March 9, 2006
ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Former Santa Clara University soccer stars Paul Bravo and Nikki Serlenga are among the list of candidates eligible for election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.
This year's inductees will be announced on April 22 at halftime of Major League Soccer's Red Bull New York (formerly the NY/NJ Metrostars) versus D.C. United match at Giants Stadium. The announcement will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
A midfielder and forward who played six seasons in Major League Soccer following an illustrious career at SCU, Bravo registered the Broncos' second-highest single-season points total with 40 in 1989. He scored 16 goals that season and was a two-time all-West Coast Conference selection.
Bravo's MLS career, from 1996 to 2001, was spent with San Jose and Colorado. Before MLS, he had won a U.S. Open Cup title in 1994 with the San Francisco Greek-Americans. With Colorado, he reached the U.S. Open Cup final again in 1999 and the MLS final in 1997. Bravo played a total of 166 MLS regular-season games and 15 MLS playoff games.
He played four full international games for the United States, the first against Honduras in 1994 and the last against Germany in 1999. Before joining MLS, Bravo played four seasons in the APSL, helping the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks to an APSL title in 1991, and one season in the USISL.
A midfielder who starred in the WUSA and the women's national team, Serlenga was a two-time All-American at Santa Clara and a three-time all-West Coast Conference selection.
Serlenga played three seasons in the WUSA, all of them with the Atlanta Beat, and was a key member of the Atlanta team that reached the WUSA championship game in 2001 and 2003. She played a total of 59 WUSA regular-season games and five WUSA playoff games.
She played 30 full internationals for the United States, all of them during 2000 and 2001. Serlenga was a member of the United States team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia and played in two of the United States' five teams in those Olympics.
The two players who receive the most votes are elected to the Hall of Fame each year as long as they are named on at least 50 percent of the ballots cast. A third candidate may be elected if that candidate is named 80 percent of the ballots cast.
Players are eligible for election following their third year of retirement from professional soccer and can stay on the ballot for up to 10 years following retirement. In order to become eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have played at least 20 full international games for the United States or five seasons in a United States first division pro league, and have met certain other qualifications.
MLSnet.com and the National Soccer Hall of Fame contributed to this report