Besides winning an international tournament, there might be no bigger achievement for American soccer players than reaching acclaim in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Every year new inductees are announced. We review three of the members who represented the USWNT admirably.
Kate Markgraf has devoted herself to the US Women’s National soccer team throughout not only her playing career but her life as well. Now employed as a general manager, she deploys the experience from her 200+ caps to help facilitate results from the contemporary team.
Arguably her greatest moment came in her first World Cup in 1999 where she was an integral team member as the US went on to lift the trophy and concede just three goals throughout the tournament. However, she went on to win multiple other honors with the 2004 Olympic Games being one of her personal favorites. She scored one goal for the team in a friendly as she was ushered to take a spot-kick, a testament to her likability amongst her teammates.
FC Kansas City decided to retire the 12 shirt given Lauren Holiday’s contribution to the NWSL team. Leaving no question as to how much she was valued by the team. Her career started with great promise as she was named the US Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2007, the same year in which she made her debut for the senior team.
Winning the Women’s World Cup could be considered her biggest accolade, especially as she scored in the 2015 final – a game in which the US won 5-2 against Japan. Shortly after she decided to retire and focus on other projects. This decision was met with dismay from Megan Rapinoe who was disheartened she’d be losing one of her favorite teammates.
Her vigor and zest were evident on the pitch as a creative midfielder. She relied on that same resolve when after her career she faced multiple health issues of serious nature. However, as the fighter she was and still is, she came through and has since started a family with husband Jrue Holiday, giving birth to her first child.
Who would have known that a woman from Kent, England would have so much of an impact on US soccer? Of course, the 56-year-old has long since acquired American citizenship and the hearts of USWNT supporters. Involved at almost every level of the US game, she has won multiple tournaments with youth teams and of course back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019.
Despite having credited that losing games helps the process as a valuable experience to learn, she didn’t have many lessons to attend as her record with the USWNT was staggeringly impressive. Across the 132 matches she took charge of, she won 106, losing just seven.
After stepping down from the head coach role in 2019, Ellis continues to work as an ambassador for the federation. However, she is enjoying a much more relaxed life away from the dugout with her wife and family, now residing in Miami.
These three all played their part in assuring that the USWNT continued to strive across different periods of time. Subsequently, they have done more than enough to earn their places in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.