Women’s soccer has come a long way since its inception, and there have been numerous trailblazers who have paved the way for future generations. From breaking records on the field to advocating for equality off the field, these women have left an indelible mark on the sport. In this article, we celebrate eight inspiring women who have made a significant impact in women’s soccer. Their stories serve as a reminder of the power of dedication, passion, and perseverance in achieving one’s goals.
Megan Rapinoe, a fierce and talented player for the US Women’s National Team. Rapinoe has an impressive soccer playing career, including 201 caps and 64 goals for the US Women’s National Team, two FIFA Women’s World Cup championships, an Olympic gold medal, and three professional league championships. Not only does her accolades inspire us on the field, but she also fights for equal pay and equality within the sport. After successfully fighting for and achieving equal pay in September 2022, the agreement of which sees the mens and women’s team receive identical pay structures for national team appearances and tournament victories, revenue sharing, and equitable distribution of World Cup prize money, Rapinoe has her heart set on winning her final World Cup this summer in Australia.
But that’s not all – Megan is also the founder of both re-inc, a lifestyle brand that advocates for social justice, and A Touch More, a production company focused on telling stories of underrepresented groups.
Both of Megan’s companies reflect her commitment to using her platform to make a positive impact on the world. Through Re-inc and A Touch More, she is working to create a more just and equitable society, both on and off the field.
Megan is a role model for young girls everywhere, showing them that they can achieve their dreams and fight for what’s right.
Alex Morgan, one of the greatest women’s soccer players of all time and a pioneer in women’s sports. Alex has won numerous accolades throughout her playing career, including Olympic gold medals, World Cup championships, and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award. She has also scored an incredible 114 goals and 67 assists in 188 appearances for the US Women’s National Team.
Beyond her accomplishments on the field, Alex is also a visionary entrepreneur and social activist. In 2020, she co-founded Togethxr, a media and commerce company focused on empowering and uplifting women in sports and beyond. The company’s mission is to create a more equitable and inclusive world by promoting gender equality, diversity, and representation in sports media.
Togethxr offers a range of content, including documentaries, podcasts, and social media campaigns, that highlight the stories and achievements of women athletes and their allies. The company also partners with brands and organizations to create merchandise and other products that support and celebrate women in sports.
Alex Morgan’s leadership and dedication to making a positive impact on women’s sports are truly inspiring.
Mia Hamm, a soccer legend and advocate for women’s sports.
Hamm is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. She played for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) from 1987 to 2004 and scored an astonishing 158 international goals during her career, the most of any player, male or female, until 2013.
Hamm was a key member of the 1991 and 1999 USWNT teams that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and she also won gold medals with the USWNT at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics. Her impact on the sport of soccer cannot be overstated.
Off the field, Hamm has worked tirelessly to promote and grow women’s soccer. She has served as an ambassador for the sport, working with organizations like the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Mia Hamm Foundation, which she founded to raise funds and awareness for bone marrow disease research.
Hamm’s accomplishments and advocacy have inspired countless young girls to pursue their dreams and achieve greatness in sports. She and her teammates on the 1999 USWNT, known as the “1999ers,” inspired a nation and helped to popularize soccer in the United States.
Marta Vieira da Silva, a Brazilian soccer player and one of the greatest female athletes of all time.
Marta has accomplished so much throughout her career. She has won numerous awards, including six FIFA World Player of the Year awards and two Olympic silver medals. She has also scored 111 goals in international play, making her the all-time leading scorer for the Brazilian national team.
Not only has Marta achieved incredible success on the field, but she has also worked tirelessly to grow the sport of women’s soccer. She has been an advocate for equal pay and opportunities for female players, and has used her platform to promote the game around the world.
In addition to her impressive athletic accomplishments, Marta was also featured in the Brazilian Museum of Football, which recognizes the contributions of some of the greatest soccer players in Brazil’s history. This is a testament to the impact she has had not just on women’s soccer, but on the sport as a whole.
Sarina Wiegman, the current head coach of the England Lionesses and a true inspiration to women in football.
