African History

Meet The First Black Woman Soccer Player to Be Inducted into the Hall of Fame

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Briana Scurry is widely recognized as one of the world’s most talented and influential goalkeepers. Her 173 international appearances as one of the first African-American professional female soccer players helped significantly diversify the sport.

Named starting goalkeeper for the United States Women’s National Team in 1994, she led the team on an illustrious run that included two Olympic gold medals. In the 1999 FIFA World Cup Championship – which represented one of the most seminal events in American athletic history – Briana made the iconic shootout save that carried the United States to victory.



Briana pioneered the first paid professional women’s soccer league as a founding player in 2001. As captain of the Atlanta Beat, she competed in two WUSA Championships. In 2010, Briana suffered a debilitating concussion that led to her retirement. Since then, Briana has repurposed her visibility to become one of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on traumatic brain injuries.

Through her immeasurable impact on the landscape of women’s soccer and American sports culture, Briana received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Sam Lacy Award, inclusion in the United States Women’s National Team’s All-Time Best XI, and a permanent feature as the Title IX exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In 2017, Briana became the first African American female player to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


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