Bruce Wilson

A Canadian defender for several North American Soccer League teams who was one of the best North American players in the NASL’s history.

Wilson was a stay-at-home style of defender. Although his 299 NASL games rank him second only to fellow Canadian Bob Lenarduzzi, he scored only eight NASL goals. He played 11 seasons in the NASL, from 1974 to 1977 with the Vancouver Whitecaps, in 1978 and 1979 with the Chicago Sting, in 1980 with the New York Cosmos and from 1981 to 1984 with the Toronto Blizzard. He played at least 20 games in each of those seasons.

Wilson was an NASL all-star six times. Three of those were first-team selections, in 1977, 1979 and 1984. He won an NASL championship in 1980 with New York and was runner up both 1983 and 1984 with Toronto.

Wilson was one of the best players Canada has ever produced and was capped 57 times. He played for Canada in the 1984 Olympic Games and the 1986 World Cup, in which he was captain of the Canadian team. He was the focus of a controversy in 1980 when the Cosmos, who wanted him for a tour of friendlies in Asia, refused to release him to play for Canada in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup. In 1998, he was the lone Canadian player elected to a CONCACAF team of the century.

Inducted in 2003.