Christie Pearce Rampone
International soccer star
Born: June 24, 1975, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2015: Sports
Soccer great Christie Rampone’s journey has taken her from the playing fields and arenas of New Jersey to global fame. A FIFA Women’s World Cup champion in 1999 and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, she retired from her sport as one of America’s most decorated athletes.
A self-described “shy girl from the Jersey Shore,” Rampone grew up in Point Pleasant and was a four-sport athlete at Point Pleasant Borough High School, competing in basketball, track, field hockey, and, of course, soccer. The 5-foot-6 Rampone scored 2,190 points during her high school basketball career and won all-state honors in three sports. She attended Monmouth University on a basketball scholarship, while also flashing her skills in soccer and lacrosse. She finished her college soccer career with starts in all 80 games, leading the team with a total of 79 goals and 54 assists; she remains Monmouth’s record-holder for goals, assists and points in a season.
A high-scoring forward during her college years, Rampone switched to defender when she started training for international soccer competition with the U.S. Women’s National Team while still at Monmouth. She debuted with the national team in 1997, and in 1999 was part of the championship team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It was the first of her five trips to the FIFA finals.
In 2000, Rampone competed in her first Olympics, helping the team win the silver medal in Sydney, Australia. In 2004, in Athens, Greece, she led the U.S. team to her first Olympics gold medal. Four years later, Rampone was named captain of the Women’s National Team. The team went on to win Olympics gold that year in Beijing. She captained the team again at the 2012 Olympics in London, where the women won all six of their matches on the way to another gold medal. Rampone, at age 37, playing all 570 minutes.
Rampone began her professional career in 2001 with New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association. She also played for New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC and magicJack in the Women’s Professional Soccer league, and Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. In July 2009, she led Sky Blue FC to the WPS championship as player-coach.
Renowned for her extraordinary level of fitness and as a tough competitor, Rampone in 2015 became the oldest woman to play in a FIFA World’s Cup final, at age 40 years and 11 months. Throughout her career she rarely missed a match, except after suffering an ACL tear in 2001, and for two short breaks upon the births of her daughters in 2005 and 2010.
At her induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Rampone attributed her “toughness and competitive edge” to growing up in New Jersey. In 2021, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility.