Where Are They Now? USWNT's 1996 Olympic team
From the “Triple-Edged Sword” of the 1991 World Cup – along with Carin Gabarra and April Heinrichs – to her days as a dominating defensive midfielder in the 1999 World Cup, the towering Akers was simply the heart and soul of the U.S. team as it came of age in the 1990s. She battled chronic fatigue syndrome and a series of nagging injuries that kept her out of the 2000 Olympics and ultimately ended her playing career.
She does some training these days, but her passion is rescuing horses on her farm outside Atlanta. And unlike a lot of her former teammates, she keeps a vocal presence on social media, where she’s quite willing to offer candid opinions.
The “super-sub” of the 1999 team started four of the five games in the Olympics and scored three goals. She was back in the starting lineup for the 2000 Olympics but played only a small role in the 2003 World Cup despite a solid career in the WUSA. April Heinrichs cut her from the 2004 Olympic roster, and she retired with some frustration in 2006.
She was already coaching late in her playing career, and she has become a busy and influential youth soccer coach, appearing in several U.S. Soccer coaching education videos. And she’s going into the Soccer Hall of Fame this year. As Rodney Dangerfield or Erasure might say, she’s finally getting a little respect.
The scorer of the winning goal went on to score plenty more for country and club. With the New York Power, she was the WUSA MVP in the league’s debut season of 2001. She burned out a bit over the next couple of years but made a comeback of sorts in 2005, pushing her career totals to 204 caps and an even 100 goals.
Even without a top-flight pro league in the United States and without a steady gig on the national team, Milbrett stayed busy through the sport’s Dark Ages, playing with the W-League’s Vancouver Whitecaps and a few teams overseas. She finished her top-flight career as a champion, winning the 2010 WPS title with FC Gold Pride and then continuing to play a bit in the WPSL.
After many years on the West Coast, she recently relocated to Colorado as a youth soccer coach with the Colorado Storm.
The Golden Ball winner in the 1991 World Cup (when she was known as Carin Jennings) was a reserve by the time she got a shot at the Olympics. She retired in 1996 -- the only player who saw the field in the 1996 final not to continue to the 1999 World Cup.
The Gabarras are now mid-Atlantic coaching institutions. Her husband, Jim, coached the Washington Freedom from 2001 to 2010, Sky Blue FC from 2011 to 2015, and the Washington Spirit today. Carin Gabarra took over as head coach at the Naval Academy in 1993, while she was still an active player, and remains there to this day, preparing to chase her 22nd straight winning season.
The reserve midfielder and reliable defensive player stuck with the national team for the World Cups in 1999 and 2003 before wrapping up her international career in 2004. She also was captain of the WUSA’s Carolina Courage.
She married fellow North Carolina alum Tim Sahaydak, and the couple spent several years in an unusual co-coaching arrangement at Virginia Commonwealth University. She’s now the head coach at Central Florida, with Tim serving as associate head coach.
The starting keeper in the 1991 World Cup was Scurry’s backup in 1996, which would turn out to be her last year of international play.
She’s still in soccer, but unlike several of her teammates, she’s not coaching. After her playing career, she finished up an MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She did the traditional stints in the corporate world before moving to FIFA as director of the development division. When WPS launched, she came back to the USA as the league’s chief operating officer.
Today, she’s in Portland, doing consulting work on sports and sustainability.
NWSL fans may know her mostly for the fashionable array of hats she wore in her season as head coach in Portland, but a decade earlier, she was a powerful striker for the national team. The 18-year-old rising sophomore at North Carolina made a couple of brief appearances in the 1996 Games, then scored a vital goal against Brazil in the 1999 World Cup semifinal. After three years with the WUSA’s Atlanta Beat, she made one more run in a major tournament, taking gold in the 2004 Olympics.
Often injured in her aerial dueling, Parlow retired in 2006 and is now an advocate for limiting heading in the youth game, working with Chastain and Fawcett on the SAFER Soccer initiative. She married fitness trainer John Cone, picking up her snappy “CPC” initials, and the couple moved back to Chapel Hill after coaching the Portland Thorns to the first NWSL championship. She’s on the technical staff at Triangle United Soccer Association.
The graduate of Northern Virginia magnet school Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology had a brief but eventful playing career. Her national team career consisted of 14 caps in 1995 and 1996, ending before her senior year at North Carolina, but she returned to the field with the WUSA’s Carolina Courage.
She has since coached at nearly every level -- pro, college, youth, high school -- and has a training and fitness business.
The Olympic roster included three alternates: goalkeeper Saskia Webber, defender Thori Staples Bryan and defender Amanda Cromwell.
Webber was a backup on the 1999 World Cup squad and played in the WUSA. She also was a TV host for Q Television, a cable network of the mid-2000s.
Bryan also continued with the national team for several years and played in the WUSA. She runs the Thori Bryan Soccer Academy in Wake Forest, N.C.
Cromwell’s international career ended in 1998, but she played in the WUSA before moving into coaching. Now she’s a bridge to the next generation – as head coach at UCLA, she’ll be coaching Mallory Pugh and Canadian phenom Jessie Fleming.