Former Cavaliers Meola, Reyna Named to National Soccer Hall of Fame
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia men’s soccer players Tony Meola and Claudio Reyna each have been named to the national Soccer Hall of Fame. Meola played at Virginia from 1988-89, while Reyna helped lead UVa to three-straight national titles from 1991-93.
The players are joined in the 2012 class by Desmond Armstrong on the Veteran ballot and Tony DiCicco on the Builder ballot. Details on the induction ceremony will be announced at a later date.
Both Reyna and Meola were overwhelmingly voted in on their first eligible year on the Player ballot. Reyna was named on 96 percent of the ballots, while Meola was named on 90 percent of the ballots.
The 1989 Hermann Trophy honoree, Meola still holds the UVa career records in goals against average (0.34) and save percentage (.889) as well as the single-season records for goals-against average (0.31 in 1989) and save percentage (.909 in 1988). He also was twice honored as a NSCAA first-team All-American and two-time first-team All-ACC in addition to earning the 1989 ACC Player of the Year award. He was the goalkeeper on UVa’s first national championship team in 1989. Meola was a two-sport athlete at UVa, playing on the baseball team for two years as well.
“It’s certainly the greatest honor you can have in your chosen profession, 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,” Meola said. “I’m certainly humbled and I’m honored, and I’m thrilled to think that somebody actually thought I was worthy of it.”
Meola was a member of three U.S. World Cup squads, serving as the team’s No. 1 goalkeeper for the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups and then as a reserve in 2002. In 12 years, between 1988 and 2006, Meola earned 100 caps and 32 shutouts (second all-time behind Kasey Keller), while recording 37 victories. Meola was one of the top goalkeepers in Major League Soccer, highlighted by his 2000 campaign with the Kansas City Wizards that included an MLS Cup, MLS MVP, MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Cup MVP accolades.
Reyna had a standout career at UVa, earning NSCAA first-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors all three years. Reyna was the 1993 Hermann Trophy winner as well as the 1992 and 1993 National Player of the Year for Soccer America and the Missouri Athletic Club. Reyna was the 1991 ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP.
The forward scored 21 goals and added 22 assists while at Virginia. During Reyna’s three seasons at UVa, the Cavaliers posted a 62-6-3 record and won three ACC titles.
“It’s an incredible honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Reyna. “Soccer has been my life from the moment I could walk. You don’t think or play for these type 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.”
Reyna played for the U.S. National Team for 13 straight years from 1994-2006 and was a member of four FIFA World Cup teams. He earned 112 caps while scoring eight goals and recording 19 career assists. Reyna also had a 13-year career in Europe, playing for Premier League sides Manchester City and Sunderland and the Scottish Premier League’s Glasgow Rangers.
Reyna has served as U.S. Soccer’s Youth Technical Director since 2010.