The National Soccer Hall of Fame has announced its finalists for Class of 2021 consideration, placing 20 individuals on the Player ballot and another 10 apiece on the Veteran and Builder Ballots.
The Player ballot has nine individuals whose illustrious playing careers involved significant MLS contributions. They include Inter Miami CF co-owner and president of soccer operations David Beckham, US men's national team head coach Gregg Berhalter and CF Montreal head coach Thierry Henry.
Others are Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff, Real Salt Lake assistant coach Pablo Mastroeni and New England Revolution academy coach Shalrie Joseph, as well as LA Galaxy academy director (soccer operations) Kevin Hartman and Columbus Crew SC front office member Frankie Hejduk. An additional highlight is former USMNT defender Oguchi Onyewu, who closed his playing career with the Philadelphia Union.
From the Veteran ballot, MLS connections surface with former D.C. United stars Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno. There's also ex-Revolution star midfielder Steve Ralston, New York Red Bulls broadcaster Shep Messing and former USMNT and MLS defender Tony Sanneh.
Some MLS connections on the Builder ballot are longtime owner Tim Leiweke and former D.C. United and Toronto FC executive Kevin Payne.
The Hall of Fame's new Selection Committees will vote from Feb. 5 through Feb. 10, determining a class of two to four members. The 2021 class will be announced in March before the 2021 and 2020 class are both enshrined during a May 22 ceremony at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The Class of 2020 includes current Atlanta United VP and technical director Carlos Bocanegra, as well as Andres Cantor, the Colin Jose Media Award winner.
More information on the 40 candidates and voting process can be found here.