Thierry Henry

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Friedel, Bocanegra, Henry nominated for Hall of Fame

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CHICAGO (AP) Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligibles nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s class of 2018.

[ MORE: 23 thoughts from MLS Week 2 ]

Also on the ballot for the first time are Juan Pablo Angel, Bobby Convey, Jay DeMerit, Stuart Holden, Eddie Johnson and Lori Lindsey.

To be eligible, a player must have played at least 20 full international games for the United States (reduced to 10 if the games were before 1990); or have played at least five seasons in an American first-division professional league and been a postseason league all-star at least once; or played at least five seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League between the end of the NASL in 1984 and the end of the MISL in 1992, and been selected as a first-team postseason all-star in at least one of those seasons.

The Hall of Fame facility in Frisco, Texas, will open on Oct. 20-21, and will feature induction ceremonies, followed by FC Dallas hosting Sporting Kansas City in an MLS match.

There are 32 individuals on the player ballot, nine on the veterans ballot and seven on the builders ballot.

Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election. Voters can select up to 10 players.

Voters can choose up to five veteran candidates, and the top vote getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. Builders must be at least 50 years of age and are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while having a major, sustained and positive impact on American Soccer at the national, federation or first-division level for at least 10 years. The voting procedure is the same for them as for seniors.

The ballots:


Juan Pablo Angel, David Beckham, Gregg Berhalter, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Brian Ching, Bobby Convey, Jeff Cunningham, Jay DeMerit, Brad Friedel, Kevin Hartman, Frankie Hejduk, Thierry Henry, Stuart Holden, Eddie Johnson, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis, Lori Lindsey, Kate Sobrero Markgraf, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Mathis, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather Mitts, Jaime Moreno, Ben Olsen, Pat Onstad, Steve Ralston, Ante Razov, Tony Sanneh, Taylor Twellman, Aly Wagner, Josh Wolff.


Mike Burns, Kevin Crow, John Doyle, Marco Etcheverry, Linda Hamilton, Shep Messing, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts, Tisha Venturini-Hoch.


Esse Baharmast, Dr. Robert Contiguglia, Joe Cummings, Tim Leiweke, Francisco Marcos, Kevin Payne, Steve Sampson.

Kyle Martino running for USSF presidency

Former MLS and USMNT player Kyle Martino is throwing his hat in the ring for the United States Soccer Federation presidency.

Martino, 36, launched to detail his candidacy. He won eight caps for the United States men’s national team between 2002-06. Martino will be taking a hiatus from his current role as a Premier League analyst for NBC Sports.

[ MORE: Kljestan, Altidore react to fight ]

Backed by Thierry Henry and David Beckham, Martino announced his candidacy on Monday, joining the first contested election since Sunil Gulati took over in 2006. Gulati is also a member of FIFA’s Executive Council dating back to 2013.

Martino said he’d resign if the U.S. failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup or missed the quarterfinals of the 2026 World Cup.

Already announced for the election are Eric Wynalda, Gulati protege Carlos Cordeiro, Boston lawyer Steve Gans and UPSL executivePaul LaPointe. Gulati hinted at his candidacy during a conference call following the USMNT’s embarrassing failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

NFL’s Ajayi clearly pleased to see hero Thierry Henry (video)

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File this under: Star running backs, they’re just like us.

Miami Dolphins bruiser Jay Ajayi is in London for a Sunday match-up with the New Orleans Saints, and he got a chance to meet childhood hero Thierry Henry.

[ USMNT: World Cup qualifying roster looks odd ]

Ajayi, 24, was born and London and is set to become the first London-born skill position player to hit the field in England (Granted that’s a stretch of a designation, as Osi Umenyiora had plenty of skill at defensive end).

The two had met before, with Henry surprising Ajayi at Sky Sports last year.

Here’s how Ajayi reacted to his London return earlier this week, via The London Evening Standard:

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m getting to go home. My whole family is flying out. It’s a special thing and I think it will be even more special when I get there and the game’s about to kick off. I think that will be a great moment for me and for my family.”

We like to think Henry called him the Jay Train and Ajayi responded by saying “Invincible man, Invincible!”

Lukaku hails debut win, “intense” Pogba friendship, Henry’s tutelage

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Sunday couldn’t have gone much better for Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United’s $97-million superstar signing from the summer, as the big Belgian striker scored twice on his Premier League debut for the club and helped the Red Devils to a 4-0 victory over West Ham United.

[ RECAP: Man United thrash West Ham to opening 2017-18 season ]

After the game, the 24-year-old joined the NBC Sports broadcast team field-side at Old Trafford for a lengthy interview (above video) on a wide range of topics — from his own performance on the day, to his “intense, competitive” relationship with Paul Pogba, to the icons of the game who bestowed their wisdom upon him during his five years in England, and so much more.

“[It was] a difficult first 20 minutes, I’d say, but then afterwards we found the spaces to play and we played at a higher tempo. From the press of Nemanja [Matic] we recovered the ball and he went really quickly; before the ball came to me, I had a couple looks at the goalkeeper; the pass from Marcus [Rashford] was excellent, so it was all instincts.

“The second goal was a good free kick from [Henrikh Mkhitaryan], something we worked on in training. From then on, we really controlled the game. We tried to be entertaining for the fans. That’s what they want at Manchester United.”

“Our relationship is really intense. He’s really competitive at the training ground, outside the training ground really competitive, and on the pitch we just want to win. We’re two winners.

“When we play opposite each other, the guy that loses he’s going to get stick until the next day, or has to serve the other guy for the whole day. We are like that, we’re really competitive. Playing together, I think is the best thing, because he has things in his game that I want to have, and I have things in my game that he wants to have, so we try to learn from each other. We push each other everyday on another level.”

[ VIDEO: Lukaku scores his first Man United goal ]

“I think [having Thierry Henry as a coach at mentor with the Belgian national team] is the best thing that happened to me. He’s the best thing that happened to me.

“If I look back, from 18 when I came to England until now, I’ve had possibly the five best strikers in the last 10 years as mentors. I had Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, and now Thierry Henry. … I think it’s the best thing that could happen in my career as a young guy. … Everyday, if it’s negative or it’s positive, I really take it in stride because I know what is expected at the top level.”

VIDEO: Kane scores 4, takes charge in Golden Boot race (again)

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Harry Kane is having himself a(nother) season to remember — not bad for a so-called “one-season wonder,” is he? — and the 23-year-old had a night to remember on Thursday, as he bagged four of six goals in Tottenham Hotspur’s demolition of Leicester City.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Harry’s haul erased a two-goal deficit to Romelu Lukaku in the race for the 2016-17 Premier League Golden Boot, and handed him a two-goal advantage heading into the final day of the PL season this weekend (despite the fact he’s played in seven fewer PL games this season, due to injury, than the big Belgian).

1. Harry Kane — 26 goals
2. Romelu Lukaku — 24
3. Alexis Sanchez — 23
4. Diego Costa — 20

[ RECAP: Kane gets 4, Son gets 2; Spurs increase record points total ]

If Kane holds off Lukaku on Sunday, he’ll become the first player since Robin Van Persie (2011-12 and 2012-13) to lead the PL in goals scored in consecutive seasons, and just the second to do so since Thierry Henry went back to back to back in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.