Top 15 Best USWNT Soccer Players of All Time

Top 15 Best USWNT Soccer Players

In the world of sports, both exceptional and average players exist, gender notwithstanding.

The United States stands  among the countries that are renowned for consistently produced elite players in both male and female sports.

Amongst these sports, female soccer ranks quite high on the list with the emergence of remarkable talent.

In three decades the United States has managed to produce some of the great players in the sport, thus establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the world.

Some of the best soccer players in the United States are Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, and Mia Hamm.

The top 15 best USWNT soccer players can be found in the list below.

Read on to learn more about them.

Best USWNT Soccer Players Ever

15. Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan
Source: Wikimedia

She is one of the top goal scorers in women’s  soccer history worldwide. She debuted her National team career in 2008 whilst playing for the under 20s.

Morgan participated in the FIFA U-20 competition and scored a total of four goals; the fourth being the goal that won the championship for the U.S.

This goal got voted best goalkeeper of the tournament and FIFA’s second best goal of the year.

She earned the Bronze Shoe for third highest goal scoret and the Silver Ball as the tournament’s second best player.

She then joined the senior team two years later and has been on force to be reckoned with.

As of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, she already had 121 goals, 49 assists and 207 assists.
Each are ranked in the top ten of their different categories in America’s Women Soccer History.

Morgan has participated in three World Cups, three CONCACAF W tournaments, a FIFA U-20 World Cup and two Olympic championships.

Morgan who ranks as one of soccer’s richest female stars has earned an Olympic gold title and has been named U.S Soccer Female Athlete of the Year twice.

14. Heather O’Reilly

Heather O’Reilly
Source: Wikimedia

During her 14 years of active play internationally, Heather O’Reilly was capped 231 times, placing her eighth amongst American players.

She scored 47 goals during that period, but was a very valuable team player.

She contributed 55 assists,some of which were very pivotal.

Her assist to Alex Morgan in 2012 sealed their win and propelled them towards the finals where they emerged victorious.

Her assists are ranked in the list of the top ten in American soccer History.

She participated in three Olympic tournament teams and they emerged victorious all through, earning three gold medals.

She was also a member of three World Cup Teams (2007,’11,’15).

13. Hope Solo

Hope Solo
Source: Wikimedia

Solo may have some shady history off the pitch, but that doesn’t stop her from giving her all as a goalkeeper.

She’s currently the best goalkeeper in women’s soccer and recently got inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2022.

She has been capped 202 times, the highest number any American goalkeeper has ever been.

Additionally, she has 102 clean sheets, which are also ranked first.1

She was a member of three World Cup Teams, during which they emerged victorious once.

She also earned two FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Glove honors.

In addition to this, Solo played on two gold-medal winning Olympic teams (2008, 2012).

She may not be a fan favorite, but she knows her job, and delivers unfailingly.

12. Christie Patricia Pearce (formerly Rampone)

Christie Patricia Pearce
Source: Wikimedia

She is a former American soccer player known for her defending abilities.

She served as captain of the U.S National Team; a position she occupied for eight years.

During that period, the national team won two Olympic golds and the 2015 World Cups.
Rampone also played on five World Cup Teams (1999,2003,’07,’11,’15) and is the only player to have been part of the 1999 and 2015 World Cup victories.

She was a key member of four Olympic women’s football teams out of which she emerged a three-time gold medalist and a silver medalist (2000).

She culminated 311 caps during her career, making her the third most capped player in U.S and World History.

She was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2021.

11. Briana Scurry

Briana Scurry
Source: Wikimedia

She’s a true trailblazer in women’s soccer and made history when she became the first African American female goalkeeper to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.

Her career total of 173 caps places her among the second most female goalkeepers.

She started 159 of those games and ended her international career with a record of 133 wins,12 draws and 14 losses, achieving 71 shutouts.

Scurry was a vital presence in four Women’s World Cup Teams (1995,1999, 2003, 2007)  and three Olympic Groups (1996, 2000, 2004).

They emerged champions in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

She was also a  member of the Gold-Medal winning team in 1996.

She played a capital role in the finals of the 1999 Women’s World Cup by saving a penalty during the shootout against China, guaranteeing their victory.

