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Catching Up With 3 Original U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Stars

Post-retirement, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy still got game

spinner image united states women's soccer legends brandi chastain julie foudy and mia hamm
(Left to right) Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm
Leon Bennett/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Justin Tafoya/Getty Images for USOPC

Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy made their mark as the original stars of the U.S. women’s soccer team.

Now in their 50s (and AARP-eligible), Hamm, Chastain and Foudy are long retired as players, but they continue to exert their considerable influence in a variety of ways.

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All eyes are currently on Team USA to see how they’ll fare at the Women’s World Cup. With a 0-0 tie in Tuesday’s match against Portugal, the U.S. advances to the knockout rounds, placing second to the Netherlands in Group E. Team USA’s next game is Sunday, Aug. 6 at 5 a.m. against the winner of Group G, which Sweden currently leads.

spinner image mia hamm brandi chastain and julie foudy at sirius x m studios in new york city
(Left to right) Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy visit SiriusXM Studios in New York City.
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

The USWNT won its first World Cup more than 30 years ago, in 1991, and again in 1999. The team became perennial World Cup favorites partly because of Hamm, now 51, Chastain, now 55, and Foudy, now 52. Chastain and Foudy competed in the inaugural World Cup win, and all three helped Team USA win the 1999 World Cup and two Olympic gold medals (1996 in Atlanta and 2004 in Athens).

While all three retired from the USWNT in 2004, they have stayed connected to women’s soccer both on and off the field. Here’s what they’re up to now.

spinner image united states soccer star mia hamm in 2019 and in 1999
Mia Hamm attending the United States' international friendly match at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 3, 2019 in Pasadena, California and Hamm with the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup final against China on July 10, 1999.
Shaun Clark/Getty Images; David Madison/Getty Images

Mia Hamm: Advocate, owner and philanthropist

As a strong advocate for Title IX and gender equality during and after her soccer career, Hamm oversees her self-named foundation, which addresses those issues. The Mia Hamm Foundation also raises money to help families with bone marrow and cord blood transplants. She has held ownership stakes in Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Angel City FC team. Hamm currently lives in Southern California with her husband, former Major League Baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, her twin daughters (Ava and Grace) and her son (Garrett).

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spinner image brandi chastain celebrates her game winning shootout goal in the 1999 women's world cup final and her in 2019 at the 13th annual california hall of fame induction ceremony
Brandi Chastain celebrates after scoring the last goal in the shootout of the 1999 Women's World Cup final and Chastain at the 13th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremony at The California Museum on Dec. 10, 2019 in Sacramento, California.
HECTOR MATA/AFP via Getty Images; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Brandi Chastain: Instructing the next generation of women soccer players

In 2005, Chastain cofounded the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, a nonprofit that provides after-school programming for girls in under-resourced communities. She has overseen such initiatives as My IBD Game Plan, whose aim is to address Crohn’s disease, and Safer Soccer, which promotes legislation to reduce soccer injuries by banning kids under age 14 from heading soccer balls. Chastain also became involved with both coaching (Bellarmine College Preparatory, Santa Clara University, the California Thorns of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy) and ownership (the NWSL Bay Area expansion team for 2024 launch). She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Jerry Smith, son (Jaden) and stepson (Cameron).

spinner image julie found at the 2023 espn w summit n y c in new york and foudy playing in the 1999 women's world cup final at the rose bowl in los angeles
Julie Foudy at the 2023 espnW Summit NYC in New York; Foudy dribbling the ball during the Women's World Cup final on July 10, 1999.
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images; Pierre Minier/Onze/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Julie Foudy: Leading with instruction and words as a sports commentator

Since her retirement, Foudy has run the Julie Foudy & espnW Sports Leadership Academy, which oversees annual summer camps for girls 12 to 18, exposing them to different sports and leadership programs. Foudy has stayed connected to the game as ESPN’s primary color commentator for women’s soccer telecasts. She has linked up with her former teammates as investors, including with Hamm for Angel City and with Chastain for the NWSL’s Bay Area expansion team. Foudy lives in Southern California with her husband, Ian Sawyers, and two children (Izzy and Declan).

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