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Female soccer players are particularly interesting athletes to read about because they have struggled for so long to gain the same respect as male players. Biographies about female soccer players have popped up everywhere, especially in the United States, to tell the stories of how the US women’s soccer team bonded as a team, went to the World Cup, and ultimately, became victorious, not only in soccer, but also in their personal lives. Many soccer players will write a personalized book as a way for readers to hear their stories firsthand. These books are inspiring and they can teach us a lot about the players and the sport as a whole.
Under the Lights and in the Dark by Gwendolyn Oxenham
In Under the Lights and in the Dark, journalist Gwendolyn Oxenham writes from her firsthand experience of playing soccer for Santos FC, Brazil. This biography portrays a very real story of the prejudice women have to deal with being considered lesser than men in the sport of soccer. Oxenham explains how they shared their field with a horse and used hand-me-down equipment from the men’s soccer team. She goes on to explore how other women soccer players have felt this same struggle all around the world.
Breakaway by Alex Morgan
In this autobiography by Alex Morgan, an Olympic gold medalist in soccer and a FIFA World Cup champion, we get one of the more uplifting biographies about female soccer players. Morgan writes this memoir about her experience playing soccer, starting from the very beginning in her childhood days. Her path to success is not only inspiring, but it is also one of the best children books to teach how soccer can teach dedication, determination, and perseverance.
All Heart by Carli Lloyd and Wayne Coffey
In All Heart, which is the children’s book edition of Carli Lloyd’s memoir, we hear the story of Lloyd and her perseverance in professional soccer. Before Lloyd was a two time FIFA World Cup player of the year with her hat trick being one of the most memorable women's World Cup moments of all time, she almost quit soccer. That was until meeting her mentor and trainer, James Galanis. He inspired her to make soccer her top priority, and she is grateful for the success that has come from never giving up on her dreams.
Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach
Forward is one of the biographies about female soccer players. It's written by Abby Wambach, who was the forward on the US women’s national team. Wambach became the highest scorer in the history of soccer, for both men and women, when she was 35, but in this memoir, she tells much more than her story of soccer. She is a fierce woman who stands up for women’s rights and advocates for the pursuit of happiness and success at all costs. Her memoir is a New York Times bestseller, and if you pick up any athlete's biography, this should be it.
The Girls of Summer by Jere Longman
The Girls of Summer is written by Jere Longman, a famous New York Times sportswriter. In this book, he tells the story of the US women’s soccer team that won the 1999 World Cup. This squad made history, as they were the first team to ever win the Cup for the United States. Longman writes about issues surrounding their sexuality, and how these women set the standard for women’s sports in the future.
When Nobody Was Watching by Carli Lloyd
When Nobody Was Watching is the adult version of Carli Lloyd’s memoir. This is one of the best soccer biographies that will both inspire and uplift readers. Lloyd was a midfielder and team captain for the US women’s team who won the FIFA World Cup in 2015—the first time in 16 years. Lloyd talks about this epic achievement, but she also recalls her struggles throughout her career of sticking to the sport and how she almost quit at one point before meeting her mentor and trainer, James Galanis. This is also a New York Times bestseller well worth the read.
Wreck My Life by Mo Isom
Wreck My Life is written by Mo Isom, an All-American soccer player. It's easily one of the most inspiring biographies about female soccer players, going much deeper than the game of soccer itself. In this memoir, Isom brings us into her life behind the game. She was struggling with an eating disorder, the suicide of her father, and recovering from a bad car accident all at once. Then, God entered her life and everything changed. This is a very religious book, and Isom explains how God was her savior in a time when she needed it most.
Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo
Solo is written by Hope Solo, one of the US women's soccer team's most famous goalkeepers—both on and off the pitch. She was known for her sexuality, and she was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated and competed on Dancing with the Stars. This memoir, however, is about her life, which deals with loss, family troubles, and much deeper issues than just her looks.
It's Not the Glory by Tim Nash
It’s Not the Glory is likely the most comprehensive biography about female soccer players. In this book, Tim Nash chronicles the first 30 years of women’s soccer and interviews over 50 athletes. Each female soccer player has her own specific story, playing a part in making the game what it is today; just a few decades ago, women’s soccer had no place in society. These brave women have shaped the game and Nash collects their stories into one beautiful narrative.
Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm
One of the best female soccer players of all time, Mia Hamm’s memoir, Going for the Goal, is a must read. This is not only a memoir of Hamm’s road to success, but it is also a guide for any child who's trying to pursue a career in professional sports. It features ways to make the team, illustrated guides, and personal anecdotes from Mia herself.
If you’re looking for versions of these titles as signed books, try looking at Barnes and Noble. They also have gift cards available so the soccer fanatic in your life can choose their favorite biographies about female soccer players, reading to their heart’s desire. These books will inspire you to achieve your goals, no matter what they might be. These women kick more than soccer balls, they kick ass!