The Sisterhood

The 99ers and the Rise of U.S. Women's Soccer

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 01 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2021

Talking about this book? Use #TheSisterhood #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


For legions of soccer fans, the players on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are the game’s standard-bearers. Together their accomplishments include four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. Within five years of their inaugural match in 1985, the team was the best women’s soccer team on the planet. But its rise was neither easy nor harmonious. The national team came onto the scene when team sports for women were in their infancy. The players were paid little and played to sparse crowds on marginal pitches and carried their own equipment and luggage. They faced discrimination and unequal treatment, most notably from their governing bodies, FIFA and U.S. Soccer.

The Sisterhood is the story of the first and second generations of national team players, known as the 99ers, who were the driving force behind the rise of U.S. women’s soccer and who built the foundation for the team’s enduring success. Rob Goldman takes the reader onto the pitch and into the minds of the players and coaches for the team’s greatest victories and most heartbreaking defeats. Among those featured are players Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, and Brandi Chastain, as well as coaches Anson Dorrance and Tony DiCicco.

When the team won the ’99 World Cup in front of more than ninety thousand fans at the Rose Bowl, it was the largest crowd to ever attend a women’s sporting event. After Brandi Chastain’s winning penalty kick beat China, everything changed. These women’s soccer players were no longer outcasts; they were hard-nosed players and leaders who not only transformed women’s sports but led a cultural revolution. They were trailblazers, role models, and selfless best friends. Their story, told here largely in the voices of the players and coaches who were there, is epic and inspiring.


For legions of soccer fans, the players on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are the game’s standard-bearers. Together their accomplishments include four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold...

Advance Praise

The Sisterhood includes some of my favorite stories from the badass women whose DNA and gritty mentality are the inspiration and legacy of today’s world-dominating U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.”—Michelle Akers, National Soccer Hall of Fame member, Olympic and World Cup champion, and FIFA Female Player of the Century

“In The Sisterhood, Rob Goldman vividly captures the 99ers’ personalities, mentality, and our love for the game and for each other. I lived this story and became a better player and person because of these women. The Sisterhood shows you why.”—Kristine Lilly, National Soccer Hall of Fame member, Olympic gold medalist, and 1991 and 1999 World Cup winner

“A phenomenal story of how an extraordinary group of women built the foundation for one of the most dominant teams in sports history. A fantastic read that takes you along on the journey with players who formed more than a team. They formed a sisterhood.”—Kevin Baxter, Pulitzer Prize–winning sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times

The Sisterhood includes some of my favorite stories from the badass women whose DNA and gritty mentality are the inspiration and legacy of today’s world-dominating U.S. Women’s National Soccer...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781496228833
PRICE $32.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)

Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

This book is a treat for any sports fan, but especially those young girls that have been encouraged by the strength and commitment of these tremendous athletes to make things better for the next generation. The interviews show a side to the story that not many are truly aware of. It is an honest look inside the growth and development of the game of women's soccer, including both the good and the bad sides of the times.

Was this review helpful?

Such a detailed and interesting look into the development of Women's Soccer. The fight the 99ers had for their sport and to have a supportive national team and league is in equal parts amazing and frustrating to read about. Amazing for how hard these women worked and frustrating because their followers on the national team are still having to fight for equal pay. An excellent look into the sport and these important women.

Was this review helpful?

Soccer fans rejoice! The Sisterhood provides an incredible look into the development of U.S. women's soccer. I enjoyed the insider perspective of the coaches and players, their struggles and triumphs as U.S. women's soccer rose to dominance on the world stage. I would recommend this books to sports fans, feminists, and anyone interested in stories of grit and determination.

Was this review helpful?

This book dives into the Women's National Soccer Team and explores their founding days all the way up until the retirement of several veteran members.

As a U.S Women's Soccer fan, I was very excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint. Goldman does a great job of moving the narrative forward in a compelling way, while also going deep into many individual players and their thoughts, hopes, and motivations. I discovered a newfound respect for these soccer pioneers, reading about the various ways they were forced to fight for their team and discovering how they persevered through difficult battles in their personal lives as well. I was also dismayed to learn that the women's team was trying to fight for equal pay all the way back in the 90's, and that particular issue is still prevalent for the women's team to this day.

