The election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame of Brandi Chastain (in her first
year of eligibility) and Shannon MacMillan (in the Veteran category) brings to 11 the number of former women's national team players who have been elected to the Hall of Fame. But several stars
continue to be overlooked, notably Briana Scurry, named to U.S. Soccer's all-time Best XI in goal,
and Tiffeny Milbrett, who scored 100 goals in 206 games.
U.S. Hall of Famers: Michelle Akers *Brandi Chastain
Joy Fawcett Julie Foudy Carin Jennings Gabarra Mia Hamm April Heinrichs Shannon Higgins-Cirovski Kristine Lilly *Shannon MacMillan Carla Overbeck *2016 inductees
Of the 11 players who started on the 1991 U.S. Women's World Cup championship team in the final against Norway, all but goalkeeper Mary Harvey and defender
Linda Hamilton have now been elected to the Hall of Fame with Chastain's selection. (The 1991 U.S. Women's World Cup players are all Medal of Honor winners.)
From the 1999 U.S.
Women's World Cup championship team that beat China in the final at the Rose Bowl, Chastain makes seven starters who are in the Hall of Fame. Missing are Cindy Parlow, Kate Markgraf,
Scurry and Milbrett.
Chastain became the symbol for women's soccer when she ripped off her jersey after scoring the winning goal in the shootout that decided the 1999 Women's World Cup
final, but it would not have been possible if Scurry had not stopped Liu Ying's shot in the third round.
Scurry, who was in her third year on the Hall of Fame ballot, also started
for the USA when it won Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. She retired in 2010 and has battled post-concussive symptoms since then.
Everyone remembers the 1999 Women's World Cup final, but there was another USA-China final three
years earlier. Milbrett, who played at the University of Portland with MacMillan, scored the winning goal in the inaugural Olympic gold-medal game to give the USA a 2-1 win. The match drew 76,489 fans
in Athens, Georgia. The crowd was a then-world record for a women's match, but Olympic broadcaster NBC all but ignored the game.
No retired player played in more games and scored more goals than Milbrett and is not in the Hall of Fame. (Markgraf, a starter on the 1999
Women's World Cup championship team and 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold-medal teams, is the only other player with more than 200 caps -- 201 -- and not in the Hall of Fame.)
appearing on at least 66.7 percent of the ballots submitted by voters earns election to the Hall of Fame. In 2015, Scurry appeared on 65.6 percent of the ballots, while Milbrett
received 57.3 percent. In her final year on the ballot, MacMillan received 50 percent. (No information on the 2016 balloting was released.)
MacMillan got into the Hall of Fame in her
first year on the Veteran ballot. It would be a shame if Scurry and Milbrett would have to wait until then to receive their Hall of Fame honors.