MLS commissioner Don Garber inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

Don Garber - smiling

Don Garber is getting his Hall call.

Along with former US women’s national team stars Brandi Chastain and Shannon MacMillan, the MLS commissioner was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Thursday.

“Thanks to the commitment and hard work of many people, our sport has grown significantly during the last few decades and there is no doubt the United States is a true soccer nation,” Garber said in a statement. “It is an honor to be inducted alongside Brandi Chastain and Shannon MacMillan, two iconic figures in US Soccer history who have impacted the sport at so many levels. I am also thrilled that FC Dallas and Toyota Stadium will serve as the new home of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, providing soccer fans the opportunity to pay tribute to many of the great players, coaches and leaders in U.S. Soccer history.”

Garber, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame via the Builder Ballot, has certainly helped grow the sport in the United States as the league’s commissioner for 17 years, helping bring about the creation of 13 expansion teams and the construction of several soccer-specific stadiums. In 2011, he was named by The Los Angeles Times as one of the nation’s top sports commissioners and has been named among the top 50 most influential people in sports business by the Sports Business Journal every year since 2005. 

Currently, Garber also serves as CEO of Soccer United Marketing, a company that promotes several professional soccer properties, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League.

As members of the famous 1999 World Cup-winning US women’s national team, Chastain and MacMillan also played big roles in the growth of soccer in the United States. Chastain, who gained worldwide fame after scoring the game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup final, played in 192 matches during a 12-year international career, winning two World Cups (1991 and 1999) and two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2004).

MacMillan also played 12 years for the USWNT, winning an Olympic gold in 1996 and the World Cup in 1999. The 2002 US Soccer Female Player of the Year scored 60 career goals, which is currently ninth all-time in USWNT history.