Don Garber is finally becoming a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Major League Soccer’s commissioner was originally elected in 2016 but put off induction so he could be enshrined in an MLS stadium. The ceremony is set for Oct. 20 at the new Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Garber was the first of five new inductees set to be announced Thursday. He was joined early in the day by former U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel and midfielder Cindy Parlow Cone.
In an MLS staff meeting in New York, Hall of Famer and former national team defender Jeff Agoos formally welcomed Garber to the 2018 class.
“The induction ceremony will be a moment to look back on the incredible progress the game has made in the United States and also see many of the talented and generous people I’ve had the privilege to work with during my career in soccer,” Garber said.
Garber was named commissioner of the domestic professional league in 1999. Since then, MLS has more than doubled in size. He is also CEO of Soccer United Marketing, the exclusive marketing partner of U.S. Soccer, and a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation board of directors.
The announcement on Garber comes two days after he was on hand to announce that Cincinnati would be the home of the league’s 26th team, two shy of its ultimate goal. MLS began as a 10-team league in 1996.
Friedel was surprised with the announcement of his National Soccer Hall of Fame election by former teammate Tab Ramos.
He was among the players on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.
Friedel made 82 appearances for the United States over 13 years and was on the national team’s roster for three World Cups, starting for the American team that advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002.
His club career was highlighted by 17 Premier League seasons, including stints with Blackburn, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
He was hired as coach of the New England Revolution in November. Friedel also served as coach of the U.S. under-19 national team and was a Fox analyst.
Cone scored 75 goals over an 11-year career with the U.S. women’s national team. She was on American teams that won the 1999 World Cup and a pair of Olympic gold medals. She remains the youngest American player — male or female — to win both a World Cup title and Olympic gold.
Former national team coach and North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance broke the news to Cone in Raleigh, where she is a youth coach.
Cone was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year at North Carolina. Following her long career with the national team, she went on to coach as an assistant for the Tar Heels and later with the Portland Thorns, who won the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League title in 2013.