The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced their 2018 inductees Thursday and three of them have special Portland soccer connections.
Cindy Parlow Cone, a former standout with the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1996-2004, helped guide Portland Thorns FC to a championship during the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2013. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Cone was hired as the first head coach in Thorns FC history on Dec. 19, 2012. A finalist for the 2013 FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, Cone helped direct Thorns FC to an 11-6-5 overall record during the 2013 regular season – which tied for the most points (38) in the league. Her 158 national team caps and 75 goals also earned her two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal. Prior to her international career, Cone was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year and two-time NCAA National Champion at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Cone continued her Tar Heel career as an assistant coach where she helped guide the team to four NCAA Championships.
Don Garber was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer in 1999 after 16 years at the National Football League where he served in a variety of senior leadership positions. During his tenure, MLS has expanded from 10 to 26 clubs, added 22 new owners – which includes the addition of the Portland Timbers to MLS in 2011 – and secured long-term broadcast agreements with ESPN, FOX and Univision along with major broadcasters in Canada, Europe, Asia and South America. Garber has also led efforts to develop 19 soccer stadiums in the United States and Canada, and five more soccer venues will open in the next few years. The Queens, NY native was originally elected into the Hall of Fame in 2016 but opted to defer his enshrinement until 2018.
The Portland, OR native and Denver, CO resident Tiffeny Milbrett is the University of Portland’s second-leading goal scorer (103) and is fourth all-time in assists (40) in her time with the Pilots (1990-94). Milbrett is also a U.S. Women's National Team legend having earned a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic Games and was a member of the squad that won the 1999 Women's World Cup – all alongside Cone. She earned 206 caps, scored 100 goals and played in three World Cups. When not playing for her country, Milbrett played professionally for clubs in Japan, USA, Sweden and Canada from 1995-2010 including time with Vancouver Whitecaps FC Women alongside current Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair. Portland fans will also remember Milbrett playing in the 2002 WUSA All-Star Game at then PGE Park, now Providence Park. While at Hillsboro High School in Oregon, she was a three-time Oregonian 3A Player of The Year and a two-time Parade All-American.
Parlow Cone, Garber and Milbrett join longtime U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper and current New England Revolution head coach Brad Friedel and former U.S. Soccer president Dr. Robert "Bob" Contiguglia in this year's class. Induction weekend will be held at the newly expanded National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas on Oct. 20-21, 2018.