler who coached Bliss and the 1990 U.S. National Team in the World Cup. In Bliss’ first season with the Wizards, the team captured their first MLS Cup Championship in October 2000.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction Announcement will be made during a press conference at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Wednesday, May 5th. The induction ceremony will take place in October of this year. For more information on the National Soccer Hall of Fame, visit www.soccerhall.org.