For all that Christie Pearce Rampone did during her now Hall of Fame career, there are two small moments that stick out for me. The first was in 2001, at Mitchel Field on Long Island, where Pearce (as she was known then) played for the New York Power in the WUSA. It was near the end of training and one of Pearce’s teammates was running down a ball as it rolled toward the sideline. That wasn’t okay for Pearce. She turned on the afterburners and did not just win the ball; she won the foot race to the end line.
“Oh, no you don’t,” she said loud enough to be heard as she got her entire body around her teammate and gained possession of the ball.
Pearce was a right fullback in those days — and a darn good one. She was a founding player in the WUSA by virtue of having been one of the 20 women on the iconic United States team which won the 1999 World Cup. Pearce was a backup on that team with only one appearance at the tournament totaling 17 minutes. When her 2001 club season got cut short by a torn ACL, few could have imagined that she was just getting started. On Wednesday, she was announced as a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. She was inducted in her first year on the ballot.