Former Virginia Cavalier Claudio Reyna, along with fellow former Hoo Tony Meola, have been elected to the Class of 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame. Credit: Getty Images Sport / Mike Stobe
The National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is an all-Virginia affair, as it was announced today that former Wahoos Claudio Reyna and Tony Meola have been elected to the newest class. Joining these two are Desmond Armstrong on the Veteran ballot and Tony Dicicco on the Builder ballot.
This was the first year that either Reyna, a former U.S. Men's National Team captain, or Meola, a three-time FIFA World Cup veteran goalkeeper, was eligible on the Player ballot. Reyna was named on 96% of the ballots, while Meola was named on 90%.
"It's an incredible honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," Reyna said in a release. "Soccer has been my life from the moment I could walk. You don't think or play for these types of recognitions, but it is a tremendous honor and I want to thank my former teammates, former coaches and everybody else close to me, especially my family, who supported me - from those who drove me all over as a youth player to my wife and children who have been here my whole career. From a player's standpoint, it kind of caps things off for me, so it's definitely an honor and something that I'm proud of."
"It's certainly the greatest honor you can have in your chosen profession," Meola echoed, "to be mentioned in the same breath as the great people that were before you and one day the great ones that will come after you. I'm certainly humbled and I'm honored, and I'm thrilled to think that somebody actually thought I was worthy of it. That makes it more special, that people who are obviously knowledgeable about the game, that have followed the game and spent their entire life in the game like I have who voted for me. I can only say thank you to them for the opportunity to be part of the group."
While at Virginia, Reyna led the Hoos to three straight NCAA titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993, during the bulk of the Cavalier Dynasty. He was a three-time first-team NSCAA All-American with 21 goals and 22 assists, ranking 10th all-time in points for the Cavaliers upon his graduation.
Meola, who only played for Virginia for two seasons in 1988 and 1989, had similar success. He was a first-team All-American both years, won the Hermann Trophy following his 1988 freshman campaign and earned the MAC Award in 1989.
You can read more from the official US Soccer release.