U.S. Soccer

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U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame ballot revealed, including Beckham

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CHICAGO (AP) David Beckham, the English midfielder who brought increased visibility to American soccer and won a pair of Major League Soccer titles while playing for the LA Galaxy from 2007-12, is among 12 first-time candidates on the 33-player ballot for the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Defender Steve Cherundolo, midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and forward Brian Ching, key parts of the U.S. national team, also are new candidates on the ballot announced Wednesday. Other first-timers include defenders Chris Albright, Danny Califf and Tina Frimpong Ellertson; goalkeepers Joe Cannon and Kevin Hartman, and midfielders Amado Guevara, Eddie Gaven and Leslie Osborne.

Defender Chris Armas and midfielder Jason Kreis, currently Orlando’s coach, are in their final year of eligibility. Former midfielder Ben Olsen, now D.C. United’s coach, is among the holdovers.

Other men on the ballot include goalkeeper Pat Onstad; defenders Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk and Tony Sanneh; midfielders Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis and Steve Ralston; and forwards Jeff Cunningham, Clint Mathis, Jaime Moreno, Ante Razov, Taylor Twellman and Josh Wolff.

Women on the ballot include goalkeeper Briana Scurry; defenders Kate Sobrero Markgraf and Heather Mitts; midfielder Aly Wagner; and forward Tiffeny Milbrett.

Voting will take place among men’s and women’s national team coaches, Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer league management, U.S. Soccer Federation leadership, Hall of Famers and media. Each voter can list up to 10 players, and a player must appear on at least 66.7 percent of ballots to earn election.

Among those on the builder ballot are former USSF President Bob Contiguglia; referee Esse Baharmast; coaches Gene Chyzowych, Eddie Firmani, Gordon Jago and Joe Machnik; and administrators Richard Groff, Tim Leiweke, Francisco Marcos and Kevin Payne.

The 15-player veteran ballot, voted on only by Hall of Famers, has George Best, Chico Borja, Mike Burns, John Doyle, Marco Etcheverry, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Chris Henderson, Dominic Kinnear, Shep Messing, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts, Mike Sorber, Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Roy Wegerle.

The hall’s building in Oneonta, New York, closed in 2010. A new facility in Frisco, Texas, is under construction and slated to open in 2018.

VIDEO: U.S. U-17s win again, on verge of World Cup qualification

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Provided the United States U-17 national team doesn’t lay a colossal egg in its group stage finale, the Yanks are going to the U-17 World Cup in India.

And they are doing it in quite stylish fashion.

The Americans buried Honduras 3-0 on Wednesday, getting a pair of goals from Josh Sargent (Scott Gallagher-Missouri) and a third from Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC II).

As long as the Yanks win, draw or lose by less than five against Cuba — who already lost 7-1 to Honduras — they are off to India.

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You’ll also want to note that another player jumps off the highlight reel even without scoring. Atlanta United’s Andrew Carleton continues to prove why he’s one of the most exciting prospects in recent history. That dribbling at the 36-second mark!

Sargent also scored earlier in the tournament to beat Mexico for the Yanks first U-17 win over El Tri… ever.

WATCH: Snazzy Sargent goal leads U.S. U-17s past Mexico

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Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.

Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.

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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.

The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.

Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.

North American bid for 2026 World Cup backed by Oceania

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) The United States, Canada and Mexico bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup is supported by the 11-nation Oceania soccer confederation.

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Oceania says it also agrees the bid should have “an exclusive period of negotiation” with FIFA for the next year.

The 211 FIFA member federations can decide on May 11 to give the North American neighbors a March 2018 deadline without rivals to show their bid is technically sound.

The bid launched this month is currently FIFA’s only realistic option for the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026. FIFA rules bar European and Asian members from bidding.

Oceania’s FIFA vice president, David Chung, says “it makes sense on a rotational basis” for the 2026 edition to return to North America for the first time since the U.S.-hosted 1994 tournament.

U.S. Soccer schedules “historic” presser; Expected to be World Cup bid

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U.S. Soccer has announced a joint press conference with Canada and Mexico, one which will include a “historic announcement” that is expected to be a three-headed bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

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The press conference will be held 2 p.m. EDT Monday at One World Observatory on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center in New York, N.Y.

U.S. Soccer boss Sunil Gulati will be joined by Mexican federation president Decio de Maria and Canada/CONCACAF leader Victor Montagliani for the announcement.