Christie Pearce Rampone, who played in 311 matches for the United States women’s national team and captained the side for seven years, is the newest member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She was inducted in her first year of eligibility.
Rampone is joined by former U.S. men’s defender Steve Cherundolo in the players category, while Kevin Payne was elected in the “Builder” category and Jaime Moreno was elected in the “Veteran” category. Former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo narrowly fell short of induction again, in her second year of eligibility.
The announcements came Wednesday after the news was personally delivered to inductees. Rampone received her news from longtime teammate and friend, Abby Wambach, a fellow Hall of Famer and member of the player screening and voting committees. (Full disclosure: I am also part of the player screening committee, which narrows down candidates to bring to the vote, and the player voting committee.)
Rampone’s international career included World Cup titles in 1999 and 2015, and three Olympic gold medals. Her 311 appearances rank second in world history to former U.S. teammate Kristine Lilly, who made 354 international appearances. Carli Lloyd, who is still an active player, just made her 300th appearance for the United States.
At the club level, Rampone was the player-coach who led Sky Blue FC to the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer Championship in 2009, later announcing that she did so while pregnant. She played in all three professional women’s soccer leagues — the Women’s United Soccer Association (2001-03), WPS (2009-11) and the National Women’s Soccer League (2013-present). Rampone retired in 2017.
Solo finished third in voting and Shannon Boxx finished fourth. The National Soccer Hall of Fame will, in 2022, add a third player and a second veteran if they appear on 75% of ballots. Solo and Boxx each would have met that threshold this year, but there was a cap of two players in the new voting system (explained here).
Former U.S. men’s national team midfielder Clint Dempsey will be eligible for induction next year. With three spots up for grabs, Boxx, Dempsey and Solo will be considered favorites to be inducted.
Full voting results for the player category are below:
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