Two-time World Cup champion. Three-time Olympic gold medalist. WPS Champion.
All of these are titles Sky Blue FC captain Christie Rampone has to her name. On Thursday, April 7, she added a new one to the list: New Jersey Hall of Fame Inductee.
Rampone was one of 12 New Jerseyans who were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park.
Other inductees included college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, comedian Jon Stewart, former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and pop artists Kool and the Gang, among others.
"To be recognized by your home state is an amazing honor," Rampone said in a statement. "Not only did I grow up here, but New Jersey is where I laid down my foundation. This was a really special experience for me and one that I will never forget."
The Sky Blue FC captain and defender is going into her sixth season with the team, playing all but one seasons for Sky Blue since its inception during the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league days.
In 2009, Rampone stepped in as head coach when the team was without one, while maintaining her role on the field as well. Rampone led the team to win the WPS championship that year, and afterwards it was announced that she was also three months pregnant with her daughter at the time. She was named the WPS Sportswoman of the Year for the accomplishment.
"Christie is a world class athlete and person, and this is a well-deserved recognition for her," Sky Blue FC Head Coach Christy Holly said. "We feel privileged to have her as part of our club, and she is instrumental in everything that we do."
Internationally, Rampone is one of only two players—male or female—to have more than 300 caps for her country. Rampone was first capped with the U.S. Women’s National Team (U.S. WNT) back in 1997 and was named captain in 2008.
With the U.S. WNT she has won the gold medal in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 1999 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups. She became the oldest woman to ever play in a World Cup tournament game or final when, at 40 years old, she was substituted in against Japan in the final.
"You truly cannot put into words what Christie Rampone has meant to the state of New Jersey, Sky Blue FC, this country and the game of soccer in general," Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager, said. "On the field, she serves as another coach and has not lost a step as a player. Off the pitch, she has been nothing but a positive influence to everyone with whom she has ever interacted."
Rampone, who is currently on hiatus with the national team as she continues recovering from knee surgery back in December, is still in communication with U.S. WNT Head Coach Jill Ellis about a possible return to the national team. Ellis has said that, if Rampone is healthy, she plans to call her back for the next national team camp scheduled for May.
Until then, Rampone continues to captain Sky Blue FC as it prepares for the first match of the 2016 NWSL season, an April 17 match against Seattle Reign FC in Seattle.