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HALL OF FAME: Hamm and Foudy form first all-female class
February 28th, 2007 11:26AM

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U.S. women's soccer legends Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in the Player Category for the class of 2007 -- the first all-female class inducted in the Player Category. The 2007 induction ceremonies will be held on Aug. 26 at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y.

Hamm was elected with 97.16 percent of the vote (137 of the 141 ballots cast), surpassing that of the previous high vote garnered by Michelle Akers in 2005, who was elected with 95.77 percent of the vote. Foudy was elected with 83.69 percent of the vote, having been selected on 118 ballots.

Hamm and Foudy earned induction on the first ballot for which they were eligible. Their induction comes three years after their retirement. Both played their final game for the USA on Dec. 8, 2004, just months after winning their second gold medals with the USA. They also started on two world championship teams.

During Hamm's 18 years on the U.S. national team she became one of the most recognized women's athletes in the world and set a world record with 158 international goals. She played 275 international matches, second only in history to former teammate Kristine Lilly. Such is her iconic status for thousands of girls across the country that she was honored by Nike when the company named the largest building on its campus at the World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., after her.

Hamm is married to Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra and is expecting twins in the next month or two - the couple's first children.

Foudy, who captained the USA from the time of Carla Overbeck's retirement in 2000 to her own in 2004, played 271 times for the USA, third behind Lilly and Hamm, and scored 45 goals from her midfield position.

Off the field, Foudy is one of the most influential figures in women's sports, having served as president of the Women's Sports Foundation (2000-02). She was a member of the Presidential Commission on Title IX in 2002 and played a major role stopping any major changes to the law. Foudy recently had her deal with ESPN and ABC as a soccer analyst extended through 2009 and will expand her responsibilities beyond soccer to provide ''personality-driven features'' for ESPN's studio programs.

Foudy became a first-time mother on Jan. 1, when she gave birth to daughter Isabel.

Five other members of the 1991 U.S. women's world championship team have been inducted into the Hall of Fame are April Heinrichs (class of 1998), Carin Gabarra (2000), Shannon Higgins-Cirovski (2002), Akers (2004) and Overbeck (2006).

Joy Fawcett, another member of the 1991 U.S. women's team and the third U.S. star to retire in December 2004, finished third in the voting for induction into the 2007 class but fell short of the necessary percentage for inclusion with 67.38 percent. Two individuals from the ballot are elected to the Hall of Fame as long as each receives a minimum of 50 percent of the vote. A third person may be elected if that individual receives a minimum of 80 percent of the vote.

2007 HALL OF FAME VOTING
1. Mia Hamm -- 137 votes (97.16%)
2. Julie Foudy -- 118 votes (83.69%)
3. Joy Fawcett -- 95 votes (67.38%)
4. Marco Etcheverry -- 82 votes (58.16%)
5. Thomas Dooley -- 73 votes (51.77%)
6. Joe-Max Moore -- 68 votes (48.23%)
6. Carlos Valderrama -- 68 votes (48.23%)
8. Peter Vermes -- 44 votes (31.21%)
9. Peter Nowak -- 40 votes (28.37%)
10. Mauricio Cienfuegos -- 35 votes (24.82%)


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