The WUSA Founding Player Allocation distributed 24 players from the United States women's national soccer team to the eight founding teams of the WUSA. The initial allocation list was announced on May 24, 2000 and consisted primarily of players from the American team that won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup the previous year.
The United States Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic women's gold medals, eight CONCACAF Gold Cup wins, and ten Algarve Cups. It medaled in every single World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF.
The Women's United Soccer Association, often abbreviated to the WUSA, was the world's first women's soccer league in which all the players were paid as professionals. Founded in February 2000, the league began its first season in April 2001 with eight teams in the United States. The league suspended operations on September 15, 2003, shortly after the end of its third season, after making cumulative losses of around US $100 million.
The 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, the third edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, was held in the United States and won by the host team. The final between the U.S. and China, held on 10 July at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, was the most-attended women's sports event in history with an official attendance of 90,185. U.S. President Bill Clinton was among those in attendance. The final was scoreless after extra time and won by the U.S. in a penalty shootout. This remains the only Women's World Cup tournament in which the host nation has won.
The league allocated three players from the list of Founding Players based on three criteria:
|Atlanta Beat||Boston Breakers||New York Power||Orlando Tempest||Philadelphia Charge||San Diego Spirit||Bay Area CyberRays||Washington Freedom|
|Briana Scurry||Kristine Lilly||Tiffeny Milbrett||Michelle Akers 1||Lorrie Fair||Julie Foudy||Brandi Chastain||Mia Hamm|
|Cindy Parlow||Kate Sobrero||Sara Whalen||Danielle Fotopoulos||Saskia Webber||Joy Fawcett||Tisha Venturini||Siri Mullinix|
|Nikki Serlenga||Tracy Ducar||Christie Pearce||Tiffany Roberts||Mandy Clemens||Shannon MacMillan||LaKeysia Beene||Michelle French|
1 A shoulder injury ruled Akers out of the season, so she took on a spokesperson role for WUSA while hoping to return to playing the following season. When the Orlando franchise moved to Carolina, Carla Overbeck—who had intended to sit out 2001 in order to have another child—agreed to replace Akers as one of the team's allocated players.
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