ONEONTA, N.Y. (Tuesday, February 27, 2007) -- Women's soccer legends Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy were both elected into the Soccer Hall of Fame today.
Hamm and Foudy were teammates on United States women's teams that captured two Women's World Cup championships and a pair of gold medals at the Summer Olympics.
Foudy gave birth to her first child, a daughter Isabel, on January 1. "It's fitting to go alongside Mia, having played alongside her for 18 years," she told Associated Press. "It's neat to have two women. We've done a lot of firsts in our careers.''
Hamm and Foudy brings to seven the number of women in the Hall of Fame, which will have 124 members, plus winners from "veteran" and "builder" elections, when they are inducted August 26 in ceremonies at the Hall.
April Heinrichs (1998), Carin Gabarra (nee Jennings, 2000), Shannon Cirovski (nee Higgins, 2002), Michelle Akers (2004) and Carla Overbeck (2006) are previous inductees and were all teammates with Hamm and Foudy when they captured the first Women's World Cup (then called the Women's World Championship) in 1991.
Hamm was chosen on 137 of 141 ballots (97.16 percent), leaving one to wonder the rationale of the four voters who didn't include on their ballots the woman considered by most the best female player ever. Foudy was named on 118 ballots (83.69 percent).
Joy Fawcett, another veteran of two World Cup and two Olympic championships, finished third in the voting with 95 votes (67.38 percent). The top two leading vote-getters gain entrance to the Hall if they receive a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots cast. The third-place finisher must be named on 80 percent of the ballots to gain induction; Fawcett garnered 67.38 percent of the vote.
Hamm and Foudy were among six women who were members of the U.S. teams that won the 1991 and 1999 Women's World Cups, along with gold medals at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.
Hamm made 275 international appearances and scored a world record 158 goals, shattering the previous mark by 50, while adding 144 assists.
She was a founding player of the Women's United Soccer Association in 2001 and, in 2003, led the Washington Freedom to the final Founders Cup title. "I have always held the game in great respect and to be included in the Hall along with individuals who have represented the game at the highest level means so much to me," said Hamm, who is expecting twins in April. "I am very excited and looking forward to being a part of the induction ceremonies in Oneonta."
Foudy, who served as captain following Overbeck's retirement in 2004, made 271 international appearances, contributing 45 goals and 59 assists. She also was a founding player for the WUSA, spending three years with the San Diego Spirit.
Foudy was president of the Women's Sports Foundation and used her media visibility to advance issues beyond sports. She is a member of the President's Advisory Committee on Title IX.
"I have always considered myself blessed to have played alongside the most amazing group of women for two decades," Foudy said. "To now be recognized alongside so many incredible pioneers and legends in the game of soccer is an incredible honor."