Shep Messing soccer goalkeeper and broadcaster, graduated from Harvard University in 1973 after playing on the school's men's soccer team. He was a two-time second team All-American.
He joined the U.S. national team that played in the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali. He went on to play with the U.S. team at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The U.S. went 0-2-1 in group play and failed to qualify for the second round. Messing manned the net in the U.S.'s third game of the games, a 7-0 loss to West Germany. After the Olympics, Messing received offers from teams in Mexico and Germany, but was invited to play for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, alongside Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia. He made his debut with the Cosmos in a May 20, 1974 exhibition game with Irish club Finn Harps. He would remain a backup for most of his career with the Cosmos.
He moved to the Boston Minutemen for a season and a half. Halfway through the 1976 season, Boston Minutemen sold Messing to the Cosmos who needed him after starter Bob Rigby was injured. Messing then played the 1977 season with the Cosmos before moving to the Oakland Stompers. The Stompers lasted only a single season and Messing moved to the Rochester Lancers.
When the Major Indoor Soccer League began its first season in 1978-1979, the New York Arrows were essentially the Rochester Lancers in different uniforms. As such, Messing became the starting Arrows goalkeeper through the team's six years of existence. Messing became the league's dominant keeper, being named to the MISL All Star team in 1979, 1980 and 1981. He was the championship MVP in 1979. When the New York Arrows fired coach Don Popovic in February 1983, the team named Messing, who was sidelined with an injury, as the interim coach.
Messing has been a soccer broadcaster for sixteen years. He began as an analyst for the Major Indoor Soccer League games on ESPN. He broadcast the 1986 FIFA World Cup from Mexico, the 2002 FIFA World Cup from Japan/South Korea, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for ESPN. He has also been the lead analyst for the MetroStars and the New York Red Bulls. Messing served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Soccer at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
He is a member of the New York Sports Hall of Fame and the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, in 2006, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame
Messing wrote an autiobiography entitled The Education of an American Soccer Player which was published in hardcover in 1978 by Dodd, Mead, and in paperback in 1979 by Bantam Books.