Scurry was also a founding member of the Women’s United Soccer Association, the first World’s Women league where women were paid as professionals.

Unfortunately, the existence of this association was short-lived.

10. Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe
Source: Wikimedia

With her impending retirement, Rapinoe’s star power continues to shine quite brightly.

Easily the most recently recognized female soccer player, she’s also an excellent one to boot.

Heading into the 2023 World Cup, she already held the distinction of being the tenth highest goal scorer  with her 63 goals in the USWNT, of which she has been a member since 2006.

She has appeared internationally 199 times and is placed among the top three with 73 assists.

She has participated in four FIFA Women’s World Cups, securing two victories(2015,2019)  and placed second in another(2011).

She won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 London Summer Olympics and a bronze medal in Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020.

Rapinoe is the first player, male or female to score a goal directly from a corner and has achieved this twice.

Her stellar performance earned her the Golden Ball (Ballon d’Or) and Golden Boot awards at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup held in France.2

9. Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach
Source: Wikimedia

Many believe that Abby Wambach is the greatest female soccer player ever her statistics certainly support the claim.

She appeared 255 times for the USWNT and contributed 73 assists which ranks her among the top eight.

Wambach notched 184 goals, making her the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and is second internationally in both male and female categories.

She used her head 77 times out of the 184, a technique she had been honing since her early soccer days.

One of the unforgettable header goals she scored happened in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, during a match against Brazil in the 122nd minute.

Wambach scored the equalizer in the extra time allotted thus enabling the U.S to proceed to the finals after defeating Brazil in penalty kicks.

She participated in four World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015) and two Olympic tournaments, winning the gold medal both times.

She was also awarded the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year.

Wambach is a six-time winner of the Athlete of the year, one of which was given to her in 2011.

Her performance throughout that tournament was extremely extraordinary which helped her get named Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, a feat no one had executed.

She was also awarded the tournament’s Bronze Boot and Silver Ball.

Wambach is an esteemed member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

8. Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd
Source: Wikimedia

She is one of the most recent additions to fall into the category of the best women soccer players.

She retired in 2021 with full honors and was well decorated.

Throughout her illustrious career, she achieved quite a lot.

She amassed 316 international appearances second only to Kristine Lilly; netted 134 goals and tallied more than 134 assists.

Both ranking her in third place.

Lloyd was a participant in four World Cup Teams ( 2007,’11,’15,19) and three U.S Olympic Teams.

She was named the U.S Soccer Athlete of the year in 2008 and the FIFA player of the year twice consecutively (2015,2016).

She also received a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.

What cemented her place as one of the best female soccer players was her performance in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final.

In a mere 16 minutes, Lloyd scored her hat trick which is the fastest anyone has done it: man or woman.

She was also the first player to ever achieve such a performance in a World Cup Final.

Lloyd won the Golden Ball as the top player that year and ended the tournament with six goals.

7. Michelle Akers

Akers was a pioneer member of the very first United States Women’s National Team created in 1985.

With the ten goals scored at the inaugural 1991 FIFA World Cup, she holds the record of the most goals scored by a player during a World Cup.

This contributed to the victory of the U.S National Team that year.

She boasts 155 caps and posted 107 goals during her career, putting her among the seven women players to attain such.

Akers played as a forward and a midfielder and in that time totaled 36 assists.

She  battled severe health challenges when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1994.

Through dietary changes and hydration, she was able to rebound just in time to participate in the 1996 Olympics, where she was a key figure that helped secure a gold medal for her country.

She would later go on to play in the 1999 World Cup, which the United States won.

Akers retired in 2000.

She’s in the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was named FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2002.

6. Julie Foudy

Julie Foudy
Source: Wikimedia

Julie Foudy was a global ambassador of female soccer.

On the field, she was a force to be reckoned with; a powerful mixture of talent and skills.

Her tenure with the USWNT spanned over 15 years as a midfielder(1988-2004).

She got promoted to the captaincy in the late nineties after years of hardwork and played in four World Cups (1991,1995,1999 and 2003) amongst which they won two (1991,1999).

Foudy also participated in three Olympic Summer Games (1996,2000,2004) during which she won two Olympic gold medals, playing alongside Mia Hamm.

