The 2022 National Football Hall of Fame category is officially here. Immediately after the United States men’s national team’s 1-1 draw against Jamaica in a Concacaf World Cup qualifier, Supreme + revealed 20 finalists – and 5 are CBS Sports analysts: Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Maurice Edu, Thierry Henry and Aly Wagner.
Joining five finalists are David Beckham, Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny, Brian Ching, Lauren Cheney Holiday, Eddie Johnson, Shalrie Joseph, Robbie Keane, Pablo Mastroeni, Josh McKinney, Heather Mitts, Carlos Ruiz, Hope Solo, Cat Reddick Whitehill and Josh Wolff. That list is less than 16 eligible players and only three will be inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame on May 21.
Dempsey, along with Robbie Keane, was one of only two candidates to reach the final ballot in their first year of eligibility. This Texas-born player joins Landon Donovan as a USMNT player (57 years old) to score the most goals, is the first USMNT player to score in three separate FIFA World Cups and leads the Americans to three championships Concacaf Gold Cup.
Still, the list is enough for Dempsey to doubt an introduction this year.
“It’s too hard there,” Dempsey said above Supreme +. “That’s a big list right there.”
CBS Sports analysts Onyewu and Edu were at Paramount+ coverage of Concacaf qualifiers to celebrate their choice with Dempsey. Between the two of them, Onyewu and Edu have a total of 115 USMNT caps and three World Cup appearances.
“Honestly, it’s incredibly humbling to make that list,” Onyewu said. “You’ve crossed out some talented, talented players who’ve accomplished incredible things for both club and country, so to be on that list – especially to share the pitch stage with these two – a proud moment. Definitely a proud moment.”
The Hall of Fame selection will continue to be an ongoing trend for Edu. The University of Maryland introduced Edu, a former NCAA College Cup champion, to its Hall of Fame just over a month ago.
Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo, whose career started off brilliantly but ended in controversy, was selected as a finalist on her third attempt. Briana Scurry is on the other end of that controversy – she started her career as a back-up for Solo before taking on duties at the 2007 World Cup – but maintaining Solo deserves a spot.
“I think she deserves it,” said Scurry, USWNT legend and host of the 2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame. “If you look at the two records and the success between us… we both have three big wins at the major tournaments, two Olympic gold medals and a World Cup championship. If you look at it the game and you’re judging so I definitely think she deserves to be in it. I was in the Hall of Fame on her third try. This was her third try, so I thought it was going to happen and I think she deserved it.”
All six may be inducted into the 2022 Hall of Fame class, including two from veterans Chris Armas, Chico Borja, Marco Etcheverry, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Frankie Hejduk, Clint Mathis, Tony Sanneh, Kate Sobrero Markgraf and Tisha Venturini- Huh! It is also possible to recommend a builder and that list includes Esse Baharmast, Brian Hall, Sandra Hunt and Kari Seitz.
The National Football Hall of Fame presentation is scheduled for May 21.
https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/national-soccer-hall-of-fame-clint-dempsey-among-five-cbs-sports-analysts-to-crack-list-of-20-finalists/ | National Soccer Hall of Fame: Clint Dempsey among five CBS Sports analysts to shortlist 20 finalists