Our Game. Our Stories.
The essence of soccer is captured in the fact that it connects a wide variety of people in a dynamic way. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are profiling 20 individuals who have made a significant impact on the game of soccer or who have been impacted by soccer in a positive way. Here, we will show you the diversity of the beautiful game and how it connects everyone as one universal team...Together, We Are Soccer.
This is our game and these are our stories. Be sure to visit our site every week to see who we feature next!
Briana Scurry is widely thought of as one of the world’s-best female soccer goalkeepers. After being named starting goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team in 1994, she helped lead the team in two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2004) and had 173 international appearances – a record amongst female soccer players. With over 90,000 screaming fans watching, Scurry made history in 1999 after an astounding shoot-out save against China, which resulted in a championship win. Her talent protecting the goal –she had 71 shut-outs — and her team’s unprecedented success lead to a huge increase of women’s soccer fans, and inspired millions. Scurry retired from professional soccer in 2010, but continues spreading her love of the game through motivational speaking and coaching.
How old were you when you started playing soccer? Do you have a favorite childhood memory of the game?
I started playing soccer when I was 12 years old, a bit of a late bloomer you could say.
As a youth player, who did you look up to? Was there a particular coach or mentor who made a significant impact on your life?
As a youth player I looked up to basketball players such as Pearl Washington and hockey players such as Jim Craig the goalie for 1980 Team USA hockey team. Pete Swenson was my club team coach from age 13-18. He helped me get recruited by colleges by telling the coaches that were recruiting his daughter about me too.
What’s the best advice you ever received from this coach or mentor?
Have fun and always keep trying to improve.
Through programs like Soccer for Success, we encourage kids to eat healthy and stay active so that they are successful both on and off the playing field. What advice or words of wisdom can you give to young players about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle?
Leading a healthy lifestyle will allow you to make better, more positive choices and chase your dreams!
You’ve seen the game grow and change dramatically over the course of your career. How do you envision the state of soccer in America in another 20 years? How can we continue to grow the game?
I feel the game will continue to grow by leaps and bounds, but only if activity AND safety go hand in hand!
If you could only pick once word to describe soccer, it would be…