Kate Markgraf

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Kate Markgraf
Markgraf in Ethiopia in July 2012
Personal information
Full nameKathryn Michele Markgraf
Date of birth (1976-08-23) August 23, 1976 (age 42)
Place of birth Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1991–1994 Detroit Country Day School
College career
1994–1997 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 97 (7)
Senior career*
2001–2003 Boston Breakers [1] 51 (0)
2005 KIF Örebro DFF 8 (1)
2006–2009 Michigan Hawks 27 (1)
2010 Chicago Red Stars 6 (0)
National team
1998–2010 United States 201 (1)
Teams managed
2009– Marquette Golden Eagles (Assistant coach)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of July 17, 2010

Kathryn Michele "Kate" Markgraf (born August 23, 1976), née Sobrero, [2] is a retired American professional soccer defender. She previously played for the Chicago Red Stars in the WPS, the Boston Breakers in the WUSA, and the United States women's national soccer team. She was a three-time Olympic medalist (2000, silver; 2004, gold; 2008, gold as team co-captain) and played in three FIFA Women's World Cup (1999, gold; 2003, bronze; 2007, bronze) tournaments. She started in 97% of her 201 United States Women's National Team appearances in her 12-year career. She ended her career with a high school championship, state club championship, NCAA Division I championship, Olympic gold medals, and a FIFA World Cup Championship.


Early life

Markgraf was born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended Detroit Country Day School. At Detroit Country Day, she helped guide the soccer team to the state title in 1991, scoring 16 goals with 26 assists. She was also a volleyball player making the All-League team three times and was recruited at the Division III level. [3] In soccer, she made the NSCAA All-American team one time and was chosen for the All-State team for all three seasons she played. [4]

University of Notre Dame

Markgraf attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated with a degree in Science-Business. [5] She was a three-time NSCAA All-American, a three-time all Big East selection, the 1997 Big East defensive player of the year, and the defensive MVP of the NCAA's Final Four in 1995, the year in which her team won the NCAA women's soccer championship. She also co-captained the team her senior year. [6] She also earned Dean's List for one semester.

Playing career

Club, 2001–2010

Markgraf was a member of the Boston Breakers in the WUSA league for three season, and she was named defender of the year for the Breakers in 2001. [7] In 2005, she played professionally for KIF Örebro in the Swedish league alongside longtime USA teammate Kristine Lilly. [8] She was scheduled to play with the Chicago Red Stars in the WUSA's successor, Women's Professional Soccer, in its inaugural 2009 season. [9] However, the Red Stars announced in January 2009 that she would not play that season because she was expecting her second child. [10] Ten months after giving birth to twins, she returned to the Red Stars in 2010, played nearly every minute of the season, and made the All-Star team. [11] 2010 was her final professional season.

International, 1998–2010

In 1998, she made her international debut for the United States against Argentina, with Sobrero on the back of her jersey. [3] She switched to Markgraf on the back of her jersey in 2004. [3] She was the least experienced starter in the winning 1999 World Cup team and one of the youngest members of the team. The LA Times selected her to the All-World top 11 for her play at centerback that tournament. She started in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the 2004 Games in Athens, and was Co-Captain for the 2008 Games in Beijing. She won the silver medal in 2000, the gold in 2004, and the gold in 2008. [12] She played 12 matches in 3 FIFA Women's World Cup, [13] winning the title of World Champion in the 1999 World Cup hosted by the US. She was also a member of the teams that finished third in the 2003 World Cup hosted by the US and the 2007 World Cup hosted by China.

In July 2010, after nearly a two-year break from international competition, she made her 200th career international appearance, in a friendly match against Sweden. She became the 10th woman in FIFA history to earn her 200th cap, a mark no male player has reached. She subsequently announced her retirement from the sport at the end of the WPS season, ending her professional career after playing 201 times for her country.

International goals

12008-09-20 [14] United States Bridgeview, IL   Ireland Start31penalty2–02–0 Friendly


Markgraf was paired with Adrian Healey as a color commentator on ESPN's secondary broadcast team for the telecasts of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. [15] Markgraf worked as a color analyst for NBC during the 2012 London Olympics. [16] She has also worked as commentator for several US women's national team games on Fox Soccer [17] and ESPN, as well as for college soccer on the Big Ten Network. [18] She worked for ESPN FC during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup as a studio analyst and often appeared on SportsCenter during the tournament. She continued to work for ESPN in 2016, this time as a color analyst for men's soccer during the UEFA Euro 2016.

Soccer envoy

Kate Markgraf running with a girls group during the Soccer Clinic Program in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia from July 11–12, 2012.

In 2012, Kate Markgraf traveled with Tony Sanneh to Ethiopia on behalf of the United States Department of State and US Soccer to work with Somalian youth in the Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa. [19] In 2013, she went to Chile, and in 2014, she went to Peru, again on behalf of the United States Department of State and US Soccer.

Coaching career

In 2009, she was a volunteer assistant coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles. [20] She now only coaches her twins' soccer team.

Personal life

As of 2008, Markgraf lived with her husband and their children in the Milwaukee area. [21] She has served on the Juvenile Law Center Board and is a member of the Notre Dame Monogram Club Board of Directors, as well as co-sponsored Milwaukee College Prep (MCP; a charter school), a fundraiser benefiting under-served Milwaukee students. She has co-created life-skills programming for Milwaukee America-Scores and runs soccer clinics for various charities. In 2015, she graduated with a Masters in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her research being selected to be presented at the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is completing her Masters in Counseling.

See also


  1. Women's Professional Soccer – Chicago Red Stars
  2. Sundhage names U.S. roster to face Germany on May 22
  3. 1 2 3 Kate Markgraf – U.S. Soccer. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08.
  4. Buckheit: The real soccer moms – ESPN Page
  5. Kate Markgraf Returns to Alumni Field – University of Notre Dame
  6. Women's Professional Soccer – Remembering '99: Kate Markgraf
  8. True Soccer Mom is Living the Dream
  9. Markgraf Still Playing With Passion | News | US Soccer
  10. "Red Stars Defender Kate Markgraf to miss 2009 WPS Season" (Press release). Chicago Red Stars. January 10, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  11. "Kate Markgraf Retires from Professional Soccer". US Soccer. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  12. Kate Markgraf's U.S. Olympic Team bio. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15.
  13. "Kate MARKGRAF". FIFA.
  14. "U.S. Women Set Record Wins in a Calendar Year at 29 With 2–0 Victory Over Ireland at Toyota Park". U.s.soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  15. 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Commentators – ESPN MediaZone. Archived June 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine .
  16. "Olympics: Four USWNT Alumni To Serve As Analysts For NBC". Women's Soccer Express. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  17. "FOX Soccer to Air U.S. WNT Match Against Germany Live from Toyota Park on Oct. 20". US Soccer. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  18. "Cardinal to be Tested in Happy Valley". Stanford University. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  19. "Tony Sanneh and Kate Markgraf Travel to Ethiopia". United States Department of State. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  20. Player Bio: Kate Markgraf – MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY
  21. Dure, Beau (September 16, 2008). "Wambach goes full circle as women's league stocks rosters". USA Today.