Three players with Wisconsin ties are on the Player ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Tony Sanneh (UW-Milwaukee) is among the candidates for the fifth year; Kate Sobrero Markgraf, who lives in Whitefish Bay, is in her fourth season of eligibility; and Leslie Osborne (Brookfield/Waukesha Catholic Memorial) is one of 12 players on the ballot for the first time.
Voters can list as many as 10 candidates on their ballot, and players appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots earn election. Meanwhile, those who don't appear on at least 5 percent of ballots are dropped from consideration until they quality for the Veteran ballot.
Sanneh starred at UWM from 1990 to '93 before a 15-year pro career that saw him play in Europe and with five Major League Soccer teams. He earned 43 caps for the U.S., playing all five matches at the 2002 World Cup – the midfielder was an integral member of the team that advanced to the quarterfinals, being one of only three American players to play every minute in the tournament.
Markgraf ranks in the top 20 in women's international history with 201 caps, and was part of three U.S. teams that won major title: the 1999 Women's World Cup and the 2004 and '08 Olympics. The defender also was part of the 2000 Olympic team that claimed silver and helped the U.S. finish third at the Women's World Cup in 2003 and '07.
Osborne claimed 61 caps with the national team between 2004 and '08, scoring three international goals, and played four seasons of professional soccer. In college, she was part of Santa Clara's NCAA Division I championship team as a freshman in 2001 and won the Honda Award as the nation's outstanding collegiate female player as a senior in 2004.
There are three individuals with Wisconsin ties in the Hall, and all were inducted in the Builder category: Gene Edwards (1985), Mike Kabanica (1987) and Bob Gansler (2011).
The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1950 and was located in Oneonta, N.Y., from 1999 until February 2010; the new National Soccer Hall of Fame is being built inside Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and is scheduled to open in 2018.