A forward who was one of the leading Americans in the North American Soccer League. He drew considerable attention to soccer among American sports fans in the mid-1970s, and was promoted as a home-grown American star the equal of European and South American soccer heroes.
A part of why Rote attracted so much attention was that he was the son of an American football icon, former NFL star Kyle Rote. He had himself been a major-college football player before turning to soccer. During his years as an NASL star, Rote competed several times in the made-for-television Superstars competition among athletes from various sports and won that event three times.
Rote played six seasons in the NASL, from 1973 to 1978 with the Dallas Tornado and in 1979 with the Houston Hurricane, appearing in 150 NASL games and scoring 44 goals. Possibly Rote’s best NASL season was his first. He led the league in scoring with 10 goals and 10 assists in his 18 regular-season games that year and was chosen as the league’s rookie of the year.
Rote made his debut in the U.S. national team against Poland in 1973 and played five full internationals for the United States in 1973, 1974 and 1975.
Inducted in 2010.