North Carolina Tar Heels: 12 Soccer Superstars Who Started Out on Legendary College Team

North Carolina Tar Heels are one of the iconic teams in global women’s soccer, having won 21 NCAA Division I national championships over the years, including 12 of the first 13 that were contested during a truly dominant early era between 1982 and 1994.

Legendary coach Anson Dorrance has been in charge since 1979 and has overseen all 21 of those national titles, while he was also an early coach of the United States Women’s National Team from 1986 to 1994, winning the first ever Women’s World Cup in 1991.

The UNC programme has recruited and developed countless players that would go on to become legends, while Tar Heels alums account for as many as 20 of the 43 players who have won a World Cup with the USWNT in 1991, 1999 or 2015.

Including some of the sport’s greatest legends, here’s a look back at 12 former North Carolina Tar Heels stars…


Lucy Bronze

Lucy Bronze

Tar Heels Career: 2009, NCAA championship (2009)

Having started her career in the north east of England with Sunderland, Bronze was recruited by the Tar Heels on a scholarship in 2009 and became the first British player to win an NCAA title.

Bronze returned to England the following year and played for Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City, prior to joining French giants Lyon in 2017. She helped England finish third at the 2015 World Cup, and was nominated for Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2017 and 2018.


Cat Reddick

FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003 - United States vs. Korea DPR  - September 28, 20

Tar Heels Career: 2000 – 2003, NCAA Championship (2003), Hermann Trophy (2003)

Reddick was a 2003 winner of the Hermann Trophy while a Tar Heels player, the annual prize awarded to the best male and female college players in the country.

The defender made her USWNT debut in 2000 while still playing in North Carolina and went on to play 134 times during a 10-year international career. Reddick won an Olympic Gold medal in 2004 and finished third at two World Cups in 2003 and 2007.


Lindsay Tarpley

USA's Lindsay Tarpley eyes the ball duri

Tar Heels Career: 2002 – 2005, NCAA Championship (2003)

Having started at UNC in 2002, Tarpley went on to become a two-time Olympic gold medal winner with USWNT during an eight-year international career that lasted from 2003 to 2011.

The winger was actually only the 23rd player in USWNT history to reach a century of appearances. She would finish on 125 appearances, although it could have been many more but for a knee injury that ended her career in 2011 at the age of just 27.


Lorrie Fair

Lorrie Fair

Tar Heels Career: 1996 – 1999, NCAA Championship (1996, 1997, 1999)

Fair was still in high school when she was called up to the USWNT for the first time in 1996, although she declined the invitation to be an ‘alternate’ for that year’s Olympics roster.

The midfielder was later the youngest member of the 1999 World Cup winners in the same year that she won the third of three NCAA National Championships with the Tar Heels. Overall, Fair finished her career with 120 international appearances.


Tobin Heath

Tobin Heath

Tar Heels Career: 2006 – 2009, NCAA Championship (2006, 2008, 2009)

One of six former Tar Heels on the USWNT roster at the World Cup in 2015, Heath will be hoping to add a second World Cup medal to her collection this summer in France.

The midfielder has been a senior international since making her debut in 2008 and has played 147 games and counting in United States colours. Her personal international medal haul also includes Olympic gold medals from 2008 and 2012.


Tisha Venturini

Tisha Venturini

Tar Heels Career: 1991 – 1994, NCAA Championship (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994), Hermann Trophy (1994)

Venturini emerged in the early 1990s and won an NCAA Championship every year that she attended UNC, even being named the best female college player in the country in 1994.

The midfielder’s international debut came during her collegiate career in 1992 and she remained part of the USWNT until 2000. During that time, Venturini won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 and the World Cup in 1999, playing 132 times in total.


Heather O’Reilly

Heather O'Reilly

Tar Heels Career: 2003 – 2006, NCAA Championship (2003, 2006)

With an incredible 231 USWNT caps to her name between 2003 and 2016, O’Reilly is eighth on the all-time appearance list. She is also seventh on the all-time assists list with 75.

O’Reilly has the distinction of being a three-time Olympic gold medal winner after triumphs in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and capped off a stunning career with World Cup glory in 2015. She will retire from professional soccer altogether at the end of the 2019 NWSL season.


Cindy Parlow

Parlow goes up against Maycon

Tar Heels Career: 1995 – 1998, NCAA Championship (1995, 1996, 1997), Hermann Trophy (1997, 1998)

Parlow is one of only two Tar Heels alums to win the Hermann Trophy more than once during her college career. Just a year after leaving UNC she won the World Cup as part of the ’99ers’ and would score 75 goals in 158 total USWNT appearances.

In retirement, Parlow, also a two-time Olympic champion in 1996 and 2004, has become the latest vice-president of U.S. Soccer after being appointed in February 2019.


