The US Women’s National team is the most successful women’s team in the world as they have managed to dominate the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympic women’s soccer event since women’s football became a competitive and attractive Sport.
In six women’s Olympic tournaments, the USWNT has won four of them, and in eight Women’s World Cups, the USWNT has won four of them. Through their impressive history, meaning world-class players have come and gone from the US women’s national team.
Irrespective of how difficult it was to list the top 10 using any bases, we have managed to list ten names and players who have played for the US women’s national team that will always be in the history books.
Here are top 10 best US women soccer players of all time.
1. Mia Hamm (1987–2004)
Mia Hamm is the second woman with the most international goals behind Abby Wambach and Canadian Christian Sinclair; she ended her career with 158 international goals when she retired in 2004.
The two-time World Best Women’s Soccer Player of the Year made her national team debut with the USA as a 15-year-old in 1987, earning 275 caps while starring for the USA.
The midfielder won the 1999 World Cup and two gold medals with the USA national team and will continue to be seen as one of the pioneer women’s soccer players in the USA.
Mia Hamm is widely considered one of the greatest female soccer players of all time, known for her exceptional athleticism, dynamic playing style, and technical abilities as a striker.
Her speed, skill, footwork, and stamina on the field were unmatched, making her a consistent and reliable player. With her excellent dribbling skills and remarkable control, she was admired for her grace, pace, and elegance in possession of the ball.
Mia Hamm was also included in Pelé’s list of the 125 greatest living players, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the organization.
2. Michelle Akers (1985–2000)
Michelle Akers may have retired in the Year 2000. Nevertheless, she’s still seen as one of the legacy makers of women’s football and was duly awarded the FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2002.
She started her career as a striker, one of the best, before medical conditions forced her to become a defensive midfielder winning the 1996 Olympic gold medal and the 1999 World Cup crown as well.
She’s one of the few players lucky enough to play USA’s first and second international matches ever in 1987, while she retired in 2000 at the age of 34, having scored 105 times in 153 international games.
In 2004, Akers and Mia Hamm were the only two women to be named in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living soccer players selected by Pelé and commissioned by FIFA for that organization’s 100th anniversary.
Michelle Akers was known for her physical style of play, which made her nearly impossible to stop on the field. She was a powerful and aggressive player, with excellent ball control and technical skills.
Her tenacity and determination made her a formidable opponent, and she was often praised for her ability to score goals in crucial moments
3. Abby Wambach (2001–2015)
Abby Wambach holds the second position for the highest all-time scorer in both male and female soccer, just behind Christian Sinclair, with 184 international strikes in 255 matches as well as 75 assists.
FIFA declared her stoppage-time goal after 120 minutes against Brazil in the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals as the greatest Women’s World Cup goal. The USA eventually won the game on penalties.
Wambach won everything available, with Gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Fifa world player of the Year in 2012, two years before winning the World Cup with the USA at the 2015 competition in Canada.
Abby Wambach competed in a total of six international tournaments, including four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and two Olympic tournaments.
She was the champion of the last World Cup tournament held in Canada in 2015, and won gold medals in both the 2004 Athens and 2012 London Olympics.
Throughout these tournaments, Wambach played in 29 matches and scored an impressive 22 goals, solidifying her place as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history.
Despite not being the fastest or most technically skilled forward, Abby Wambach was widely respected for her physical, effective, and direct style of play on the field.
Her exceptional sense of space and positioning allowed her to expertly navigate long balls and crosses, as well as make impressive passes to her teammates using back headers and backheels.
Wambach’s height and physique gave her an advantage in the air, and she was celebrated for her ability to score with her head, often producing goals from spectacular diving headers and, on rare occasions, from bicycle kicks.
Her autobiography, ‘Forward’, is said to be one of the best soccer autobiographies ever.
4. Hope Solo (2000–2016)
Hope Solo can be considered the best women’s goalkeeper ever thanks to her reflex, positioning, and the fact that she’s the first female soccer goalkeeper to make 100 clean sheets in international football.
She holds many US Women’s national team records and won the world cup once and two Olympic gold medals.
Solo is one of the most controversial goalkeepers of women’s soccer, but this doesn’t diminish her status as one of the best ever.
