By Kim DeRaedt
It’s time to celebrate! No the title was not depicting an Olympic scene of battered and bruised finalists gone down to the wire and ending in jubilant festivity for the victory. In this scenario, both parties are winners, or so they say. Some athletes have gotten more than the love of the game out of the game; they’ve gotten marriage. What a contract extension that is!
Two of soccer’s most attractive females have crossed sporting boundaries to find their men in uniform.
Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra: Although the Wonder Woman of soccer and her Boston Red Sox Super Man could live quite the public marriage, the couple has opted for a more reserved approach since tying the knot in November 2003. When they do go out, Mia and Nomar are active in charity events, especially Hamm’s own creation the Mia Hamm Foundation (devoted to raising awareness and funds for marrow and cord blood transplant patients and fostering opportunities for young females in sports). On March 27, 2007, Hamm gave birth to twin girls Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline. What big shoes these girls have to fill! Will one become the world’s most prolific goal scorer (158) and American cap leader (258) while the other swings for a pair of batting titles and half a dozen All-Star Game appearances? Or will they one day have a boy with a knack for the net who finally pushes the US MNT onto the podium?
Heather Mitts & AJ Feeley: While Feeley hasn’t had much luck in the NFL having been tossed between six teams in 10 years as an unwanted quarterback, he sure struck the jackpot with 2004 ESPN Hottest Female Athlete and 2005 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue wife Heather Mitts. Mitts has put more of a stamp on her athletic career than her husband, too. She clinched two Olympic gold medals and entered triple-digit cap territory with the US WNT. Despite her success, things problem even out in the marriage. After all, we know Mitts isn’t the breadwinner through her Philadelphia Independence (and now Atlanta Beat) salary.
Surely these women listened to their coaches, but I wonder who wears the pants around the house these days.
Julie Foudy & Ian Sawyers: She was Stanford and Soccer America’s Freshman of the Year in 1989 and once again on Soccer America’s radar as Player of the Year in 1991. She was a 1992 Hermann Trophy finalist before flying from the Cardinal nest. Foudy left Stanford for bigger and better things, but a piece of her always remained in then-interim coach Ian Sawyer’s heart. One wonders if Sawyer hardly received compensation prior to assuming the head coaching reigns in 1993, but he had other matters on his mind anyway. The love birds said “I do” in 1995 and welcomed Isabel Ann and Declan in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Sawyers went on to coach the WUSA’s Bay Area CyberRays and the WPS Sky Blue FC franchise, while 17 years, 271 appearances, and 45 goals later, Foudy hung up her US WNT boots. She jumped right into the sports broadcasting scene and will forever remain in the soccer community as a 2007 US National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee and “golden era” girl.
Brandi Chastain & Jerry Smith: Oh, Brandi!! Hard to imagine how she wins over guys, huh? Well in fact, Chastain was happily married to Jerry Smith, her Santa Clara University coach, three years prior to the 1999 World Cup episode. Smith began his tenure as Broncos head coach in 1987 (and is still there 24 years later, phew!), just in time for Chastain to transfer for the 1989 and 1990 soccer seasons. Never to fear, Brandi hasn’t ventured too far from his headquarters having played for the California Storm, Bay Area CyberRays, and FC Gold Pride since her departure from Stanford. She has dabbled into the odd modeling, writing, and broadcasting endeavors and even claimed victory on Celebrity Jeopardy! with a whopping $1 prize. We can only assume Smith is one patient, pardoning fellow.
Beasts unite with beauties
These LA boys and their Hollywood girls are like two peas in a pod. For some, that was too close for comfort.
David Beckham & Victoria Adams: David Beckham married “Posh Spice” on July 4, 1999. They have three sons: Brooklyn, Romeo, and Cruz. If you possibly need more information, just google it, but be prepared to sift through 5.5 million results!
Landon Donovan & Bianca Kajlich: Actress Bianca Kajlich was ranked 74th on the Maxim “Hot 100 Women of 2004” and 63rd on the Maxim “Hot 100 Women of 2007”, but something tells me she wasn’t winning favor or moving up Landon Donovan’s list. Donovan married the Boston Public, Dawson’s Creek, and Rules of Engagement star on December 31, 2006 perhaps to rid himself of his World Cup woes. By December 31, 2010, a petition for divorce had already been filed because, of course, Kajlich did little to boost Donovan’s status during the 2010 competition in South Africa. Ladies, #10 is on the road to being single in LA. Another Hollywood marriage bites the dust!
“And now these three remain: faith, soccer, and love. But the greatest of these is love, and there is no hope without soccer.”