The National Soccer Hall of Fame on Wednesday announced the four members of its 2021 class: Former D.C. United forward and four-time MLS Cup winner Jaime Moreno, former DC United executive Kevin Payne, two-time Women's World Cup winner and three-time Olympic Gold medalist Christie Pearce Rampone and ex-US men's national team defender Steve Cherundolo.
All four will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 2 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, 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 last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will be followed by the Hall of Fame game between FC Dallas and Minnesota United FC and a concert featuring Willie Nelson.
Jaime Moreno — Veteran
Moreno was one of the early stars of MLS, playing 15 seasons in the league, from its inaugural year in 1996 through to 2010.
The vast majority of that time, and his greatest success, came with D.C. United. Moreno, a longtime Bolivia international, was an MLS Best XI selection in 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and an MLS Cup winner in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004 with D.C. He also won the U.S. Open Cup in 1996 and 2008 as well as the Concacaf Champions Cup in 1998, all with D.C.
Moreno played 340 MLS regular-season games and 32 MLS playoff games, scoring 145 goals, including a single season with the then New York/New Jersey MetroStars.
Last year, Moreno was named as one of The 25 Greatest presented by AT&T, honoring the 25 greatest players in MLS' first 25 years.
Kevin Payne — Builder
Payne spent 15 glory-laden seasons as president and general manager of D.C. United, first from 1996 through 2001 and then from 2004 through 2012. During that time, D.C. United won MLS Cup in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004, as well as the U.S. Open Cup in 1996 and 2008.
From 2001 to 2004, Payne was an executive of Anshutz Entertainment Group, which owned several MLS clubs at the time. In the 2013 season, he served as president of Toronto FC.
Current New England Revolution, and former D.C. United, head coach and Hall of Famer Bruce Arena as well as former U.S. Soccer President and Hall of Famer Sunil Gulati 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.
Christie Pearce Rampone — Player
Pearce Rampone was the only person to play for both the United States team that won the Women’s World Cup in 1999 and the one that won it in 2015. The defender played 19 years for the U.S. Women’s National Team, including five Women’s World Cups, four Olympic Games and played all of the first 11 seasons of women’s professional league soccer in the United States.
In total, Pearce Rampone played 311 games for the United States between her debut against Australia in 1997 and her final game against Haiti in 2015. As well as her two World Cups, Pearce Rampone won Olympic gold medals in three successive Games, between 2004 and 2012.
Former teammate and now-fellow Hall of Famer Abby Wambach surprised Pearce Rampone with the news earlier on Wednesday.
Steve Cherundolo — Player
One of the US men's national team's all-time greats, Cherundulo made 87 appearances for his country and in 2013 was selected as the right back in the USMNT's All-Time Best XI. A participant in seven World Cup games, across 2006 and 2010, Cherundolo spent his entire club career with German side Hannover, becoming the club's all-time appearance leader with 302 at the time of his retirement.
Now an aspiring coach, earlier this year, Cherundolo returned to the US to take the reins of LAFC's USL affiliate Las Vegas Lights.