Her Story: What can you really say about Mia Hamm that hasn’t already been said. She was, quite simply, the greatest women’s soccer player ever. Born in Selma, Alabama, Hamm has become a global icon for women’s sports. Her leadership and skill would ignite the incendiary rise of the WNT and establish the squad as the world’s greatest.
Her Stats: Hamm’s stats aren’t eye-popping, they are downright absurd. 275 appearances (second all-time), 158 goals (1st) and 144 assists (also 1st). Her goals scored tally isn’t just the most for a woman, but a man as well. She had no equal, and she may never. You could call her the “Michael Jordan” of soccer, but he doesn’t compare.
Her Trophies: Hamm collected trophies like most kids used to collect baseball cards. Two World Cups (1991, 1999) in four tries. Two Olympic Golds (1996, 2004) in three tries. Four NCAA Championships. Two-time FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year (2001, 2002). Oh yeah, and she was selected as one of FIFA’s Players of the Century.
Her Legacy: Hamm is probably the most important athlete in perhaps the entire world over the last twenty years. She showed a generation of girls from around the globe that they too could achieve unthinkable athletic feats. Her leadership and ability has made her an icon for women’s soccer, so it is fitting the new WPS logo bears her silhouette. She is America’s greatest soccer player ever, so she deserves every accolade she has received, including this one.
I hope you have enjoyed my jaunt through WNT history and my ranking of the eight best players in that squad’s history. I know I omitted some worthy players, so tell me about them in the comments, and I will be sure to update this list with numbers 9-16 in the near future.
Until then, please keep coming back to STO for the best news and commentary on the interwebs.