The women’s football team from the USA is one of the most successful and most famous sports teams in the world today. So far, the team has won four Women’s World Cup titles), four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups.
The team has been dominating women’s soccer for a long time, but has now become famous all around the globe.
Much of this fame is owed to their fight against the governing federation regarding equal pay.
However, the USA’s women’s national team has an interesting past.
HOW DID THE WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM FROM USA BECOME FAMOUS?
The women’s soccer team from the USA kick-started their journey to fame on 19 June 1999.
They played the opener of the 1999 Women’s World Cup against China, and became one of the most important football teams in history.
However, it wasn’t the team’s victory against China or Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt that made them famous. It was the team and their spirit.
That team introduced America to a concept it didn’t know existed – women working together. The general perception around women was (still is, to some extent) that they cannot work together, and that there is always some “drama” between women. This team changed that perception.
Donna de Varona, who was the 1999 Women’s World Cup organizer for The National Team, said –
“These were very strong women who were working as a team, and there was this notion that women can’t be team players. We are team players. It reinforced all the things that we are capable of and can do through sport.”
The solidarity and bond between the members of this was nothing America had seen ever before.
“Whenever you interviewed Mia Hamm and wanted her to talk about her greatness, she’d talk about her teammates. That ’99 team was as together of a team as I’ve ever seen,” said JP Dellacamera. JP was the play-by-play announcer for the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
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Moreover, it wasn’t just winning that the team cared about. Being some of the first famous female athletes in the country meant that they had no female athletes to look up to. Hence, there was always a purpose behind doing what they did.
Former captain Julie Foudy was interviewed for a book called The National Team. She said –
“We always had the big picture in mind — why we were doing it. Yes, it was about winning and being successful, but we always felt the most satisfaction out of the fact that we were changing the way people perceived women’s sports and that we were inspiring that many more girls. None of us had female role models growing up. Mine were basketball players and football players who were 7 feet tall and 300 pounds.”