LOS ANGELES, CA —  The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced today that U. S. Women’s National Team stars, two-time Olympic Gold Medalists, and two-time World Cup Champions Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy have been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the Player Category. The announcement, sponsored by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking, took place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The two players will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame at the 2007 Induction Ceremonies on Sunday, August 26th in Oneonta, NY. The results of the Veteran and Builder Elections and further details on the 2007 Induction Weekend will be released in March.

“This is truly an historic moment,” Hall of Fame President George Brown stated. “There were a total of 62 players on the ballot, of whom 15 were women. For the first time in the history of the Hall, those selected in the Player Category will be only women. Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, who were in their first year of eligibility, rose to the top just as they did in their playing careers. And Mia Hamm’s vote total was the highest in our election history. Hamm and Foudy were a lethal combination as teammates and it is fitting that their careers should be capped by being enshrined together in the Hall of Fame. They richly deserve this recognition and we will be honored to welcome them into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.”

Hamm was selected on 137 of the 141 ballots cast, setting a new high in votes received. Her 97.16% surpassed that of the previous percentage garnered by Michelle Akers in 2005, who was elected with 95.77% of the vote. Hamm’s career is one of unparalleled success. While she, along with five other U.S. Women’s National Team members, won two FIFA World Championships and two Olympic Gold Medals, she became the leading scorer in international soccer and the face of women’s soccer in America. Her 158 international goals shattered the previous record by 50 goals.

Further, she was an unselfish player, assisting on 144 goals scored by her teammates, figures that unquestionably make her the most dangerous player in the history of the game. During the course of her 18-year career, the Women’s National Team had an impressive 82.5% overall winning percentage in her 275 matches. She was a founding player of the Women’s United Soccer Association and, in 2003, led the Washington Freedom to the Founders’ Cup Championship.

“I was both surprised and honored when the President of the Hall of Fame called to tell me that I had been elected,” said Mia Hamm. “I have always held the game in great respect and to be included in the Hall along with individuals who have represented the game at the highest level means so much to me. I am very excited and looking forward to being a part of the induction ceremonies in Oneonta.”

Foudy was elected with 83.69% of the vote, having been selected on 118 ballots. Her Women’s National Team career included serving as the team captain, following the retirement of Hall of Famer Carla Overbeck (Class of 2006) from 2000 through 2004, including the historic overtime win in the Gold Medal match of the 2004 Olympics. In her 271 international match career Foudy scored 45 goals, had 59 assists, and the team had an amazing 85.6% winning record. Foudy was also a founding player for the WUSA and led the San Diego Spirit for its three seasons. She has been President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and has used her visibility in the sport to bring issues beyond soccer to the forefront, most prominently, with her membership on the President’s Advisory Committee on Title IX. She has, among other societal causes, been active in promotion of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s Girl Talk program.

“I have always considered myself blessed to have played alongside the most amazing group of women for two decades. To now be recognized alongside so many incredible pioneers and legends in the game of soccer is an incredible honor,” said Julie Foudy.

The top ten on the 2007 Hall of Fame Players' Ballot were:

Mia Hamm 137 Votes 97.16%
Julie Foudy 118 83.69%
Joy Fawcett 95 67.38%
Marco Etcheverry 82 58.16%
Thomas Dooley 73 51.77%
Joe-Max Moore 73 48.23%
Carlos Valderrama 68 48.23%
Peter Vermes 44 31.21%
Peter Nowak 40 28.37%
Mauricio Cienfuegos 35 24.82%

Complete results can be found on the National Soccer Hall of Fame web site, www.soccerhall.org.

"The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility applauds Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy not only for their athletic achievements on the field, but also for their great sense of family and community," said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. "The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is honored to be part of this wonderful opportunity to highlight the careers of two women who had the drive to achieve their goals, breaking down barriers in women's sports every step of the way for young girls everywhere."

The good news is that underage drinking has declined over the twenty years; the bad news is that there is a slower decline among our nation's girls. Recognizing the need to address this issue, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility partnered with the U.S. National Women's Soccer Team Players Association and the Society for Women's Health Research to create Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking. Designed to educate mothers and their teenage daughters about the specific risks facing young girls regarding alcohol, the Girl Talk program discourages underage drinking and encourages girls to live healthy and active lifestyles. The program includes a brochure and website for moms, www.girlsanddrinking.org and a website for teenage girls, www.grltlk.org.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame

The Mission of the National Soccer Hall of Fame is to Celebrate the History, Honor the Heroes, Inspire the Youth and Preserve the Legacy of Soccer in the United States. Located in Oneonta, NY, the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened a new 30,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art multimedia museum in 1999. The Hall of Fame tells the story of soccer in America through artifacts, photographs, video and written narratives. The main VideoWall portrays some of the greatest moments and the greatest goals in soccer history as well as live soccer action from the World Cup, MLS, and U.S. Soccer matches. The Hall features an extensive interactive, youth oriented Kicks Zone, including a kid-sized indoor field, where visitors have fun kicking, heading and playing computer trivia stations and video soccer games. Unique and rare artifacts on exhibit range from The Dewar Cup, the oldest team trophy in U.S. Sport, to the Women's World Cup won by the USA in 1999, the uniforms of Pele and Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly's golden shoes, NASL championship rings and MLS championship trophies. That and so much more are all at the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In addition to the interactive Museum, the National Soccer Hall of Fame's 61-acre complex boasts the Kicks Hall of Fame Museum Store, a research library, four world-class soccer fields and office/meeting facilities.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility's mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding drinking or non-drinking of beverage alcohol and to discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement, and other programs. Recognizing nearly fifteen years of progress, America's leading distillers have promoted The Foundation's mission by investing over $160 million in its programs to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information about Girl Talk or The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, please visit www.grltlk.org or www.responsibility.org.

Leslie Kimball
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
via emai