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Garber, Chastain among 2016 National Soccer Hall of Fame Class

Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports
Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

Two U.S. Women’s National Team legends and the current MLS commissioner received the highest of honors on Thursday.

Brandi Chastain, Shannon MacMillan and Don Garber were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2016, U.S. Soccer announced.

“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 press release from U.S. Soccer.

“It is an honor to be inducted alongside Brandi Chastain and Shannon MacMillan, two iconic figures in U.S. 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 has served as the MLS commissioner since 1999. Since then, he has helped the league grow to 20 teams — with at least four more set to enter in the coming years. Garber also serves as the CEO of Soccer United Marketing, which promotes events like the CONCACAF Gold Cup and federations, including the Mexican Soccer Federation and U.S. Soccer.

Chastain and MacMillan were both members of the USWNT that won the 1999 Women’s World Cup, while the former also won the title in 1991. Chastain scored 30 goals in 192 caps, while MacMillan netted 60 goals — currently good enough for ninth all-time for the USWNT — in 176 matches.

What do you think of this year’s class? Think anyone is missing?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. As for the women inductees, it appears that all the top guns from the 91 Team are in now. I don’t know how long from retirement it takes before you can be inducted. I thought that Brianna Scurry had some BIG games for the USWNT. I certainly wouldn’t object to her inclusion if she has been out long enough.

    • I hope my sarcasm detector is broken, because I’m frightened to think you might be serious.

      In 1999, when Garber took a major leap of faith leaving the NFL for MLS, the league was teetering on the brink. Gates were down, TV deals non-existent, few, if any European clubs toured the US, investors and sponsors were bailing and, as laughable as it seems, there was serious talk that the WUSA would be the major soccer league in the United States.

      And things went downhill from there until 2001 and contraction. Those of you who weren’t around in 2001 probably don’t remember that Jorge Vergara was the MOST credible of investors seeking an MLS expansion team. Even Dave Checketts was viewed with more skepticism.

      Like him or not, Garber has steered the league admirably from a dying fad to a respected league that continues to grow by every appreciable measure. His impact on American soccer is immeasurable. He hasn’t been perfect, not by a long shot, but he’s navigated a tough climate without any sort of playbook.

      One personal moment: I went to a SoccerEx conference to conduct interviews for my MBA paper on debt vs. equity financing of sports team operations. On the same day, the Don and Ivan Gazidis were there and having meetings. Ed Woodward told me all of their meeting slots were booked almost instantly, and I saw major European club and league executives standing on line in the hallway for a quick 5 minute chat with Garber.

      • Garber’s soccer career come with few success and many scandals that’s swept under the rug. Garber should be honored for bringing MLS back from the dead, but he (and the USSF) should also be punished for hurting the larger scale of American soccer (anything outside of MLS and NCAA) by bringing his NFL ignorance into American Soccer. I’m happy for the things he have done with MLS, but he is not doing anything good for most of our American player pool by forcing his over patriotic, cookie cutter, bland ways into American soccer because he is to closed minded, cocky/big headed and inexperienced to understand how to grow the sport right.

      • Garber is the third most important person in The 100 Most Influential People in American Soccer History

  2. I don’t understand why neither Jaime Moreno nor Frankie Hejduk are not in the class, along with the three deserving inductees.

    • Is MacMillan really deserving of the Hall of Fame?
      Is being player of the year one year enough?
      I’d have to name off a LONG list of USWNT greats before I ever got to MacMillan. Maybe I’m missing something.


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