Mia Hamm: the greatest U.S. women’s soccer player of all time?


I myself have played soccer since I was seven years old, and it has been a very big part of my life ever since. All year round, I am playing the sport and love the memories, friends, and competitive atmosphere of the game. I was excited to write this article and to research this topic because soccer is the one sport I know all about. Watching and following the progress of the US women’s national team has been a huge part of my soccer journey; it has been a great thing to be involved in to provide myself with motivation by seeing how hard all of those women work. 

Since there are so many talented women on the national team, it was a little difficult to choose a winner, but the more I looked into it, the clearer it became who the greatest is: Mia Hamm. Hamm retired before I was old enough to participate in sports, but her accomplishments and abilities had such an amazing impact in the world of women’s soccer; everyone knows who she is and knows why she is the best.  

Hamm played college soccer for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, creating a legacy for herself at the highest level of college soccer. At UNC, she was a major part of winning the national championship all four years she attended the school. Hamm played in a total of 95 games while she was at UNC, impressively only losing one of those. Her personal statistics were also outstanding; she finished her career with 103 goals and 72 assists, she was the National Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993, and she was first-team All-American in 1990, 1992, and 1993. 

Mia joined the national team program in 1987 at the age of 15, making her the youngest player to join the USWNT. As she grew older and progressed as a player, everyone knew what a great impact she would make on the team and on the world. She competed at the national level for 17 years and was a part of building the women’s soccer fan base into what it is today. She was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 1991 and 1999, and she also went on to win two gold medals in the years of 1996 and 2004. During her career, she also held the record for the most international goals scored with the incredible number of 158 goals, which was later surpassed by Abby Wambach. Hamm was also nominated for many awards and titles throughout her career; she was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year in both 2001 and 2002 and MVP of the Women’s World Cup in 1995, she won three ESPY awards as Soccer Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2004, along with teammate Michelle Akers, she was named on FIFA’s list of  “125 Greatest Living Soccer Players,” making her one of only two women and Americans to ever make it on that list at that time. 

Mia Hamm proved her excellence time and time again with her perseverance, hard work, and dedication to the team. By the time she had retired in 2004 at the age of 32, she had left a path of excellence behind her for young girls to follow. She was, and still is, an inspiration for so many young girls growing up in the world of sports. 

Who is the greatest US women's soccer player of all time?


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Check out Zoe’s story on why Abby Wambach deserves the title!

Abby Wambach: the greatest U.S. women’s soccer player of all time?