ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX Series Continues with The 99ers, premiering August 20 on ESPN

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ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX Series Continues with The 99ers, premiering August 20 on ESPN

Documentary tells the story of the 1999 United States women’s national soccer team who became a cultural phenomenon, changing the face of women’s athletics

The next documentary in ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX series, The 99ers, will premiere on Tuesday, August 20, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The film, directed by Erin Leyden, and produced by Julie Foudy tells the incredible story of the 1999 United States women’s national soccer team, who on July 10, 1999 kicked upside down the world of women’s sports.  Before a sold-out crowd of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl and an estimated 40 million Americans watching on television, the women’s soccer team reached a cultural and athletic pinnacle with its penalty-kick shoot-out victory over China to win the Women’s World Cup.

As told through the voice of a longtime team captain, Julie Foudy, viewers get an inside look at the strong team ethic and rare “do for each other” mentality that propelled them to victory that day and turned the team into a cultural touchstone. With unprecedented access, the film uses candid, behind-the-scenes footage shot by the players themselves during the tournament to present a unique portrait of the women who irrevocably changed the face of women’s athletics. Reuniting key players from the 1999 squad and talking with current U.S. players as well, the film examines how women’s soccer – and women’s sports as a whole – has changed since that epic day at the Rose Bowl. 

Erin Leyden has been a producer with ESPN Films since 2008.  She has produced over a dozen documentaries for the award-winning “30 for 30” series, working with filmmakers, including Barry Levinson (“The Band That Wouldn’t Die”), Steve Nash (“Into the Wind”) and Jalen Rose (“The Fab Five”).  Prior to her work with ESPN Films Leyden worked with the network producing features, specials and documentaries.

Julie Foudy is a reporter and analyst for ABC, ESPN and espnW, is best known for her long and successful career as a midfielder on the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She is a two-time World Cup champion and three-time Olympic medalist. Throughout her 17 years on the team, she spent 13 serving as a captain, scored 45 goals and earned 59 assists. She was a four-time All-American at Stanford University and named High School Player of the Decade (1980s) by the Los Angeles Times. In 2007, she was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, alongside longtime teammate and friend, Mia Hamm.

Julie has served as president and sat on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Sports Foundation, focusing on Title IX, childhood obesity and athletes’ rights issues. In 1997, she was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award for her work against child labor in the stitching of soccer balls.

Julie is active in many charitable organizations, including Athletes for Hope and Global Girl Media, a non-profit using journalism to empower young women. In 2006, with her husband Ian Sawyers, she founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, a unique residential camp experience that uses sports as the vehicle to teach leadership skills for life. Julie is the proud mother of two children, Isabel and Declan.

The final film in the Nine for IX series on ESPN, Branded, will air at 8 p.m. ET on August 27th.

Films that have already aired in the series are Venus Vs., Pat XO, Let Them Wear Towels, No Limits, Swoopes, The Diplomat and Runner.  All Nine for IX films will be available for purchase on iTunes the day following air.  A collectible DVD gift set with all films will also be available on October 15, 2013.

Follow the Nine for IX series on twitter at @30for30 and @espnW. Fans can join the conversation with the hashtag #The99ers.


About Nine for IX

ESPN Films and espnW present Nine for IX, executive produced by Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal, featuring nine documentary films about women in sports directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning female filmmakers. Inspired by the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the series will air over nine consecutive Tuesdays on ESPN at 8 PM ET beginning July 2, 2013. Stories include Venus Williams fight for equal pay at Wimbledon, the largely unknown history of Katarina Witt and her link with East Germany’s secret police, an intimate look at Pat Summitt—college sports’ most successful coach ever, and the business of sex in the marketing of female athletes. For more information and summaries visit: Nine for IX Media Kit

Jennifer Cingari Christie

Based in New York City, Jennifer Cingari Christie is a Communications Manager for ESPN Films and Original Content. Her projects include the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, ESPN The Magazine and The ESPYS, among others.
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