|Event||2002 WUSA season|
|Date||24 August 2002 4:00pm|
|Venue||Herndon Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia|
|Player of the Match||Julie Murray (CyberRays)|
The 2002 WUSA Founders Cup, also known as Founders Cup II, was the second championship match in Women's United Soccer Association history, played between the Carolina Courage and the Washington Freedom to decide the champion of the league's inaugural season. The game was played at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on August 24, 2002. The Carolina Courage defeated the Freedom 3–2.
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.
Carolina Courage was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Fetzer Field on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 2001, and then at the soccer-specific SAS Stadium in Cary, North Carolina in 2002 and 2003.
The Washington Freedom was an American professional soccer club based in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Germantown, Maryland, that participated in Women's Professional Soccer. The Freedom was founded in 2001 as a member of the defunct Women's United Soccer Association. Beginning in 2004, the Freedom played its home games at the Maryland SoccerPlex. In 2011, the team relocated to Boca Raton, Florida, and became magicJack.
Ticket prices for the final started at $15 and were also available at $30 and $45, with a discount for group purchases.The game was broadcast live to a national audience of over 90 million households via PAX TV in the United States and several other countries.
Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra is an American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Hailed as a soccer icon, she played as a forward for the United States women's national soccer team from 1987–2004. Hamm was the face of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, where she played for the Washington Freedom from 2001–2003. She played college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels women's soccer team and helped the team win four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship titles.
The Atlanta Beat was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Bobby Dodd Stadium on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in their first year of operation before moving to Herndon Stadium, on the campus of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.
The San Diego Spirit was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego in San Diego, California. The team began play in 2001. The league announced on September 15, 2003 it was suspending operations.
San Jose CyberRays was a professional soccer team that played in the Women's United Soccer Association. The team played at Spartan Stadium on the South Campus of San José State University in San Jose, California. Stars included U.S. National Team star Brandi Chastain, WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year LaKeysia Beene, and leading scorer Julie Murray. Other memorable CyberRays were Brazilians Sissi and Katia, Tisha Venturini, and "ironwoman" Thori Bryan, who played every minute of the first season. They were coached by Ian Sawyers, who received WUSA Coach of the Year honors in 2001.
Alonzo Herndon Stadium, named for Alonzo Herndon, is a 15,011-seat stadium on the campus of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the only two-sided stadium in the Atlanta University Center. It is one block over from the locally known Herndon Home, and sits above the MARTA East-West rail line.
WakeMed Soccer Park is a major soccer complex located in Cary, North Carolina, United States. Originally opened in 2002 as the home of the Carolina Courage of the WUSA, WakeMed Soccer Park is now the home to North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League and the North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League. The North Carolina State Wolfpack men's and women's teams of the ACC play select matches there and the complex regularly hosts major tournaments such as the NCAA College Cup, the ACC Soccer Championships, and the NCHSAA high school state soccer finals.
Carla Werden Overbeck is a retired American soccer player and longtime member and captain of the United States women's national soccer team. She is currently an assistant coach of Duke University's women's soccer team, where she has been coaching since 1992, overseeing Duke's defensive unit principally. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.
Tiffany Marie Roberts Sahaydak, née Tiffany Marie Roberts, is an American soccer coach, former defender, and Olympic gold medalist. She was also a member of the 1999 U.S. national team that won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. She became the 16th player in U.S. history to play over 100 matches for her country and was a founding member of the WUSA, the first women's professional soccer league in the United States. She is currently head coach of the women's soccer team at the University of Central Florida.
Sports in Atlanta has a rich history, including the oldest on-campus NCAA Division I football stadium, Bobby Dodd Stadium, built in 1913 by the students of Georgia Tech. Atlanta also played host to the second intercollegiate football game in the South, played between the A&M College of Alabama and the University of Georgia in Piedmont Park in 1892; this game is now called the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. The city hosts college football's annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10 km race. Atlanta was the host city for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics, and Downtown Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park was built for and commemorates the games.
Women's soccer in the United States has developed quite differently from men's soccer. Until the 1970s, organized women's soccer matches in the United States existed only on a limited basis. The United States is now regarded as one of the top countries in the world for women's soccer, and FIFA ranked its national team No. 1 in the world after its championship victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multi-purpose retractable-roof stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS), it replaced the now-demolished Georgia Dome, the Falcons' home stadium from 1992–2016. Mercedes-Benz Stadium holds the record for the world's largest video board at 62,350 square feet (5,793 m2), and is one of five stadiums in the NFL with a retractable roof.
Anna Ulrika Olsson is a Swedish former football goalkeeper. She played for Bälinge IF and Umeå IK in the Swedish Damallsvenskan and spent time with San Diego Spirit and Carolina Courage while contracted to Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) in 2001. Nicknamed Ucka, Karlsson represented Sweden at senior international level, winning 45 caps between 1995 and 2001.
The 2001 WUSA Founders Cup, also known as Founders Cup I, was the first championship match in Women's United Soccer Association history, played between Bay Area CyberRays and the Atlanta Beat to decide the champion of the league's inaugural season. The game was played in bright sunshine at Foxboro Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts on August 25, 2001. Bay Area CyberRays defeated the Beat 4–2 on a penalty shootout when the match finished 3–3 after sudden death extra time.
The 2002 Women's United Soccer Association season was the second season for WUSA, the top level professional women's soccer league in the United States. The regular season began on April 13 and ended on August 11. The playoffs began on August 17, with the championship match between played on August 24 between the Carolina Courage and the Washington Freedom.
Monica Marie Gerardo Moran is a Mexican American soccer coach and former professional player who represented the Washington Freedom of Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA). As a member of the Mexico women's national team she played at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Meredith Grace Beard is an American former professional soccer player. A forward, she represented the Carolina Courage and the Washington Freedom of Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA). She won three caps for the United States national team.
The North Carolina Courage is a professional women's soccer team based in Cary, North Carolina. Its former incarnation, the Western New York Flash, was a founding member of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the top level of women's soccer in the U.S., in 2013. They relocated to North Carolina for 2017. They are affiliated with the men's team North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League, and play their home games at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The 2003 WUSA Founders Cup, also known as Founders Cup III, was the third and final championship match in Women's United Soccer Association history, played between the Atlanta Beat and the Washington Freedom to decide the champion of the league's final season. The game was played at Torero Stadium in San Diego, California on August 24, 2003. The Washington Freedom defeated the Beat 2-1.