It was a busy, full weekend of sports in Frisco, Texas. Personally, we were stacked with youth sports starting with soccer at sunrise and lacrosse throughout the day. The evenings ushered in an FC Dallas game and the post-game Willie Nelson concert, courtesy of Hall of Fame weekend.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame inducted four members — three from the Class of 2021 and one from the Class of 2020.
U.S. National Team alumnus Steve Cherundolo, four-time Major League Soccer champion Jaime Moreno and longtime MLS executive Kevin Payne entered the Hall of Fame from the 2021 class. U.S. National Team alumnus Carlos Bocanegra was the lone member of the 2020 class. His induction was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. National Team alumnus Christie Pearce Rampone, who was elected in the Class of 2021, deferred her induction until 2022.
The Hall of Fame also honored Andrés Cantor, lead play-by-play announcer for Telemundo Deportes, as the 2020 winner of the Colin Jose Media Award.
BACKGROUND ON THE INDUCTEES
Bocanegra wore the captain’s armband in 64 of his 110 appearances with the USMNT from 2001 to 2012. His 14 international goals are the most by a U.S defender.
Cherundolo, Bocanegra’s National Team teammate and roommate, earned 87 caps and played in two World Cups over a 13-year international career. He played for Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga for 15 years.
Moreno’s election came in his first year of eligibility on the Veteran Ballot. Moreno played in MLS for 15 seasons with D.C. United and MetroStars and was an MLS Best XI selection five times.
Payne, elected from the Builder Ballot, spent 15 years as president and general manager of D.C. United. During that time, the team won four league championships and two U.S. Open Cup titles.
Cantor, known the world over for his iconic “GOOOOOOOOL!” call, has announced games for the last eight men’s FIFA World Cups, the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups and a number of Olympic Games dating back to 1984.
If you live anywhere near Frisco or find yourself visiting here, the National Soccer Hall of Fame needs to be a stop on your list. The history and relics, not to mention the state of the art interactive games and exhibits, are really impressive. It’s great for all ages and types of fans to explore the sport of soccer in the USA.
Noticed I skipped right over the MLS game sandwiched in between the Hall of Fame ceremony and the concert. Although I felt the players came out strong and played hard, the scoreless draw left much to be desired. So many extra eyeballs were on the sport that evening – people that showed up because of the concert and happened to catch some of the game. For that reason alone I wish there would have been some great goals for people to witness.
What we did witness was an 88-year-old Willie Nelson doing his thing on stage at Toyota Stadium. Sitting in his chair, Willie gave us the sound and style of ‘ole Willie Nelson. It was a beautiful crisp night on the grass, listening to the signature voice, bandana, braids and all.