7. HALL OF FAME: Bobby Smith elected as veteran

Bobby Smith, one of the most outstanding American players of the NASL in the 1970s, has been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a Veteran Player. He will be honored at Induction 2007 ceremonies on Aug. 26 in Oneonta, N.Y.

Smith started on the 1973 NASL champion Philadelphia Atoms in his rookie season out of Rider College, and he also started for the New York Cosmos in their 1977 Soccer Bowl victory over the Seattle Sounders in Pele's last competitive game. Smith played mostly at right back in his nine-year NASL career with Philadelphia, the Cosmos, San Diego and Montreal and for the U.S. national team (18 caps).

Smith, who was also active in labor affairs on behalf of players, was a product of South Jersey, one of the bastions of American soccer in the early 1970s. U.S. internationals to come out of the area shortly after Smith were the late Glenn Myernick and Tony Bellinger.

In an historically tight election, Smith was named on 26 ballots, 50 percent of the 52 ballots cast by Hall of Famers, the only voters in the Veterans election. A player has to be named on at least 50 percent of the ballots in order to be elected.

VETERANS ELECTION
Player Votes (Pct.)
Bobby Smith 26 (50%)
Hugo Perez 25 (48%)
Kyle Rote 24 (46%)
Bruce Murray 23 (44%)
Desmond Armstrong 22 ($2%)
Linda Hamilton 21 (40%)
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