On Monday, the U.S. Soccer Federation inducted Kristine Lilly into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, honoring one of the most decorated careers in international soccer history.
Through 24 years of international play, the two-time Olympic gold medalist collected 352 caps, more than any player in world history, while earning two World Cup Victories in five appearances.
"You cannot speak about women's soccer in the U.S. without mentioning one of its biggest pioneers, Kristine Lilly. This is an incredible accolade and one that is very much deserved," said Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard. On behalf of the Boston Breakers organization and all of our fans, we congratulate 'Lil' on her recognition and entrance to the Hall of Fame. [Kristine] is an amazing person and an incredible athlete."
Lilly spent six seasons in domestic professional leagues, including five for the Breakers in the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) and Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) before retiring in 2011. Despite serving as a founding member of the 2001 Breakers, and continuing to develop a formative club career, Lilly earned fame for her international accomplishments.
"One of the most humbling parts of this is being inducted with so many of the greats that came before me," said Lilly. "It's always an honor to be recognized for something you've done, especially for something we did for so long on the U.S. team. It was amazing to wear that U.S. jersey for so long, and I'm forever grateful for the time I was able to play and really grateful for this honor."
After dawning her iconic number 13 jersey for more than two decades, Lilly developed her fair share of memorable moments in red, white and blue. Courtesy of ussoccer.com, we break down the most influential games of Lilly's storied career.
5. May 21, 1998 - Lilly becomes the most capped female player in the history of the world, passing Heidi Stoere of Norway, when she plays in her 152nd game against Japan in Kobe.
4. Oct. 10, 2004 - Lilly becomes the fifth player in world history to score 100 career international goals, tallying against New Zealand in Cincinnati.
3. Aug. 26, 2004 - Lilly starts her 40th consecutive match in a world championship for the United States in the USA's 2-1 victory against Brazil to win the Olympic gold medal.
2. May 22, 2010 -- Lilly scores against Germany in a 4-0 victory for what would be her last goal in a U.S. uniform. The goal makes her the oldest and the youngest player ever to score for the U.S. Women's National Team. She scored her first goal when she was 16 years, 22 days old and her last when she was 38 years, 264 days old.
1. Jan. 18, 2006 - Lilly plays in her 300th match, the only player in the history of international soccer, man or woman, to do so. She also scored a goal in that match, a 3-1 victory against Norway. She would go on to play 52 more times for the USA.
Longtime U.S. International Brian McBride and American coach Bob Bradley also earned recognition, entering the Hall of Fame ahead of the 2014 MLS season.