Coming to a stream near you: Netflix announces movie on 1999 World Cup-winning USWNT team

World Cup champion Julie Foudy and her 1999 teammates will become a movie on Netflix. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
World Cup champion Julie Foudy and her 1999 teammates will become a movie on Netflix. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

The 99ers are hitting the silver stream.

The iconic 1999 U.S. national women’s soccer team, which won the FIFA World Cup and inspired the young women who won it all again in 2015 and 2019, is getting its own movie. Netflix made the announcement on Tuesday with some help from the players — all social distancing, of course.

The movie will be based off of Jere Longman’s book, “The Girls of Summer: The US Women’s Soccer Team and How It Changed The World,” that was first published in January 2000. Netflix won the rights and will have Liza Chasin (“Love Actually”) produce along with Hayley Stool and Ross Greenburg, a 56-time Sports Emmy Award winner who worked on “Miracle.” Marla Messing, president and CEO of that year’s World Cup, will be one of three executive producers.

The film will follow the USWNT in the decade that culminates with the 1999 World Cup title in front of 93,000 fans at the Rose Bowl. The U.S. beat China on penalty kicks with Brandi Chastain famously scoring the winner and ripping her jersey off in celebration.

Tendo Nagenda, vice president of Netflix films, shared news of the project in a blog post at the site. Nagenda, who moved to Uganda as a teen and played soccer with dried banana leaves, remembered watching the game while taking summer film classes in New York City.

“In between stealing shots and locations, my collaborators and I would stand outside bars to see the Women’s World Cup series. Watching the USA team that summer made me forget I had no money and little more than a dream to feed me. That team, that goal, and Brandi Chastain’s unforgettable reaction — in which she ripped off her shirt and dropped to her knees in astonishment — made me believe I could do anything, and do it my way.”

The 1999 team paved the way for the first professional women’s soccer league in North America and changed perceptions on women’s place in sport. They created a lasting impact and fight that continues today — certainly in the current team’s lawsuit against U.S. Soccer — and has the USWNT commonly considered the most influential women’s team in sports.

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