The Sisterhood


The Sisterhood

The 99ers and the Rise of U.S. Women's Soccer

Rob Goldman

320 pages
34 photographs


November 2021


$32.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2021


$17.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2021


$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

For legions of soccer fans, the players on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are the game’s standard-bearers. Together their accomplishments include four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. Within five years of their inaugural match in 1985, the team was the best women’s soccer team on the planet. But its rise was neither easy nor harmonious. The national team came onto the scene when team sports for women were in their infancy. The players were paid little and played to sparse crowds on marginal pitches and carried their own equipment and luggage. They faced discrimination and unequal treatment, most notably from their governing bodies, FIFA and U.S. Soccer.

The Sisterhood is the story of the first and second generations of national team players, known as the 99ers, who were the driving force behind the rise of U.S. women’s soccer and who built the foundation for the team’s enduring success. Rob Goldman takes the reader onto the pitch and into the minds of the players and coaches for the team’s greatest victories and most heartbreaking defeats. Among those featured are players Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, and Brandi Chastain, as well as coaches Anson Dorrance and Tony DiCicco.

When the team won the ’99 World Cup in front of more than ninety thousand fans at the Rose Bowl, it was the largest crowd to ever attend a women’s sporting event. After Brandi Chastain’s winning penalty kick beat China, everything changed. These women’s soccer players were no longer outcasts; they were hard-nosed players and leaders who not only transformed women’s sports but led a cultural revolution. They were trailblazers, role models, and selfless best friends. Their story, told here largely in the voices of the players and coaches who were there, is epic and inspiring.


Author Bio

Rob Goldman is the author of two baseball books, Once They Were Angels and Nolan Ryan: The Making of a Pitcher, and the novel Hauling Time.


"As we celebrate a new generation of savvy U.S. women’s soccer players who will succeed on the pitch and off, The Sisterhood is a good reference point (and a very good read) on how the first generation to achieve such success did it."—Robert Hay, World Soccer Talk

"There's great history and insight here into a pivotal moment in American sports."—Marc Bona, Cleveland

"This book can be recommended for everybody interested in soccer, peak performance sport, team-sport, as well as for sport scientists and students of sport sciences (history, psychology, sociology). Scholars, practitioners, and academics involved in sport, especially in soccer/football will have something to learn from the U.S. Women's Soccer national team."—Bente Ovedie Skogvang, Idrotts Forum

The Sisterhood includes some of my favorite stories from the badass women whose DNA and gritty mentality are the inspiration and legacy of today’s world-dominating U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.”—Michelle Akers, National Soccer Hall of Fame member, Olympic and World Cup champion, and FIFA Female Player of the Century

“In The Sisterhood, Rob Goldman vividly captures the 99ers’ personalities, mentality, and our love for the game and for each other. I lived this story and became a better player and person because of these women. The Sisterhood shows you why.”—Kristine Lilly, National Soccer Hall of Fame member, Olympic gold medalist, and 1991 and 1999 World Cup winner

“A phenomenal story of how an extraordinary group of women built the foundation for one of the most dominant teams in sports history. A fantastic read that takes you along on the journey with players who formed more than a team. They formed a sisterhood.”—Kevin Baxter, Pulitzer Prize–winning sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times

Table of Contents

Part 1. Rough and Tumblers
1. The Mavericks
3. Fury and Finesse
4. The Perfect Intersection
5. The Babies
6. Green and Growing
7. The Breadcrumb Generation—Haiti
8. The Queen of Women’s Soccer
9. Crazy Legs Carin
10. M&M’s Cup
11. Bookends
12. A Captain’s Tale
Part 2. The DiCicco Method
13. Improbable Improbabilities
14. The Only
15. Le Passion Play
16. “Michelle, Get Up”
17. Perseverance
18. Mac Attack
19. Power to Be Bold
20. The Advocate
21. The Outlier
22. The Atlanta Olympics
23. The Mia Parables
24. Storm Clouds
25. The Elephant in the Room
Part 3. To the Cup
26. Lightning in a Bottle
27. Road to Pasadena
28. Game Day
29. The PK Thing
30. “Fake It Till You Make It”
32. Presidential Approval
33. Women Power
34. Antagonists
35. Goodbye to a Friend
Notes on Sources
Selected Bibliography

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