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Women’s soccer never would have been the same if Mia Hamm hadn’t started up soccer when she was little. She had such an impact in the women’s soccer world that she is often thought to mean as much for it as Pele or Cruyff meant for men’s soccer. But before being a great soccer player and athlete that broke down almost every possible record at her level, Mia Hamm is a great person and I’d like you to meet the human behind the soccer god in this Mia Hamm biography.
Mia Hamm as a Child
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how and when did Mia Hamm start playing soccer and what events drove her to become a super star of women’s soccer. Mia Hamm’s childhood circled around sports and athleticism and as her brother recalled, she was faster and more athletic than most of the boys on the block, so she was able to play competitively with and against them.
After taking up youth soccer training at her school’s football team when she was only 12 years old, she learned the basics of soccer and started enjoying the sport more and more. Little did she know that three years later, when she was just 15, she would be called up for the United States national women’s soccer team, becoming the youngest player ever to play for her country at that level (one of her first broken records).
That was kind of a weird situation, since Mia Hamm was a soccer player for her national squad but didn’t have a fully professional playing contract with a club. But after seeing her performances, the North Carolina Tar Heels quickly signed her and they made quite a deal, since Mia Hamm stayed with the club for 4 seasons, scoring over 100 goals during her time here.
Mia Hamm’s Accomplishments
Probably one of Mia Hamm’s most important accomplishments is that she managed to bring women’s soccer to a level close to what men are playing. She is one of the two women named in Pele’s “List of 125 Best Soccer Players of All Times” and she is a symbol of women’s sports throughout the World.
She also holds two FIFA World Player of the Year awards, which she got in 2001 (the first year the trophy was given) and 2002. Unfortunately, she would have gotten a lot more of these awards, but with the World Player of the Year awards being granted for women when Mia Hamm was already nearing the end of her career, she didn’t really have a chance to widen her trophy room.
In numbers, Mia Hamm was the United States top goal scorer, with 158 goals in 275 matches, a remarkable record that will probably dust and rust before it is beaten. She scored more goals than any man or woman for her national team, although many soccer specialists will agree that the level of women’s soccer is still in an early grade and cannot be compared to men’s soccer yet.
She won the Women’s World Cup twice, in 1991 and 1999 and also put the US national team through a Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in 1996. All these titles, records and awards make Mia Hamm one of the most important players in women’s soccer and the fact that Pele considered to put her on the same list as legendary male players such as Maradona, Cruyff, Platini or Beckenbauer says a lot about the influence she had in the game.
The team began as a church side, St Andrews of West Kensington, becoming professional nineteen years later.
2.Leyton Orient, 1881
Starting as the football team of the Glyn Cricket Club in East London, the side took the Orient into the name in 1888 at the suggestion of a player who worked for the Orient Shipping Line. Known as Clapton Orient from 1898, they moved to Leyton in the 1930s.
Founded as Woodville FC by former students of two schools in the area, the team became New Barnet FC in 1885 and simply Barnet FC three years later.
4.Tottenham Hotspurs, 1882
Formed by boys from the Hotspur cricket club and from the local grammar school and named Hotspur FC, the side took the name of Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Club in 1884.
The team was founded as Millwall Rovers in thee summer of 1885 by workers at Morton’s Jam Factory on the Isle of Dogs.
6.Queen’s Park Rangers, 1886
The club was formed when a team called St Judees combined with a team called Christchurch Rangers in 188.
The Gunners began life as ‘Dial Square’ when a group of workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armannent factory formed a team of that name and played their first game on 11 December 1886. In 1891 the Club turned professional and changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal, joining the Football League two years later.
The team was founded as an offshoot of the Brentford Rowing Club. Once it was established, there was a debate at one of the earliest meetings about whether the team should play Association football or Rugby football. Association won by eight votes to five.
9.Wimbledon, 1889 (now the MK Dons)
Formed as the Wimbledon Old Centrals, they played their first matches on the Common.
10.West Ham United, 1895
The Hammers were founded as the works team of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
11.Charlton Athletic, 1905
The team was created by a group of teenagers who all lived in and around Eastmoor Street, SE7, and did not become a senior side for another eight years.
12. Chelsea, 1905
Two businessmen called Mears bought the athletics stadium at Stamford Bridge with the intention of staging football matches but they did so before they had a team to play there. After approaching Fulham to see if they wanted to move in (they didn’t) the brothers chose to form a new club from scratch. Chelsea were founded on 14 March 1905 in what was then the Rising Sun pub opposite the main entrance to Stamford Bridge on Fulham Road. Voted into the Football League for the 1905-06 season, they became the only team ever to enter the League before they’d played a match.
13. Crystal Palace, 1905
Founded as a team to play at the sporting facilities at the old Crystal Palace which stood on Sydenham Hill, the side won the Southern League Division Two championship in their first season.
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