Tri-State area well represented as Bradley, Lilly, McBride earn Hall of Fame nod

New York and New Jersey are well represented as Kristine Lilly and Bob Bradley join legendary U.S. striker Brian McBride in this year’s National Soccer Hall of Fame induction class.

Bradley, a Montclair, N.J. native, is regarded by many as one of the most iconic and influential American coaches of this generation. Entered into the Hall of Fame under the ‘Builders’ category, he certainly lives up to that label. As head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, he led the team to the 2007 Gold Cup, a 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final appearance and a memorable run in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He is also an MLS Cup winner and a two time U.S. Open Cup champion with the Chicago Fire.

He recently broke new ground becoming the first American coach to manage in a European top flight with Norwegian club Stabaek.

“The game has grown tremendously in the United States through the efforts of a great number of people, and I have always respected those who have given so much to move the sport forward,” said Bradley. “Many of them have been recognized in the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and I am honored to be included.”

Speaking of ‘builders,’ Kristine Lilly, a New York City native, helped form the foundation for the now-dominant U.S. Women’s National Team program. She has the most caps of any player with 352 games for the U.S. throughout her 24-year career. In that time, she managed five FIFA Women’s World Cups, and two Olympic gold medals.

“One of the most humbling parts of this is being inducted with so many of the greats that came before me,” said Lilly. “It’s always an honor to be recognized for something you’ve done, especially for something we did for so long on the U.S. team. It was amazing to wear that U.S. jersey for so long, and I’m forever grateful for the time I was able to play and really grateful for this honor.”

McBride headlines this class as one of the most celebrated players in American history. The striker earned 95 caps with the U.S., earning 30 goals in that time. He was a vital part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup team, which reached the quarterfinals in a record setting year for the National team. He was also a pioneer as one of the first field players to find success overseas as a star for Fulham in the English Premier League.

“It’s such an honor to be part of this select group. My first reaction after hearing about this was I got chills,” said McBride. “For me, it’s not something you think about while playing. I’m just honored to be thought of in this light by my peers and the press.”

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