Kate Markgraf, one of the most-accomplished soccer players in the United States, is a soccer analyst who made her national television debut on ESPN’s critically acclaimed presentation of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. She was paired with Adrian Healey on the network’s secondary broadcast team for the competition, calling matches from stadiums across Germany.
During the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, Markgraf joined her 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup teammates – Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly – as studio analysts featured across ESPN television and digital platforms, including SportsCenter. She worked as a color analyst for NBC during the 2012 London Olympics, and also serves as a color commentator for the Big Ten Network.
Markgraf, nee Sobrero, made her U.S. Women’s National Team debut following her graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. She quickly established herself as an integral part of one of the most successful defensive units in women’s soccer – alongside legends Brandi Chastain and Joy Fawcett. In all, she played in 201 national team matches during a 12-year international soccer career and was known for her consistent high level of play on defense.
Although Markgraf was the least experienced starter in the 1999 World Cup winning team, her performance as a center-back in the competition garnered the All-World top 11 honors by the Los Angeles Times. Markgraf started 16 matches in three FIFA Women’s World Cup competitions. She also won two Olympics gold medals for soccer in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing), as well as a Silver medal in 2000 (Sydney).
Markgraf’s professional career includes playing for the Boston Breakers in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) – a pioneer league founded on the afterglow of the successful 1999 Women’s World Cup in the United States. She also played for the Chicago Red Stars in the Women’s Professional Soccer – WUSA’s successor league – in 2010.
Prior to her national team career, Markgraf attended and graduated from University of Notre Dame in 1998. She was a three-time NSCAA All-American, the 1997 Big East defensive player of the year, and the defensive MVP of the NCAA Final Four in 1995 – the year Notre Dame won the NCAA women’s soccer championship.
A global advocate for women’s soccer and equity in sports, Markgraf traveled to Ethiopia in 2012 on behalf of the United States Department of State and US Soccer to work with displaced Somalian youth. She has also traveled to Chile (2013) and Peru (2014) as a volunteer on similar goodwill missions.