CLASS OF 2018: Cindy Parlow Cone Elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame
FRISCO - Cindy Parlow Cone made her mark on U.S. Women’s Soccer at a young age, and it turned out to be an indelible one. At 5-foot-11 and with a physical streak that made her incredibly difficult to contain inside the penalty area, Parlow went on to score a remarkable 75 international goals, one of many achievements that has earned her a deserved place in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Parlow Cone stepped on an international field with the U.S. for the first time in 1996 at only 18 years old and scored two goals in that debut, an 8-1 victory against Russia. It was a high standard for the young Memphis, Tennessee native to set, but it was one that she would continue to meet for the next nine years.
The midfielder was a key player on the U.S. WNT during a remarkable stretch of years in which the program was establishing itself as a one of the best in the world. She was the youngest member of the Olympic gold medal-winning team in 1996 and also played at the 2000 Summer Games. Most notably though, she was a part of the team that would win the 1999 FIFA World Cup and scored two goals in that historic tournament, including the first in a 2-0 semifinal victory against Brazil in front of 73,123 fans at the old Stanford Stadium.
“She was part of a special group of players for the U.S. Women’s National Team that endeared women’s soccer to sports fans in the United States and helped catapult the U.S. Women into one of the best teams in the world,” said Gavin Wilkinson, who hired Parlow Cone as the head coach of the Portland Thorns back in 2013. She led the Thorns to the inaugural NWSL title that year.
When she wrapped up her international career back in 2004 Parlow Cone had played for the USA 158 times. Prior to that, she scored 68 goals for the University of North Carolina which she led to back-to-back National Championships and won the Herrmann Trophy as the nation’s top player in 1997 and 1998. She was also named the 1998 U.S. Soccer Young Female of the Year.
Anson Dorrance, one of the most accomplished coaches in all of sports and a member of the Class of 2008, broke the news Thursday to his former player that she, too, would be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In Dorrance’s 31 years as head coach of the North Carolina Women’s Soccer Team, he coached many legendary players, including several Hall of Famers, and now Parlow Cone will join that elite group to be enshrined forever among the greats.
Hall of Fame Resume
Cindy Parlow Cone, Veteran
Midfielder - U.S. Women’s National Team (1995-2006), University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (1995-98), Atlanta Beat (2001-03)
Coach - Portland Thorns FC head coach (2012-13)
Currently - North Carolina FC’s Durham-Chapel Hill Girls Director
Cone has a decorated history with the U.S. Women’s National Team. She retired as the squad’s 5th all-time leading scorer during an era in which she helped the U.S. women win the World Cup in 1999 and third place in 2003. Her 158 caps and 75 goals also earned her two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal and, to this day, she remains the youngest soccer player (male or female) to win an Olympic gold medal and a World Cup. Prior to her international career, Cone was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year and two-time NCAA National Champion at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Cone continued her Tar Heel career as an assistant coach where she helped guide the team to four NCAA Championships. She then went on to win the inaugural NWSL Championship (2013) as the head coach of the Portland Thorns. She also served on the coaching staff for the U.S. U-14 & U-15 Girls’ National Teams (2010-2013).