Jones, Pope, Stewart headline National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Longevity and productivity are two themes that can be used to describe the careers of the players inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame this year.

Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart will be the latest to be enshrined in the hall in a ceremony this summer, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. Jones was named on 87 percent of all ballots to lead all of the 25 player nominees. Pope was named on 76 percent of ballots and Stewart on 71 percent to earn induction.

All three players appeared in three World Cups. Jones is the United States' all-time leader in caps and was one of the country's soccer icons during his era. Pope was the long-time anchor in central defense for both the national team and D.C. United in his distinguished career. The Dutch-American Stewart enjoyed a standout club career in the Netherlands before a stint with D.C. United and appeared in more than 100 matches for the national team.

Joining the trio are former national team player Bruce Murray, inducted on the Veteran's Ballot; and former national team and Kansas City Wizards coach Bob Gansler, inducted on the Builder's Ballot.

What do you think about the Class of 2011? Who do you think was snubbed? What's your favorite memory involving any of the inductees?

Share your thoughts below.

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25 Responses to Jones, Pope, Stewart headline National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011

  1. Adam in Irvine says:

    Stewart’s goal against Colombia will always be my first great memory of being a Nats fan.

  2. OptimistPrimer says:

    Love the photo. The Bruce in the background. Watching… waiting

  3. Bill W. says:

    All are deserving.

  4. Lost in Space says:

    Eddie Pope is one of my all-time favorite players. He played with real heart and determination.

  5. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Pope should have been the top vote getter, but all are more than deserrving. My faovirite Cobi Jones moment was a simple, almost unnoticed thing. It was how he came in as a sub and helped kill off games in Korea. It was a moment for a real pro to contribute. Maybe it’s stupid, but I considered that his finest moment in a US shirt.

  6. MidWest Ref says:

    Great selections. Murray is exactly the type of guy the veterans committee should induct.

    Does anyone remember why was Cobi so disliked by Mexico?

  7. Colin says:

    Cobi Jones has always been a class act and a legend in my book. He was my favorite player growing up, and being lucky enough to see him in person with the Galaxy numerous times is something I’ll always remember.

  8. AL17 says:

    RESPECT!!

    They all should be in and have done so much to advance and promote the beautiful game. First time a trio of 3 Americans of varying African descent are heading into the hall of fame and being American of African descent, it makes me feel good to see clas acts from my generation heading in together and I’m sure it’s a coincidence but it’s really kool.

  9. Brent McD says:

    well-deserved. that 2002 world cup team was special

  10. adam c says:

    I don’t know how many people out there remember eddie pope in his prime, but the guy was a beast of a centerback. the best CB ever produced by the US IMHO. easily could have played at a high level somewhere in europe

  11. Frederik III says:

    “Hall of Fame” is such a stupid concept. Reputations are completely independent of that.

  12. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Remember Pope’s goal in the first ever MLS Cup final? In the rain and muck of Foxboro. He hit the winner. Ernie Stewart’s goal against Colombia in the 94 World Cup was special. Cobi had many a great moment and I will never forget how he helped kill off the game in the 2002 World Cup against Mexico. Yeah, that’s why I still hate Rafa Marquez.

  13. Colin says:

    Thanks for the input, Negative Nancy.

  14. Scot says:

    As far as “snubs” go, maybe Shannon MacMillan and Cindy Parlow…or maybe I just love women.

  15. Ted in MN says:

    My favorite memory was when Cobi Jones scored six goals for me in the World Final of Backyard soccer. It was awesome. Pablo Sanchez had 2 assists; he was the secret weapon. For a short, fat little kid that didn’t speak a word of English, he played soccer like Messi with better powerups.

  16. Ted in MN says:

    Tell that to Bert Blyleven.

  17. jimoh8002 says:

    Earnie Stewart for head coach of the men’s national team

  18. Paul C says:

    I actually idolized Pop as a little kid, that guy was like Captain America to me.

  19. Paul C says:

    Pope*, the irony of course being I hate Pop.

  20. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    +1

  21. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Yes. Yes. And Yes. Simple as that!

  22. Jon L. says:

    Jones was a boss and definitely deserves the honor. He was solid and I grew up watching him, so I feel he was dominant for that period of time.

  23. huricano says:

    These guys were real pioneers. Cobi helped market the game to a generation in the 1990s. All really great team-oriented pros, and I’m glad they are getting this honor.

  24. Bobby says:

    If there was a “love it” button I would hit it…that would be fantastic to have a player (who has only recently been removed from the game) be in charge. When was the last time Bob Bradley played competitive soccer? Ochocinco has played soccer more recently than him…why not bring in a former player to coach. And what a great choice…Ernie Stewart is a classy guy.

  25. Bobby says:

    I wish this pic was the “Write your own caption” picture from yesterday…man we could’ve had a field day with Cobi’s staunch look as if he is daring the defender to try and tackle the ball away…or Bruce Arena carefully watching as he always was…