#LeadershipGoals with Hall Of Famer Julie Foudy


“I didn’t have a female role model that I grew up watching, or saying ‘Ah, that’s going to be me one day’ and that’s why we considered our role to be so powerful... We knew the importance of that for a young girl.”

Episode Description

In this episode, David sits down with two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, Julie Foudy. Aside from being one of the winningest soccer players in US history – male or female – Julie discusses her time as captain for Team USA, as well as the vocal style of leadership which earned her the nickname “Loudy Foudy”. Julie takes us on the journey of how this leadership style developed and inspired building her sports leadership academy for girls, writing her book dedicated to helping find one’s inner leader, and working in TV sports broadcasting.

Guest Info

Born in San Diego, California, Julie Foudy is a former US Women’s Soccer captain and the 4th all-time leader in international women’s soccer appearances. She attended Stanford from 1989 to 1992 while playing for the USWNT. She was a co-captain for the 1991 team, which won the first ever Women’s World Cup. She also anchored the 1999 team, winners of the 1999 World Cup – the highest attended women’s sporting event in history – and widely considered one of the greatest sports teams of all time, sparking an increase in the popularity of women’s sports. She was the first American and first woman to receive the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1997, before serving as the president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and founding the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. She has more recently released a book, Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously YOU, and produced the ESPN Nine for IX episode The 99ers. In 2007, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame along with teammate Mia Hamm. Julie is a soccer player, wife, and mother of two, and has taken her big jump to become a writer, sports broadcaster, and women’s rights advocate dedicated to inspiring young girls to chase their dreams.


Show Links

Show Notes

  • Growing up in the Foudy household [5:00]

  • Pressure for parents to attend games and the importance of self-drive [6:20]

  • Jimmy the tomboy [7:38]

  • Wrestling with the concept of femininity in high school [10:54]

  • Thoughts on sports and teams [12:10]

  • The lack of female role models in sports [13:05]

  • 1992: the year of the woman [15:26]

  • The story behind the first ever women’s soccer scholarship [16:19]

  • Reflections on the pace of cultural shifts [17:46]

  • The impact of Title IX [18:15]

  • Playing for the U.S. and Stanford simultaneously [19:42]

  • The emergence of women’s soccer within the U.S. soccer federation [23:06]

  • Commitment and determination during the rise of the USWNT [25:07]

  • Dealing with pressure on and off the field -- “pressure is a privilege” [27:05]

  • The personalities and chemistry of the USWNT [30:52]

  • Behind the scenes of making the ESPN 9 for IX film: The 99ers [33:06]

  • Mia Hamm’s contrasting style of leadership [36:20]

  • Moving on from the golden age of U.S. women’s soccer [38:40]

  • Julie’s advice for transitioning out of sports [39:30, 41:50]

  • The story behind the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy [43:00]

  • “Leadership is personal not positional” [46:10]

  • The inspiration for Julie’s book, Choose to Matter [48:32]

  • Julie’s reflections on her legacy -- “empowering young girls to believe they can” [52:22]

  • The Splash Sisters [53:24]

  • What would younger Julie say now? [54:54]

People Mentioned

David GardnerSeason 2