Her Story: Michelle Akers should very arguably be a top 2 player on this list, but I like her here at #3. She grew up in Washington State and was a four-time All-American at UCF. In 1985, she was one of the first ever members of the WNT and she would remain with the team until the turn of the century. She was America’s first soccer superstar.
Her Stats: Akers was capped 136 times for the WNT, good for 13th all-time. Though she didn’t play as much as the other ladies on this list, she still amassed 105 goals (third all-time) and 37 assists. The reason she didn’t have as many caps was likely because there was less games played back during the early part of her long era of WNT dominance.
Her Trophies: Akers won the Golden Boot at the inuagural Women’s World Cup in 1991, scoring 10 goals, including five in one game. She was also a member of the 1999 WC squad that greatly popularized women’s soccer in America. FIFA even voted her Women’s Player of the Century, so I am really starting to doubt my own ranking on this list.
Her Legacy: Akers was the player who led the US to the 1991 World Cup and she also played a role on the legendary 1999 WC squad. In addition, she contributed to the team’s Gold Medal in 1996. She continues to promote the game today, and I believe there would have never been a Mia Hamm if there had not been a Michelle Akers first.