She currently holds numerous U.S. goalkeeper records such as most appearances (202), most starts (190), wins (153), most shutouts (102), most wins in a season (26), most consecutive minutes played (1,256), and longest undefeated streak (55 games).
5. Carli Lloyd (2005–2021)
Everything Carli Lloyd touched during her playing time for the USWNT didn’t necessarily turn to Gold all the time, but when they did, they came in twos.
The midfielder is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008 and 2012), two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion (2015 and 2019), and two-time FIFA Player of the Year (2015 and 2016).
Lloyd is the only player ever to score three goals in a FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
She scored 134 goals in 316 appearances for the US women’s national team and won a medal at each women’s world cup between 2007 and 2019.
Carli Lloyd’s dynamic playing style was characterized by her tenacity, energy, and unwavering work ethic on the field.
She was highly regarded for her exceptional control, technical skill, and passing accuracy, and was a valuable asset to her team both defensively and offensively.
With her impressive stamina, strength, and tackling abilities, Lloyd was able to get into advantageous attacking positions and create opportunities for her team, whether by scoring goals herself or setting up her teammates for success.
6. Kristine Lilly (1987–2010)
She had 130 goals and 106 assists in between and remained in the top three of the record goals scored by any USWNT player.
The two-time world champion played at five different FIFA World Cups between 1991 and 2007. She captained the USWNT late in her career before retiring.
In her 23-year career with the USWNY, Lilly played in all 46 of the United States’ games at the 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cups and the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, starting 45 of those games.
She is known for being a versatile player who was able to play in multiple positions, such as a midfielder or a forward. Her longevity is also one of her great qualities that makes her one of the greatest US women’s soccer players of all time.
7. Christie Pearce
America’s second most capped player isn’t just that alone; Rampone is a player who has played at five FIFA Women’s World Cup finals and four Olympics women’s football tournaments.
In making 311 appearances, she never finished below the podium places in all the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympics Women’s Football Tournaments she played.
She also held the record for the oldest player at a FIFA Women’s World Cup game (aged 40) until Brazilian player Formiga competed in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the age of 41.
Pearce was known for her strong defensive skills and was named the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Defender of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
8. Alex Morgan (2010–Present)
Alex Morgan may be the new school and also the youngest of all the names on this list, but she has definitely paid her dues and even become a legend even before retiring from soccer.
Alex Morgan made her World Cup debut in 2011 as the youngest player in the team, having previously won the 2008 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup and even scored and assisted in that final against Japan, where the USWNT lost on penalties.
However, since then, Morgan has gone on to become the co-captains of the US women’s national team alongside Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, with over 120 goals.
She is also one of the highest-paid women soccer players in the world.
Alex Morgan is considered one of the greatest US women soccer players of all time due to her impressive qualities on and off the field.
She is known for her speed, strength, and agility, which have helped her become one of the leading scorers in soccer. Morgan also possesses excellent ball control skills, making her a formidable opponent for defenders.
In addition to her physical abilities, Morgan is also known for her tactical awareness and ability to read the game. She has a great sense of positioning, which allows her to make quick decisions and capitalize on scoring opportunities.
Off the field, Morgan is known for her leadership skills and positive attitude. She is an advocate for equality and has been a vocal supporter of the US Women’s National Team’s fight for equal pay.
9. Briana Scurry (1994–2008)
It is always difficult to differentiate or pick the better of the two goalkeepers between Briana Scurry and Hope Solo; it’s even more difficult because Solo succeeded Scurry.
Scurry played for the United States of America between 1994 and 2008, and clinched several trophies in that period.
She won the World Cup once and Bronze thrice, plus three golds and a silver medal at the Olympics.
Scurry’s career total of 173 international appearances is the second most appearances held among female soccer goalkeepers in the world.
Furthermore, she was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on August 3, 2017, becoming the first woman goalkeeper and first black woman to be awarded the honor.
10. Julie Foudy (1988–2004)
Foudy is one of the first set of USWNT players and played for the national team for twenty years, amassing 273 caps in an era when female football was taking shape globally.
She didn’t miss a game from the 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003 World Cups and the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics.
In 1997, Foudy became the first American and first woman to receive the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Foudy was known for her technical skills, vision, and tactical awareness, which allowed her to control the midfield and set up scoring opportunities for her teammates. She was also a fierce competitor, never giving up on a play and always fighting for her team until the final whistle.