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U.S. Men 'Stars of the Century team

U.S. women

‘Stars of the Century' team selected.

By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service

(Wednesday, February 3, 1999) -- As part of the Gannett News Service’s millennium project, sports editor Jerry Langdon has selected the United States women's national soccer "Stars of the Century" team.

Goalkeeper -- Briana Scurry (1994-active)
Defender -- Carla Overbeck (1988-active)
Defender -- Joy Fawcett (1987-active)
Defender -- Brandi Chastain (1988-active)
Midfielder -- Mia Hamm (1987-active)
Midfielder -- Julie Foudy (1988-active)
Midfielder -- Kristine Lilly (1987-active)
Forward -- Michelle Akers (1985-active)
Forward -- April Heinrichs (1986-91)
Forward -- Carin Gabarra (1987-1996)
Forward -- Tiffeny Milbrett (1991-active)

Comments: Because it historically is a phenomenal attacking team, four forwards make the all-century list, and Hamm, probably the world's greatest striker, is pushed to midfield, where she played in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup . . . Lilly, who now plays forward, is put at midfield, where she may be the best two-way player in the sport's history. . . . Chastain, currently in midfield and once a forward, makes the team as a defender, her position at the 1996 Summer Olympics . . . Credit must be given to midfielders Tisha Venturini and Shannon Higgins, who barely missed All-Century designation . . . Scurry was the goalkeeper for the 1995 Women's World Cup and 1996 Olympics.

Overbeck has captained the United States in more games than any other woman and was a member of both 1991 World Cup and 1996 Olympic champions . . . Fawcett long has been hailed as the world's top defender, with attacking skills as good as most of the world's best forwards. . . Hamm is a deadly scoring machine known for her inspirational play, is the top all-time U.S. scorer with 101 goals . . . Foudy has been a fixture in the center-midfield throughout the 1990s.

Akers was ahead of her time in her dominance of the women's game, unstoppable as a striker for years, and still is a starter at midfield, overcoming knee surgeries and illnesses. Along with Heinrichs, who is credited with inspiring the winning mentality of the national team, and Gabarra, the top goal-scorer at the 1991 Women's World Cup, they formed the famed Triple Edged Sword in the Americans' triumph in China . . . Milbrett is the youngest of the U.S.'s great forwards at 26.

The all-time coach is Tony DiCicco, coach of the '96 Olympic champions. whose teams have lost just six games since he took the reins in 1994.

Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at jlangdon@gns.gannett.com.

Thursday: The U.S. indoor "All-Century Team."

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