AFTER LIFTING SOCCER TO NEW HEIGHTS, THE HEROES OF '99 HAVE (MOSTLY) MOVED ON FROM THEIR PLAYING DAYS BUT REMAIN DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE GAME
Twelve years after winning the 1999 Women's World Cup and being named SI's Sportswomen of the Year, the members of that classic team have spread out in different directions. Fourteen of the 20 are now mothers. One, Christie Rampone, is playing on the 2011 World Cup team, while several are involved in ESPN's broadcast coverage from Germany this summer: Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry, Kate Markgraf and coach Tony DiCicco. What are some of the others up to? Here's an update.
The most famous women's soccer player of all time is busy raising twin four-year-old daughters, Ava and Grace, with husband Nomar Garciaparra, the former baseball All-Star. A global ambassador for FC Barcelona, she works to promote the club's values and brand. Hamm also hosts an annual celebrity soccer game in the Los Angeles area to support her foundation, which raises funds for families needing marrow and cord blood transplants, and encourages the development of young women in sports. Keep an eye out for Ava and Grace, who already enjoy spending time with a soccer ball. "They don't have to play at the highest level," says Hamm. "I just want them to try it because I think it's such a great game, not just for what it can add to your life physically but emotionally too."
No soccer player in history, male or female, can match Lilly's 352 appearances for her national team in a 24-year career. Lilly retired earlier this year and is now expecting her second child with her husband, David Heavey, a Boston-area firefighter. She runs a soccer camp with former teammates Hamm and Tisha Venturini-Hoch.
The former midfielder is working in South Africa with Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project, which launched a program last summer called Home Field Advantage. Its aim is to build soccer fields and provide clean water sources in rural communities. Fair cofounded Kickabout Africa 2010, a group that traveled overland from Britain to South Africa on the eve of last year's World Cup to raise awareness of African development projects.
Several '99ers are now in the college coaching ranks, including Carla Overbeck (Duke women's assistant coach) and Tiffany Roberts (women's co-coach at Virginia Commonwealth with her husband, Tim Sahaydak). Those sharing their wisdom at the club level include Joy Fawcett, technical director of Saddleback United in Southern California, and Cindy Parlow with Triangle United in North Carolina.