The Top 10 USA Women's Soccer Players of All-Time

The Top 10 USA Women's Soccer Players of All-Time

The Top 10 USA Women's Soccer Players of All-Time

Soccer — or football to most of the world — has long been a global phenomenon, and some of the greatest players in the sport's long history have been members of the United States Women's National Team (USWNT).

The USWNT has produced a string of talented athletes ranging from goal-scoring legends to dominant midfielders and inspirational defenders.

1. Kristine Lilly

The legacy of Kristine Lilly in women's soccer is truly outstanding. What these caps represent is not the most caps in history or, today, a specific number, but they represent 354 appearances in a U.S. national team jersey – the most of all time and the most for a career that had an effect on this sport.

For more than two decades Lilly was central to the women's game in the USA, appearing in five World Cup finals and three Olympic tournaments.

Her 130 goals and 106 assists make her one of the best midfielders ever to play in women's soccer.

2. Abby Wambach

The effect Abby Wambach has had on women's soccer is unmeasurable.

Wambach is one of the most proficient goal scorers in women's soccer history and her 13th minute goal was her 184 winner in her 255th international appearance for the USWNT.

Her career defining moments, such as an overtime goal as a 17-year-old in the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal game versus Brazil and a stoppage-time equalizing goal in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals, demonstrate that she's clutch.

One of the best forwards of all time, Wambach has the ability and the nose for goal to excel in the air.

3. Mia Hamm

The influence of Mia Hamm on Women's soccer goes far deeper than the numbers.

It's impossible to understate the impact Hamm has had on the USWNT, with 276 caps and 158 goals.  An iconic figure in women's soccer in the United States, Hamm is credited with sparking the growth of the sport.

Globally, her skill, creativity and goal scoring was a game changer for women's soccer, and her vision for the game is unparalleled.

Some of her all-time great credentials is her enshrinement in the National Soccer Hall of Fame and top 3 goal leader with 130 among the best to have ever done it.

4. Alex Morgan

Never before have we seen a player make such a quick and influential impact on the USWNT as we have with Alex Morgan.

Morgan is one of the top players in American women's soccer history, as evidenced by her 207 caps, 121 goals, and 49 assists on the international stage.

 Add to that her performances in two FIFA Women's World Cups, three CONCACAF W Championships, a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and an Olympic title and it is clear that her versatility and impact are incalculable.

Scoring 101 goals in her career so far and being named FIFA World Player of the Year, Morgan is arguably the greatest and most influential footballer of all time in the sport and hence being listed among the top 10 USA women's soccer players of all time.

5. Michelle Akers

First ‘star’ in USWNT history: Michelle Akers, #20.

Akers revolutionized the concept of a forward and midfielder, and his contributions both on and off the pitch are unprecedented.

Her world-record 10 goals in the 1991 World Cup inaugural cold his regard as one of tournament's legends along with her vital role in the 1996 Olympic gold medal and 1999 World Cup win, underlining her balance of skill and passion for the game.

Not to mention, overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome, and showing great resilience, while being a fantastic all-around player, makes her one of the best-rounded players in the history of women's football.

6. Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd is the all-time greats in the history of the USWNT after flagging unforgettable spells on the international scene.

A midfielder loyal, with over 300 appearances, 134 goals and more than 50 assists; Lloyd is possibly unquestionable in terms of the influence he had on the team.

Her triple in the 2015 World Cup final, which featured that legendary strike from halfway, perfectly illustrates how she delivers when the lights are brightest.

Lloyd's rare ability to step up in major tournament moments- her goal in the 2008 Olympic gold-medal match is another example- further solidifies her legendary status in the annals of American women's soccer.

7. Megan Rapinoe

A player with plenty of wing and playmaker influence, Rapinoe amassed 199 caps, 102 goals, and over 70 assists in her international tenure 

Her unforgettable assist on an Abby Wambach goal at the 2011 World Cup and her role in two World Cup-winning teams and an Olympic gold medal further solidify her standing in the all-time of the sport.

Rapinoe's efforts on and off the field for gender equality and social justice have also made here a controversial yet highly significant controversial figure in women's soccer, warranting her place in our list for the top 10 USA women's soccer players of all-time.

8. Tiffeny Milbrett

Milbrett had the knack of get pouncing to bang one in the goal, and with 100 goals, undoubtedly with puts her into the top 10 USA women's soccer players of all time.

Complementing her impact on the sport, her contributions into team success and status among the all-time leaders in American women's soccer for goals scored show off a very accomplished skill set.

9. Julie Foudy

With 274 caps and 55 goals to boot, you can't have a list of most-capped and most-successful without including Foudy, the midfield linchpin that drove the U.S. to its finest hour.

Those combined efforts in the USWNT's accomplishments, specifically her World Cup and Olympic play, also help her stake her place as one of the all-time greats in women's soccer.

10. Heather O’Reilly

Heather O'Reilly speaks to the long-lasting impact she has had on the USWNT through her play and loyalty to helping the team win.

Since bagging 231 caps and 5 goals, O'Reilly's performances at the international level and heavy impact on the success of the team showcase her importance of the sport.

 

So, we have reached the end of their story, and in the final analysis, it is impossible to overstate the influence of these incredible athletes on the trajectory of women's soccer.

Their hard work, skill and reliability in key moments on the world stage is not just a legacy of success for the USWNT, but something that continues to inspire a generation of young athletes, being watched by millions of children across the planet.

For as long as the USWNT continues to evolve in the sport, these all-time greats will be situated among the legends of women's soccer, creating a legacy that extends far past simply playing the game.


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