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100 Starts – A Look at the “USWNT Twenty”

Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 100th USWNT cap in February 2016. She could earn her 100th start tonight. Photo by Gia Quilap/Keeper Notes.



If Becky Sauerbrunn is in the USWNT starting eleven tonight, it will mark her 100th international start. Although 33 field players have earned 100 or more USWNT caps in team history, Sauerbrunn would become just the 20th to reach the milestone of 100 starts. Here’s a quick look at the 19 USWNT field players who’ve already hit that mark.

Kristine Lilly & Christie Rampone
Of course, the world’s top two cap leaders can also boast a big number of starts – 332 and 272, respectively. Lilly was the first USWNT player to reach 100 caps (on August 6, 1995 vs. Norway) and she started an impressive 96 of those 100 games. She earned her 100th start in February 1996 (also against Norway). Rampone’s 100th start came in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Olympics.

Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm & Joy Fawcett
These three ’99ers all started with the USWNT as teenagers in the late 1980s, and retired together at the end of 2004, after winning Olympic gold for the second time. All earned more than 200 caps and starts, but defender Joy Fawcett has the highest ratio of starts to caps. Of the 241 international games she played, she started all but five (and keep in mind that 17-year-career includes three maternity leaves).

Abby Wambach & Carli Lloyd
The international goalcoring record holder and the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year are the two other players who have started more than 200 times for the red, white and blue. Wambach scored her first international goal in her first start in April 2002. Lloyd is the active USWNT player with the most caps and most starts.

Shannon Boxx & Kate Markgraf
Shannon Boxx retired in fall 2015 with 177 starts in 195 caps. Boxx’s first cap and start came *after* she was named to the 2003 Women’s World Cup squad – her first USWNT camp was the last preparation camp for the tourney. Kate Markgraf started 187 of her 201 matches, playing in three WWC tourneys and three Olympics. Both Boxx and Markgraf served as on-field captain multiple times.

Brandi Chastain, Carla Overbeck, TIffeny Milbrett and Heather O’Reilly
These players round out the USWNT group that started at least 150 times in their international careers. All played in multiple Women’s World Cup and Olympic tournaments – and all four won a WoSoPro title (first to email with list of clubs they won with gets a prize!).

Michelle Akers & Shannon MacMillan
These two National Soccer Hall-of-Famers earned 139 and 114 starts, respectively, and both were part of the 1996 gold-medal-winning team and the 1999 WWC champioship team. In addition, Akers scored both goals in the 1991 Women’s World Cup final versus Norway, while MacMillan’s overtime strike versus Norway in 1996 put the USWNT in the gold medal match.

Cat Whitehill & Heather Mitts
Cat Whitehill (111 starts) and Heather Mitts (104 starts) were key defenders for the USWNT – Whitehill in the 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cups, and Mitts at the 2008 Olympics. Both played with the Boston Breakers.

Tisha Venturini & Cindy Parlow
These two ’99ers started 102 and 101 USWNT matches, respectively, and combined scored 122 international goals. Venturini scored three at the 1995 Women’s World Cup, each scored two in the 1999 tourney, and Parlow wrapped up her WWC career with two more in 2003.


Field player (red=active)
Starts Caps % starts
Lilly 332 354 93.8%
Rampone 272 311 87.5%
Foudy 262 274 95.6%
Hamm 248 276 89.9%
Fawcett 236 241 97.9%
Wambach 209 255 82.0%
Lloyd 204 234 87.2%
Markgraf 187 201 93.0%
Boxx 177 195 90.8%
Overbeck 163 170 95.9%
Chastain 160 192 83.3%
Milbrett 157 206 76.2%
O’Reilly 151 231 65.4%
Akers 139 155 89.7%
MacMillan 114 177 64.4%
Whitehill 111 134 82.8%
Mitts 104 137 75.9%
Venturini 102 134 76.1%
Parlow 101 158 63.9%
Sauerbrunn 99 121 81.8%
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