Carla Overbeck

Carla Overbeck #4

Tar Heels Career: 1986 – 1989, NCAA Championship (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)

Overbeck was a double World Cup during her soccer career, winning the tournament in 1991 and then in 1999 as USWNT captain. She also won an Olympic gold medal in 1996.

A 12-year veteran of the team, the defender stepped away from international duty in 2000 after 170 appearances her country. Despite hailing from California, Overbeck returned to North Carolina in 2001 to play for club side Carolina Courage.


April Heinrichs

SOCCER-WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1991

Tar Heels Career: 1983 – 1986, NCAA Championship (1983, 1984, 1986)

Remembered as a pioneer as the captain of the United States team that won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991 and later national coach, Heinrichs began at UNC in 1983.

After three NCAA Championships, the forward moved over to the relatively new USWNT. After her playing career came to an end in 1991, Heinrichs moved into coaching. Today, she is the Technical Director for U.S. Soccer, having been appointed in 2011.


Kristine Lilly

Kristine Lilly

Tar Heels Career: 1988 – 1992, NCAA Championship (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992), Hermann Trophy (1991)

Kristine Lilly won four straight NCAA Championships during her Tar Heels days and was named the best female college player in the country with a Hermann Trophy in 1991.

That was the same year that Lilly, who played a world record 354 international games for the USWNT between 1987 and 2010, won her first World Cup. She added another World Cup triumph in 1999 and has Olympic gold medals from 1996 and 2004.


Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm

Tar Heels Career: 1989 – 1993, NCAA Championship (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993), Hermann Trophy (1992, 1993)

A true icon of the women’s game, Mia Hamm played 95 games in Tar Heels colours during her time at UNC and lost just once, setting conference records for goals (103) and assists (72).

Hamm sat out the 1991 college season to focus on that year’s inaugural Women’s World Cup. She then won a second World Cup in 1999, as well as Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004, retiring with 158 international goals in 276 appearances, a world record until 2013.


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4 Reasons Liverpool Are Favourites for Champions League Success After Porto Triumph

​Liverpool. Ajax. Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspur. One of these teams will win this season’s Champions League, and all the signs suggest the trophy will be returning to Merseyside for the first time since 2005.

The Reds are still in pursuit of an astounding double, and they will certainly be feeling confident of ending this incredible season with the ultimate prize. Why? Well…


They Have One of Europe’s Most In-Form Forwards

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Last season it was ​Mohamed Salah, but 2019 is the year of ​Sadio Mane. It may have been​ a slow start to the season for the Senegal international, but he is more than making up for lost time.

With 13 goals in 18 games, Mane has established himself as one of the most dangerous wingers in the world, and he has been turning up when Liverpool need him the most.

He’s struck big goals against ​Bayern Munich and ​Chelsea, and he has been directly responsible for countless points. Mane loves the big stage, and there are few bigger stages than the ​Champions League.


They Have the Strongest Defence Left in the Competition

Virgil van Dijk,Alisson Becker

​Virgil van Dijk and Alisson have helped transform ​Liverpool from a great side to one of Europe’s elite, and the Anfield faithful can bank on them to come up trumps once again.

They have conceded just twice in the knockout stages of the competition, despite facing serious pressure in both second legs of the last two rounds, as both Bayern and Porto pushed to assert their home advantage.

Andy Robertson and ​Trent Alexander-Arnold can do a great job at both ends of the field, and they will continue to torment whoever comes in their path.


Mohamed Salah Is Back on Form

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA

To beat ​Barcelona over two legs, Liverpool will need all their stars to be at their best. Fortunately, ​Salah looks to have rediscovered his magic touch.

After breaking his dry streak against ​Southampton, he hit a stunner against Chelsea, before grabbing a goal and an assist against Porto. He knows where the goal is again, and Liverpool are feeling the benefits.

The Egyptian has stepped up massively in recent weeks, and that spells trouble for whoever is in his way. He was forced off in last season’s final, so you can be sure he’s out to avenge that.


They Will Be Out for Revenge

Jurgen Klopp

Not just Salah, but everyone associated with the club will want revenge for what happened last year against ​Real Madrid. They were competitive for large parts of​ the game, but two monumental errors from ​Loris Karius ultimately cost them.

They’re a better team now. Weaknesses have been addressed, and the goalkeeper and midfield are now two of Liverpool’s strongest positions.

They came up short last year, so they will work twice as hard to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The fans will be behind them, and no club benefits from the atmosphere of their fans quite like Liverpool. This season must be their year.

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Tottenham Players Primed to Share £5m Bonus for Potential Champions League Win

​Tottenham players will share a £5m bonus between them if they can lead the side to Champions League glory this season.

