The National Soccer Hall of Fame today inducted seven new members, the most inducted since it moved into its new home in Frisco, Texas, in 2018.
DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Lauren Cheney Holiday and Kate Sobrero Markgraf, all former U.S. internationals, former USWNT coach Jill Ellis and former indoor star Steve Zungul entered from the Class of 2023. Goalkeeping great Hope Solo entered the Hall of Fame after deferring her induction last year.
In addition, Grant Wahl was the posthumous recipient of the 2023 Colin Jose Media Award.
“Without my family, I would not be here. I don’t mean here, on the stage. I mean as a person. My family stays with me. They’ve been to every World Cup, to all the countries I’ve played in. This is about family.”
“I’ve always tried to be mindful of those who came before and quite literally laid the foundation for us. Generations before us gave us the opportunity to be here, and I’m grateful."
Jill Ellis (with Cindy Parlow Cone and April Heinrichs):
“I’ve been so very fortunate and blessed in soccer to experience incredible highs. But the times that were hard, the mistakes, the moments that stung were equally as important.”
Lauren Cheney Holiday:
“I didn’t play to be a Hall of Famer. I wanted to win at the Olympics and win gold medals and win World Cups, so I think this is just the cherry on top.”
Kate Sobrero Markgraf:
“It’s not about me, it’s about the people who helped me make this journey,. The most important part is how I got here, and I would not be here without my family.”
Steve Zungul, who played 11 seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League and was league champion seven times and MVP six times, was unable to attend Saturday’s event.
“I have a lifetime of memories filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I left everything that I had to my country, to my teams, to my coaches, to the federation and to the fans.”
Grant Wahl died at the age of 48 after suffering an aortic aneurysm late in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Qatar. His wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, and brother, Eric, received the media award on his behalf.
Photos: National Soccer Hall of Fame