Widely recognized as one of the best female goalkeepers of all time, Hall of Famer and ESPY Award-winner Briana Scurry played an integral role on the team that set the standard for women’s professional soccer—and helped significantly to diversify the sport.
You control you, and that’s where the power is. Briana Scurry
Named starting goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in 1994, Briana Scurry helped lead the team to many achievements, including two Olympic gold medals. Captivating the world in the 1999 FIFA World Cup championship game—which represented one of the most important events in the history of American athletics—she made history after an astounding shoot-out save, resulting in the win. Her talent protecting the goal and her team’s unprecedented success led to a huge increase of women’s soccer fans, and inspired millions.
In 2001, she became one of the first women to participate in a women’s paid professional league, pioneering the way for women’s soccer. As captain of the Atlanta Beat, she played in two WUSA championships, playing until 2010 when a debilitating head-injury led to her retirement and subsequent concussion awareness advocacy, testifying before Congress on traumatic brain injuries in sports.
Briana’s impact on the legacy of the U.S. Women’s National Team program and contributions on the field earned her a spot on the U.S. Soccer All-Time Best XI National Team, and as a permanent part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Title IX exhibit. In 2017, Briana became the first Black woman and first female goalkeeper to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2023 Briana and the U.S. Women’s National Team received an ESPY Award, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
As one of the first Black professional female soccer players and one of the first out LGBTQ players, Briana has faced and triumphed over various challenges during her career, and she has become a role model for a new generation of athletes. The epitome of a team player with a palpable love of the game, she draws on her ability to overcome obstacles to provide insight on the importance of teamwork, motivation, focus, and strategies for leveraging personal strengths.
Today, Briana is a frequent commentator and analyst for ESPN, NBC, CBS and CNN and a supporter of the Washington Spirit soccer club, which is based in Washington, D.C., where she helps mentor new players. Her book, My Greatest Save: The Brave, Barrier-Breaking Journey of a World Champion Goalkeeper, was published in 2022.
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