“Many people say I’m the best women’s soccer player in the world. I don’t think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.”
Hamm (born March 17, 1972) is a retired American professional soccer player. Hamm was named the women’s FIFA World Player of the Year the first two times that award was given (in 2001 and 2002), and is listed as one of FIFA’s 125 best living players (as chosen by Pelé). She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as well as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Texas Sports Hall of Fame. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she helped the Tar Heels to four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s championships in five years (she sat out the season of 1991 to concentrate on the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China). North Carolina only lost one game in the ninety five she played on the team. She was an All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year for her last three years. She also won ACC Female Athlete of the Year in 1993 and 1994. Hamm was also a member of the American National college team that played in the 1993 Summer Universiade and lost to China, obtaining the silver medal. She was the leading scorer with six goals. She graduated from college with the all-time records for her conference in goals with 103, assists with 72, and total points with 278. Hamm joined the United States women’s national soccer team at age 15, becoming the youngest ever to play on the national team. In 1991, when the women’s national team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time, Hamm became the youngest American woman to win a World Cup championship at the age of 19. Hamm competed as a member of USA soccer teams in four FIFA Women’s World Cup: China 1991, Sweden 1995, USA 1999 and USA 2003; and three Olympics: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004; altogether played 38 matches and scored 13 goals at those seven global tournaments. Hamm with her teams finished third in 1995 and 2003 world cup, and first in the other five tournaments.