National Soccer Hall Of Fame Nominees
The National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium released the names of all candidates eligible for election in 2023. Included in the list are Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) Commissioner Keith Tozer, MASL Chairman Shep Messing, former San Diego Socker’s Landon Donovan, and former Ontario Fury’s Jermaine Jones.
The Hall of Fame’s screening committees will narrow the player, veteran, and builder ballots before they and other members of the voting committees vote on the final ballot, electing a maximum of six new Hall of Fame members. As many as three players and two veterans can be selected, along with one builder.
Keith Tozer is the winningest head coach in indoor soccer history with more than 700 wins and six championships. He is currently entering his second year as commissioner of the MASL. Tozer was coach of the U.S. national futsal team for 15 years, 1996, 1998 through 2000, 2002 through 2004, 2007 and 2008, and 2011 through 2016. He is nominated in the Builder’s Category reserved in 2023 for coaches that have had a positive impact on the sport.
Shep Messing was the first ever player signed by the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). Messing, a goalkeeper played seven seasons in the NASL, for the New York Cosmos, Boston Minutemen, Oakland Stompers, and Rochester Lancers and eight seasons in the MISL, for the New York Arrows, New York Cosmos, New York Express, and Pittsburgh Spirit, winning four MISL championships. He was named to the all-MISL first team in 1979, 1980, and 1981. Messing played for the United States in the 1972 Olympic Games in Germany. He is currently in his second year as chairman of the MASL. Messing is nominated in the veteran’s category.
Landon Donovan played for the San Diego Sockers during the 2018-19 season. He amassed 16 points over eight games played. The forward and midfielder was chosen as the winner of the Honda Award, given to the outstanding U.S. national team player, seven times and was named the USSF men’s athlete of the year four times. Donovan, who played for the U.S. national team from 2000 to 2014, played 157 full internationals in those years, including 12 games at the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Cups and 40 World Cup qualifiers between 2001 and 2013. Donovan played 15 seasons in MLS between 2001 and 2016, the first four with the San Jose Earthquakes and the last 11 with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and when he retired was the all-time MLS goalscoring leader. In addition to his World Cup play, Donovan was a member of the United States teams at the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2003 and 2009 Confederations and the United States teams that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2013. In 2013, he was named to the U.S. men’s national team's all-time Best XI by the USSF.
Jermaine Jones played as a midfielder for the Ontario Fury during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Through nine games he tallied 18 points. Jones was one of the stars of the United States team at the 2014 World Cup. Jones, born in Germany, began playing for the U.S. national team in 2010 when he was 28. He eventually played 69 full internationals, including all four of the United States’ games at the 2014 World Cup, and 15 World Cup qualifiers in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017. Jones had played 10 seasons in the German first division, and played partial seasons in the English Premier League and the Turkish first division, before moving to MLS in 2014. He played four seasons in MLS with New England, Colorado, and the Los Angeles Galaxy, and was an MLS runner-up in 2014 with New England. He played 57 MLS regular-season games and 10 MLS playoff games.
Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at NationalSoccerHoF.com. The election process is administered by National Soccer Hall of Fame staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth, and honoring its heroes for generations to come.