Kaizer Motaung and Roy Wegerle have been named on the list of candidates for a place in United States Soccer’s Hall of Fame.
The pair are on a list of 174 candidates eligible for election to the Hall of Fame next year, which will be cut down to a maximum of six.
Each year the National Hall of Fame, which is situated in Dallas, inaugurates new members and the process of selecting the Class of 2024 formally gets underway this week.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame’s screening committee will narrow the lengthy list before they and other members of the voting committees vote on the final ballot to elect a maximum of six new Hall of Fame members.
Motaung and Wegerle are both in the “veterans” category, from which only two will make it next year, but they are up against some illustrious names like David Beckham, George Best and Teofilo Cubillas.
Motaung, who turns 79 in October, was the North American Soccer League’s Rookie of the Year in the first season when he had the nickname ‘Boy-Boy’ and helped Atlanta Chiefs to win the title. He scored in the second leg of the final as they beat San Diego.
The following year he was voted to the NASL First All-Star team after scoring 16 goals in 16 games and becoming the league’s top scorer. He missed the 1970 season as Chiefs were founded but returned to Atlanta in 1971, then played for Denver Dynamos in 1974 and 1975.
Pretoria-born Wegerle played for Arcadia and Jomo Cosmos before going to the US to play at Tampa Bay Rowdies in the dying days of the NASL. He then moved to Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City and Queens Park Rangers in England and played for the US at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup. He was also briefly a coach in Major League Soccer.
There is already one South African in the Hall of Fame – Pule ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe, whose exploits for Minnesota made him a legend in the NASL.
By Mark Gleeson (courtesy of MTNFC)