SAN LUIS OBISPO – One of the most accomplished coaches in the history of American soccer, the Eagles SC Director/Consultant, second-year Cal Poly head coach and former U.S. Men's National Team manager Steve Sampson was recently nominated for inclusion on the 2016 National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot.

Sampson, who managed the United States at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and directed LA Galaxy to the 2005 Major League Soccer Cup and US Open Cup titles, is one of seven individuals confirmed for the Builders ballot, which recognizes the contributions of individuals in a non-playing capacity who sustained a major and positive impact on American soccer.

Voters, which include current Hall of Fame members, can name up to five candidates on the ballot and the top vote-receiver will be elected as long as he appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots.

Voting will be conducted for a three-week period with the results announced shortly after.

With more than three decades of coaching and managerial experience, Sampson has enjoyed multiple successes at the international and domestic levels. From 2002-04, he served as the Costa Rica Men's National Team manager and became the first American-born coach to manage a national team outside of the United States.

Sampson's tenure with the U.S. Men's National Team began in 1993, when he was named as an assistant coach for 1994 World Cup. With Sampson on the bench, the United States reached the knockout phase of the World Cup for the first time since 1930.

Appointed interim manager of the national team in April 1995, Sampson led the Americans to a fourth-place finish at the 1995 Copa America, a run that included a 3-0 win versus Argentina. Promoted to the full-time managerial position, Sampson then helped the United States qualify for an unprecedented third successive World Cup Finals appearance with the Americans losing just one match during the qualification process.

On the way to the World Cup, the United States topped Brazil 1-0 in the 1998 Gold Cup semifinals, a victory that helped Sampson become the only American manager with victories against both Brazil and Argentina in competitive play.

As head coach at Santa Clara (1986-90), Sampson compiled a 64-19-19 record and during the 1989 season the Broncos finished 20-0-3 en route to capturing the first and only NCAA Division I title by a men's program in university history. Sampson was named both NSCAA and ISAA National Coach of the Year and West Coast Conference Coach of the Year. Sampson, who enjoyed four winning seasons in five years at Santa Clara, also directed the Broncos to the 1990 NCAA Tournament.

During his first season as Cal Poly head coach last fall, Sampson directed the Mustangs to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years and an 11-win season that matched the school record for single season victories. Cal Poly enjoyed three Major League Soccer SuperDraft selections in January and only 2015 NCAA Tournament runner-up Clemson (four), Georgetown (four) and Creighton (four) enjoyed more.

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