Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and infamous 1999 World Cup Champion, Briana Scurry is widely recognized as one of the world’s best female soccer goalkeepers. With an integral role on the team that set the standard for women’s professional soccer and a record 173 international appearances, she is notably one of the first African American professional female soccer player, she has helped significantly to diversify the sport.
Named starting goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team in 1994, she helped lead the team to many achievements, including two Olympic gold medals, 1996 and 2004. 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 and for women in sport—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 woman’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.
Scurry’s impact on the legacy of the U.S. Women’s National Team program and contributions on the field recently earned her a spot on the U.S. Soccer All-Time Best XI National Team, and as a permanent part of the National Museum of African American History & Culture’s Title IX exhibit.
As one of the first African-American professional female soccer players as well as one of the first out LGBT players, Scurry has faced and triumphed over various challenges during the course of her career. The epitome of a team player with a palpable love of the game, Scurry draws on her ability to overcome obstacles to provide insight on the importance of teamwork, motivation, focus, and strategies for leveraging personal strengths.
Scurry was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to parents Ernest and Robbie Scurry. She is the youngest of nine children with three brothers and five sisters. Scurry attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed her four-year collegiate career with 37 shutouts in 65 starts and with a career record of 48-13-4. Scurry was appointed general manager of the WPS Franchise magicJack beginning with the 2011 season. Scurry is constantly travelling to speak with groups and is continuously advocating for women in athletics.