As for the writing, there were quite a few spelling and grammar errors in the copy of the book I read, but they didn't damper my enjoyment of the book itself. The book was also structured well, with a comprehensive epilogue that I very much enjoyed reading after getting so invested in these women and their lives.

Was this review helpful?

As a lifelong women’s soccer fan, I really loved reading this. I grew up as women’s soccer was really becoming a thing in the US and remember watching the 99ers and how much of an impact it had on me. The author provides some amazing insight into specific players and off the field encounters while also walking you through game play of some of the biggest moments in USWNT history. I really loved some of the soccer history I hadn’t heard before, especially surrounding rules and equipment. And the personal touch of having stories about individual players and team connections on and off the field was something I hadn’t seen in a book like this before.

Would highly recommend to any fan of US Women’s Soccer!

Was this review helpful?

I received this novel as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book goes into great detail about the women who played soccer in the 1990s, shaping the game for generations to come.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and University of Nebraska Press for an ARC of The Sisterhood: The 99ers and the Rise of U.S. Women's Soccer in exchange for an honest review.

As a young girl who loved playing soccer, I grew up watching and emulating the 99ers. Around that time, I read every article and book I could get my hands on, in addition to watching any interviews and TV specials I could find. Now, decades later, I was looking forward to reading a new book about this team. While I enjoyed the interviews, the overall story left much to be desired.

This book has the potential to be great, but in my opinion it needs some additional editing and polishing. The order of the story was disorganized and chaotic. It almost seemed as if several interviews were vaguely tied together from recycled sources. For example, there were chapters detailing the outcomes of tournaments, and in the middle of a game recap, an unrelated story was wedged in. Issues of racial bias, sexualization of female athletes, harassment of players by coaches, and soccer politics that affected playing time were all briefly touched on, before being shelved to discuss an outcome of a game. Then, the respective issue would be briefly touched on in a later chapter, but again only enough to scratch the surface and move on. In the chapter about Tiffeny Milbrett, there is an entire paragraph that is repeated. Transitions from chapter to chapter were rocky, with some previewing the next chapter, and others that abruptly cut off. The ending seemed abrupt as well, jumping from Foudy and Hamm's victory against US soccer regarding their post-world cup tour in 1999, to Tony DiCicco's death and celebration of life in 2017.

Overall, I liked the book, because I love the game of soccer and have personal memories of watching the 99ers play. However, I think it could be even better with some thoughtful editing and organization. I'm keeping in mind that I read an advanced reader copy prior to publication date, so hopefully some of these issues will be worked out before the official release.

Was this review helpful?

"The Sisterhood" by Rob Goldman is a decent account of the beginnings of the US Women's National Team. The book begins with its creation telling both the successes, failures, trials, politics, and struggles the team had to face as they became the greatest national team in history. For the most part, it is a dry read that works best as a reference book for anyone wanting to research the team.

Was this review helpful?

OK just so you know we in the UK call Soccer Football. So please accept my apologies if I revert to the English name for this sport.

I am a big fan of both women's and men's game. Have been since I was a small child. I requested this book because I was a little annoyed by the USA's goal celebration when they beat England at the world cup. So I thought this may help me understand them better. Just so you know it didn't and I'm happy enough to forgive them.

This book takes you on a journey from founding the team, the characters involved from the start to retirement. I enjoyed some of the interviews. I felt at times things that should have been discussed in more detail were often brushed aside and never mentioned again. For example I feel all players should be treated the same regardless of gender.

If you love football, especially if you are an aspiring young female player then you should give it a go. It's interesting but I feel things of importance was skimmed over. Which in my opinion was a shame. For this I give this 3.5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

As a US Soccer fan I highly enjoyed this book. It’s similar to some other USWNT books but different enough to hold my attention and the author gave new information. I really appreciate nonfiction books that have specific player content and this book delivered on that! #TheSisterhood #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

I love a good soccer story. As a huge fan of the NWSL I really enjoyed this book and loved reading about some of my favorite players. As someone who watched the game in 1999 and cheered along with the rest of the country as our women’s soccer team won on Brandi Chastain’s kick it was so fun to know the behind the scenes happenings. Great read!!!

Was this review helpful?

I vividly remember where I was as I watched Brandi Chastain win the Women’s World Cup in 1999 when I was a ten year old soccer player, and this book was so wonderful! It was interesting to read a more in depth account now as an adult. Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: