Mia Hamm, Megan Rapinoe, Michelle Akers and the 20 greatest USWNT players of all time

Mia Hamm, Megan Rapinoe, Michelle Akers and the 20 greatest USWNT players of all time

The United States is the most successful women’s national team of all time, and it isn’t really close. 

There have been six women’s Olympic tournaments. The USWNT has won four of them.

There have been eight Women’s World Cups. The USWNT has won four of those as well. 

Put together, the USWNT has won more than half of the major women’s international competitions of the modern era. Naturally, there have been some legendary players who have helped the team to its major success. 

Here, Goal counts down the 20 greatest USWNT players of all time. 

  • A two-time Olympic gold medalist and 1999 World Cup winner, Scurry set the standard for American goalkeepers in the 1990s and 2000s. Her 175 caps are the second-most for any American goalkeeper.

  • Equal parts prolific and controversial, Solo won two Olympic gold medals and led the USWNT to the 2015 World Cup while redefining the goalkeeper position. Solo made 202 appearances during her U.S. career – the only goalkeeper to ever surpass 200 caps.

  • Pearce Rampone played in five World Cups and four Olympics, bridging the gap between the generation of Hamm and Foudyto Morgan and Wambach. With 311 appearances, she is the second-most capped player in women’s international soccer history.

  • Fawcett helped anchor the USWNT defense from her first cap in 1987 all the way through the early 2000s. She was a key part of four World Cup squads, winning the title in 1991 and 1999, while only being yellow carded twice and receiving no red cards in her 241 caps.

  • Chastainbecame best known for her iconic celebration after scoring the deciding penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup, but her career was much more than just one successful spot kick. She accumulated 192 caps and won two Olympic gold medals, as well as the 1991 World Cup.

  • Overbeck was the USWNT captainat the 1999 World Cup, anchoring the backlineas they conceded just three times all tournament. Overbeck was also part of the 1991 World Cup-winning squad, earning 170 caps in her career.

  • Markgrafwas one of the most inexperienced members of the 1999 World Cup squad, but became a key member of the team’s backline in that tournament – and for the next decade. One of only 11 USWNT players with more than 200 caps, Markgraf now serves as the USWNT general manager.

  • Sauerbrunnhas been a key part of two World Cup-winning defenses and was recently named the USWNT’s captain moving forward. At age 35 and with 182 caps already, the veteran defender is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

  • A true legend in every sense, Lilly is the most-capped player in international soccer history, men’s or women’s, with an amazing 354 appearances. In a career that spanned 24 years, Lilly won two Olympic gold medals, two World Cups and scored 130 international goals.

  • Foudy marshaled the USWNT midfield for nearly 20 years, and played in every game in the 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups, and the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She scored 45 goals while amassing 274 caps.

  • Considered by many to be the greatest female player ever, Akers was namedFIFA Player of the Century in 2000. The midfielder joined the USWNT when it first formed in 1985 and dominated the game for the next 15 years. She won two World Cups, scoring the winner in 1991, and also won a gold medal in 1996.

  • Holiday retired from national team duty in 2015 at the tender age of 27, but what she accomplished in nine years with the team makes her a deserving member of this list. One of the most versatile and talented players the USWNT has ever seen, Holiday captured two gold medals and led the team to the 2015 World Cup before going out on top.

  • Boxx nearly quit soccer as a young professional and didn’t make her USWNT debutuntil 2003, when she was 26 years old. Nevertheless, she became a mainstay in defensive midfield for 12 years, makingfour World Cup rosters and playing at three Olympics, winning gold at all three.

  • O’Reillywas one of the USWNT’s most important attacking playersduring her 14-year international career, with her 231 caps good for eighth in program history. She wonthree gold medals and the 2015 World Cup.

  • Rapinoe had already won a World Cup and an Olympic gold medal heading into the 2019 World Cup, but her performances in France made her legendary. Rapinoe won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the tournament, scoring the winner in the final against the Netherlands while becoming a household name for her outspoken nature off the field.

  • The ultimate big-game player, Lloyd scored the winner in the 2008 Olympic gold medal match, and then scored both goals in the USWNT’s 2-1 victory over Japan in the gold-medal game of the 2012 Olympics. Her signature performance, of course, was her 16-minute hat-trick against Japan in the 2015 World Cup final.

  • The most prolific scorer in USWNT history and until recently, in the history of international soccer – men’s or women’s –Wambach tallied an incredible 184 goals during her national team career. The imposing forward dominated defenses with her strength, aerial ability, and skill on the ground.

  • Akers may have been the team’s first true star but Hamm was the face of the USWNT when they became idols in the United States. Hamm’srecord of158 goals for the USWNT stood until Wambach broke it in 2013.

  • Morgan burst onto the scene as the 2011 World Cup when, as the team’s youngest player, she scored and assisted in the final against Japan. Though the USWNT lost that final, Morgan helped them win the next two World Cups, as well as the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. With 108 goals to her name, the 31-year-old Morgan has plenty of time to move up the USWNT’s all-time scoring chart.

  • One of only seven players to reach 100 goals with the USWNT, Milbrett was a mainstay of the team’s attack for 15 years. She led the team in goals at the 1999 World Cup andalso scored the winning goal in the 1996 Olympic gold-medal match against China.