Her 274 caps place fifth in U.S history and her 55 career assists is ranked among the top ten.

She scored 45 goals during her playing career.

She was inducted in the National Soccer Wall of Fame in 2007.

5. Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm
Source: Wikimedia

Even in a team of star players in the United States, Mia Hamm was considered a superstar and consequently got ranked as the best female soccer player in the world during her time playing for the national team (1987-2004).

She placed fourth in the USWNT for her 276 caps and her 158 goals placed second.

She stands as the all-time female leader in soccer with the highest number of assists (147 in total).

During her long career as a forward player, Mia Hamm was sensational.

She received numerous accolades; she was named USSF Female Athlete of the year five times and  FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year twice in a row (2001, 2002).

Hamm participated in four World Cups (1991,1995,1999,2003) during which they won twice.

She was also part of three Olympic teams (1996, 2000,2004).

She entered the National Soccer Hall of Fame alongside her fellow teammate and captain, Julie Foudy.

4. Kristine Lilly

So far in the U.S National Team, no other player has had more international appearances as Lilly, who ranks number one in the USWNT for the most caps (354 in total).

As an exceptional midfielder, she played in five World Cup Events (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and three Olympics.

Till now, she remains the only female player to have accomplished such a feat.

She was an active player for over 20 years (1997-2010) and became a powerful figure in the women’s soccer program in the United States since then.

During her playing career, she scored 130 goals which is ranked among the top ten in the U.S History.

She delivered 106 assists and that number is only surpassed by Mia Hamm.

Lilly was instated in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014 in recognition of her achievements.

3. Joy Fawcett

Joy Fawcett
Source: Wikimedia

 She is considered to be one of the first true promoters of women’s sports and was also an excellent soccer player in her prime, occupying the center back position.

She was on the national team from 1987 to 2004 and also played on four World Cup teams (1991, ’95, ’99 and 2003).

She also participated in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Her 241 caps ranks her among the top ten of the USWNT.

With 27 goals, she is rated the highest scoring defender in the USWNT.

Simultaneously, while playing for the national team, she was also contributing to society by serving as the head coach on the UCLA female soccer team.

She was one of the founding members of the Women’s United  Soccer Association(WUSA), the very first professional league to be established in the world and was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009.

2. Brandi Chastain

Brandi Chastain
Source: Wikimedia

Chastain is a former soccer star that had a huge impact on female soccer.

Her iconic shootout goal in her match against China in the year 1999 clinched their win.

The match played was the finals for the 1999 World Cup and thanks to her talent, the United States won the World Cup that year.

It was cause for jubilation and propelled her even more towards stardom.

It was a boost to female empowerment and became a source of motivation to countless young girls.

However, this wasn’t all she achieved. She was named to the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) All-Time Best XI in 2013.

Chastain was also inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in March 2017.

She scored 30 goals out of the national team caps from 1988- 2004.

She played in three World Cup teams during which the USA won twice.

Brandi Chastain is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion.

1. April Heinrichs

April Heinrichs
Source: Wikimedia

A player in the first group of women in the United States National Women Team, Heinrichs was the captain of the 1992 World Cup team.

Her impactful contributions to the National Soccer Team cleared the path for so many young ladies venturing into soccer.

She was part of the team from 1986 to 1991, and during that time, scored 37 goals in just 47 international appearances (international caps).

When her playing career was over, she remained on the field by becoming a coach for the national women soccer team from the years 2000 to 2004.

In the year 1998, Heinrichs became the first female player to be inducted in the National Soccer Wall of Fame.

Wrap Up

There are quite a number of talented female soccer players in the U.S that drawing up this list was quite hard.

After thorough analysis and studies, it is quite obvious that some have given exceptional performances and rightfully deserve to be ranked higher than others.

Given the limited space, some notable players such as Tiffeny Milbrett and Carin Jennings-Gabarra , who also gave magnificent performances, weren’t included in this of the best USWNT soccer players.

References & Notes

Facts Sources:
  1. What Is A Clean Sheet In Soccer? Soccer Handbook
  2. Megan Rapinoe takes home 2019 Ballon d’Or but is so much more than the best player in women’s soccer. ESPN

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