Sarina Wiegman has had an impressive career both as a player and a coach. As a player, she earned 104 caps for the Netherlands national team and played in two European Championships and the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was also part of the Dutch team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As a coach, Wiegman has had even more success. She led the Netherlands national team to the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where they were narrowly beaten by the United States. Prior to that, she had won the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 tournament with the Dutch team, and was named FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year in 2017.
But Wiegman’s impact on the sport goes beyond her impressive achievements on the pitch. She has been a vocal advocate for women’s football, pushing for greater investment and resources to help grow the game. She has also been a mentor to many young female players, inspiring them to chase their dreams and break down barriers in the sport.
In addition to her achievements with the Netherlands, Sarina Wiegman has also made a significant impact on the England Lionesses since taking over as head coach in September 2020. Under her leadership, the team has continued to perform at a high level, winning the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament. Wiegman has now made history by becoming the first coach to win the UEFA Women’s Euro with two different teams, having previously won the tournament with the Netherlands in 2017. Her success with the England team in such a short amount of time has deservedly led to her being named FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year 2022.
It is clear that Sarina Wiegman is a true pioneer in the world of women’s football, and her accomplishments both on and off the field are a testament to her dedication, skill, and passion for the sport.
Julie Foudy, a soccer legend and a true inspiration to women athletes everywhere.
During her playing career, Julie Foudy was a midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1987-2004, earning two Olympic gold medals, two World Cup championships, and an induction into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. She was known for her exceptional leadership and skill on the field, and was even named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 1993, 2001, and 2002.
But her impact didn’t stop when she retired from playing. Julie Foudy has been a trailblazer in the sports industry, working as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC, and as a journalist for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated. She has used her platform to advocate for gender equity in sports, and has been a vocal supporter of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education and athletics.
Off the field, Julie Foudy has been a champion for women’s sports, co-founding the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, which empowers young women through sports and leadership programs. She is also an investor in Angel City FC, a Los Angeles-based professional soccer team founded and predominantly owned by women, with the aim of increasing investment in women’s sports.
Julie Foudy’s legacy in soccer and women’s sports is truly remarkable.
Ada Hegerberg, a Norwegian soccer star who has made history both on and off the field.
As a player, Ada Hegerberg has achieved incredible success, becoming the first woman ever to win the Ballon D’or, one of the most prestigious awards in soccer, in 2018. She has also won the UEFA Women’s Champions League three times, and was the top scorer in the competition for two of those seasons.
But Ada Hegerberg is more than just a talented athlete. She has been a vocal advocate for gender equality in sports, and has used her platform to fight for better treatment of female athletes. In 2017, she made the difficult decision to boycott the Norwegian national team until they improved conditions for women players, including equal pay and better resources.
Her stand was a powerful statement and helped to draw attention to the issues faced by female athletes. Ada Hegerberg’s activism and success on the field have made her a role model for girls and women everywhere.
Julianne Sitch, a true pioneer in the world of soccer coaching.
As a player, Julianne Sitch was a standout forward at DePaul University, earning All-Big East Conference honors all four years of her college career. She went on to play professionally for several teams, including the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League and .
But it was as a coach that Julianne Sitch made history. In 2022, she became the first woman ever to be named head coach of a Division I men’s soccer program, taking the reins at University Chicago. In her first season, she led the team to a conference championship and an NCAA tournament appearance, cementing her place in the history books.
Julianne Sitch’s success on the field is only part of what makes her a remarkable figure in soccer. She has also been an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the sport, and has worked to provide opportunities for young athletes from underserved communities. She founded Academy38, which offers training and mentoring to players of all ages and backgrounds.
Julianne Sitch’s legacy in soccer and coaching is truly inspiring. She has broken down barriers and shown that women can excel in traditionally male-dominated fields.
In conclusion, women have played a significant role in the advancement of soccer and breaking down barriers in the sport. From Mia Hamm to Ada Hegerberg, these women have inspired generations of young girls to pursue their dreams in soccer and have shown that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to acknowledge the contributions of these trailblazing women and continue to support and uplift women in soccer and beyond.