The north London side knocked Manchester City out at the quarter-finals stage on Wednesday after an enthralling clash at the Etihad, and will face Ajax in the last four next month.

Mauricio Pochettino,Fernando Llorente

According to the ​Daily Mail, Mauricio Pochettino’s men currently stand to pocket around £2m in total for reaching the Champions League semi-finals, but that figure will rise significantly if they can make it all the way.

The report claims many of the side’s senior players advocated for an improved bonus structure last summer in recognition of the squad’s growing potential, and are pushing once more for greater financial reward.

Aside from earning European bonuses, players will also receive added money for their performances and finish in the ​Premier League, with ​Spurs currently finding themselves in third with just five games to go.

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Many Premier League sides divide their club bonuses so that the squad’s predominantly younger players stand to earn more, whilst it is understood that several of Spurs’ higher-profile players earn more money based on well the team does both domestically and in Europe.

Following their dramatic triumph over ​City at the Etihad on Wednesday, Pochettino’s side return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon when they once again take on the Citizens. 

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Rafael Benítez Praises Kenedy for His ‘Maturity’ as the Midfielder Struggles for Playing Time

​Newcastle United manager Rafael Benítez has praised Kenedy for his attitude during a time in which the Brazilian has been rarely involved for the Magpies.

The Chelsea loanee has been left out of Newcastle’s match-day squad in their last two games and has not started a league game since the turn of the year.

Kenedy

Benítez said that the ​Kenedy is disappointed that he is not playing regularly but is understanding of why he has fallen down the pecking order at the club.

The Spaniard said in his pre-match press conference for Newcastle’s game against Southampton ​(as reported by The Chronicle): “Obviously, he’s not happy because he’s not playing but I think the last two or three weeks, because I had a conversation about that, he has been much, much better in terms of he’s more mature.

“He understands that others are doing well. Atsu, for example, was training really well. He has to compete for a place on the bench.”

Rafael Benitez

The versatile 23-year-old joined ​Newcastle on loan from ​Chelsea in January 2018. He produced a number of excellent performances and helped the Magpies avoid relegation last season.

He returned on-loan but has struggled this season and eventually found himself on the bench before, more recently, being left out of match-day squads altogether.  

Benítez said that it was difficult for him to change the team whilst they were doing well and that he did not expect Kenedy to be satisfied with his current situation.

“Kenedy’s fine. When a team is doing well, the players that are playing, the players that are involved in the squad, you can manage them. The players that are outside the squad, it’s always more difficult,” he added.

Kenedy,Rafael Benitez

“But I will tell you, I was talking with him yesterday, and it was a very, very good conversation, but we were not talking about the team. We were talking about things in general, his time in Brazil and his time here in England.

“He’s fine. But if you were asking me ‘is he happy?’- he cannot be happy. But he’s training well. He’s OK. He’s quite positive.

“We had a conversation for about 15 minutes about Brazil, England and the differences. All these things.”

Kenedy,Miguel Britos

Newcastle currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League, seven points clear of the relegation zone. They will look to cement their Premier League status when they host Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

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Xabi Alonso Opens Up on Liverpool’s Dramatic Champions League Final Comeback in Istanbul

​Xabi Alonso has opened up on the drama and nerves of Liverpool’s historic Champions League final comeback against Milan in Istanbul.

The Spaniard was part of the Anfield side that found themselves three goals down at half-time, but produced a miraculous fight-back to win the trophy on penalties. 

Speaking on former F1 driver ​Nico Rosberg’s ‘Beyond Victory’ podcast, Alonso admitted that when Rafa Benitez’s side were trailing 3-0, the Reds players were all left feeling ‘angry’ and ‘depressed’, but that their belief carried them to do the unthinkable.

Jamie Carragher,Steven Gerrard,Xabi Alonso

He said: “Nobody expected us to reach the final, so for us it was a big, big opportunity that we had. And from the beginning to start, first minute 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, we were so angry with ourselves, so depressed at half-time.

“But we found out of nowhere that belief and that self-spirit to keep fighting. You don’t have reasons to believe when you are 3-0 down to beat a super ​Milan.” 

The former ​Liverpool midfielder added: “But the first goal was ‘Wow, now we have something to hope and something to believe in’. And the second one ‘Wow really, this is happening’.

“And in the third one I knew I had to take a penalty and I told myself ‘Xabi, this is the moment’. Big, big responsibility. The tension, the nerves. And of course when I saw that he saved the penalty and I got the rebound, I don’t know what went through my mind.

Xabi Alonso

“But that moment, when I think, even now… getting that far and not being able to reach it would have been really, really painful. My career would probably have changed. After the game I was empty. I had given everything emotionally.”

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