Impact 99 - Honoring the 1999 USWNT World Cup Champions

A change for women’s sports in America: the 1999 USWNT World Cup Champions. 

25 years after the USWNT earned their 2nd star as World Cup Champions, they gather in Harrison, NJ at Red Bull Arena to celebrate their accomplishments.

The 1999 World Cup changed the trajectory of women’s soccer, not only in the US, but globally. For the first time, the tournament consisted of 16 teams (which has now been upgraded to 32 teams). Not only was it expanded to 16 teams, the USA hosted the games in big, professional stadiums. With professional stadiums comes more attendance, media coverage, and fans. 

Women’s soccer gained more fans faster than it ever had before. With sold out stadiums and more people watching on national television, everyone had their eyes on women’s soccer for the first time ever. In just the final alone, 90,000 fans sold out the Rose Bowl in California and brought in 40 million viewers on television.

Going into the tournament, expectations were raised for women’s soccer. Those expectations  were blown through the roof. This was just the beginning of women’s soccer, and in the following years the game grew more and more. The impact of this World Cup is still being felt 25 years later as women’s sports continue to grow and get the recognition they deserve.

The USWNT had a grueling path to winning the tournament. They notched five wins along the way, including a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win over Germany in the quarterfinal. The final is one of the most memorable games in US Soccer history. After ending regulation 0-0 against China, extra time was as stressful as it could get, and China almost scored the game winning golden goal. USWNT then ended the game in penalty kicks and won the tournament on home soil, the first nation to ever complete this goal. Brandi Chastain’s celebration after scoring the winning penalty immediately became iconic, and is still one of the most famous images in the history of the sport. 

This was the USWNT’s second World Cup triumph, but was their most important one. 

Although it is not confirmed who will be there, it is expected that the majority of the roster will be in attendance. 

The 1999 roster includes: Captain Carla Overbeck, Briana Scurry, Saskia Webber, Tracy Ducar, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Christie Pearce, Kate Sobrero, Tisha Venturini, Shannon MacMillan, Lorrie Fair, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, Michelle Akers, Sara Whalen, Tiffany Roberts, Mia Hamm, Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow, Danielle Fotopoulos and head coach Tony DiCicco. 

Names like Hamm, Chastain, Foudy, Scurry, Fawcett and Akers will go down in USWNT history as some of the best and most influential players.

The Impact 99 game will kickoff at 3:30pm against Mexico at Red Bulls Arena on Saturday, July 13. Join the USWNT in their second to last game before they travel to Paris for the Olympics, and celebrate the impact of the 1999 USWNT World Cup Champions.