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National Soccer Hall of Fame to Honor 1991 Women's World Cup Champions at Induction Weekend in October

ONEONTA, N.Y. (Wednesday, August 1, 2001) - The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced today the awarding of the prestigious National Soccer Medal of Honor to the 1991 World Champions U.S. Women's National Team.

"We are recognizing a group of amazing individuals who collectively changed the course of women's soccer history," Will Lunn, President/CEO of the Hall of Fame stated. "This will be only the third time in twenty years that we have presented this honor. Hall of Fame National Board member Dr. Henry Kissinger first presented it to Alan Rothenberg for his work with U.S. Soccer and the World Cup 1994, and it was awarded again to Soccer Hall of Famer Lamar Hunt for his pioneering leadership in the sport for over thirty years. Sepp Blatter, FIFA President, has said the future of soccer is feminine. Now we are recognizing the founders of that movement."

The list of luminaries from the team is headlined by two Hall of Famers - April Heinrichs and Carin Jennings Gabarra. Several players from the '91 team are among the WUSA's founding players: Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Carla Overbeck. The team also had a legendary staff, including head coach Anson Dorrance of the University of North Carolina and assistant coach Tony DiCicco, who went on to lead the 1999 squad to another FIFA Women's World Cup title.

Other members of the 1991 World Cup Champions were: Amy Allman, Tracey Bates, Debbie Belkin, Wendy Gebauer, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Lori Henry, Shannon Higgins Cirovski, Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner, and Megan McCarthy.

The award will be presented to the team in conjunction with Induction 2001 ceremonies scheduled for October 8. A weekend of events are planned, including the Induction Banquet and a Hall of Fame Game match featuring the WUSA's Boston Breakers and Washington Freedom. 1991 Women's World Cup veterans Kristine Lilly (Boston) and Mia Hamm (Washington) are scheduled to appear in the exhibition match.