National Soccer Hall of Fame to Exhibit Original Women's World Championship Trophy
ONEONTA, N.Y. (Thursday, September 6, 2001) - FIFA, soccer's world-wide governing body, has agreed to loan the original FIFA Women's World Championship Trophy to National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. for use in the National Soccer Medal of Honor ceremonies during Induction 2001 on October 8. The prestigious National Soccer Medal of Honor will be bestowed upon the 1991 US Women's National Team on the 10th anniversary of their historic win in the first FIFA Women's World Championship. The original trophy, presented to the winners of the first two Women's World Champions (119-USA, 1995- Norway) will join the 1999 Women's World Cup trophy already on exhibit in the Hall of Fame Museum.
Some of the biggest names in women's soccer in the United States and in the world will be on hand to receive the Medal and unveil the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy. The expected participants include WUSA Founding Players Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, Joy Biefeld Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Carla Werden Overbeck, all of whom are winners of both the 1991 Women's World Championship and the 1999 Women's World Cup. In addition, two coaches participated in the winning of both trophies. Tony DiCicco, current Commissioner of the WUSA, was the goalkeeper coach in 1991 and the head coach in 1999, while Lauren Gregg was an assistant coach for both championships. Both will be attendance for the ceremony.
Two Hall of Famers, April Heinrichs, 1998, current coach of the US Women's National Team, and Carin Jennings Gabarra, 2000, will also attend the ceremony and receive the Medal of Honor.
Additional team members on the 1991 US Women's World Cup team expected to attend are Head Coach Anson Dorrance of the University of North Carolina and players Amy Allman Griffin, Tracey Bates Leone, Debbie Belkin Radamacher, Shannon Higgins Cirovski, Wendy Gebauer Paladino, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Lori Henry, Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner, and Megan McCarthy.
Both the Original Women's World Championship Trophy and the Women's World Cup will be on display in the Museum prior to and following the ceremony. The two different trophies came about because FIFA changed the name of the Championship from the FIFA Women's World Championship, used in 1991 and 1995, to the FIFA Women's World Cup for 1999. The original trophy was designed by Miguel Galan and was produced by Brogioli SA of Ponte Cremenaga, Switzerland. The trophy is primarily constructed of brass with the medallion, pillars, and ball gold plated. In recognition of the change in title, a new trophy was designed by William Sawaya from the Milan company Sawaya and Moroni. The new trophy incorporates two of the attributes of women's football; elegance and dynamism. Completely hand-made, it is in the form of a spiral band which, almost tenderly, encloses a ball at the top. Sawaya himself describes the trophy like this: "It starts with a simple movement at the bottom then rises upwards in a dancing crescendo of elegance, just like the level of interest that women's football is awakening in the world." The base of the Women's World Cup is made of green Serpentino marble, the spiral and the football itself are of pure silver covered with 23-carat gold and white gold.
The National Soccer Medal of Honor is awarded to individuals and teams who have altered the course of soccer history in the United States. Alan Rothenberg and Lamar Hunt are the only previous recipients of the honor.
The Induction 2001 Celebration will include the induction of three new members of the Hall of Fame, Cosmos great Rick Davis, NASL Founder Bob Hermann, and US National Team player Bill Looby. Also taking place on Monday is the traditional Hall of Fame game featuring the Boston Breakers, led by Kristine Lilly vs the Washington Freedom and their leading scorer Mia Hamm. For full details and tickets, please consult the National Soccer Hall of Fame web site, www.soccerhall.org.