Pearce has played in five FIFA Women's World Cup finals and four Olympics women's football tournaments. She is a 1999 and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champion, and a three-time gold medalist having won championship titles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. She has finished no lower than third place in each of the World Cup or Olympic tournaments in which she has competed.
Pearce played in the W-League from 1997 through 1998. She played in two American professional leagues the entire time they were in operation; from 2001 through 2003 in the WUSA and from 2009 through 2011 in the WPS. In 2009, while playing for Sky Blue FC, she simultaneously served as coach of the club while winning the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Playoffs, and was named WPS Sportswoman of the Year.
Pearce is the oldest player to appear in a FIFA Women's World Cup game, and the second-most capped player in U.S. and world history.
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Christie Pearce grew up in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. During her high school years, she was a four-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, track, and field hockey. While attending Point Pleasant Boro High School, she scored 2,190 career high school basketball points, and was the first female athlete in New Jersey history to lead her conference in scoring in three different sports. This accomplishment led her to all-state honors in all three sports. Pearce was heralded as the best athlete Ocean County, New Jersey had ever produced.
Pearce attended Monmouth University, located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, after being highly recruited by nearly every major college in the country. At Monmouth, she excelled as a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. During her senior year, she opted to ease away from her starting point guard basketball position to train and travel with the United States women's national soccer team. On the Monmouth soccer field, Pearce was a two-time Northeast Conference Player of the Year selection and First Team All Mid-Atlantic Region selection, posting ten multiple-goal games in her senior year. She finished her collegiate soccer career with a start in all 80 games, led her team with 79 career goals and 54 assists, and was Monmouth's record holder for goals, assists, and points in a season.
When not on the field, Pearce studied towards a degree in Special Education, which she completed in 1996. She also worked as a volunteer basketball and soccer coach when completing her student teaching with Monmouth. As a tribute to her achievements and for the worldwide fame she brought to her alma mater, the university awarded her with an honorary degree in Public Service in 2005. Furthermore, the university inducted her into the Monmouth University Hall of Fame in 2007 and honored her 2008 Olympic accomplishments by declaring October 5, 2008 as Christie Rampone Day.
After college, Pearce played for Central Jersey Splash and New Jersey Lady Stallions, in 1997 and 1998 respectively, of the W-League.
In 2001, she was selected as a member of New York Power, a professional soccer team in Women's United Soccer Association. In the first year, Christie played every minute of the first 18 games until tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, sidelining her for the rest of the season. In 2002, Christie bounced back to play in 1699 minutes over 19 games, and another 18 games in 2003 in addition to her national team duties. Shortly after concluding its third season, the WUSA suspended all operations. In anticipation of an eventual relaunch, WUSA preserved its rights in the team names, logos and similar properties.
The next attempt at women's professional soccer in the United States kicked off in 2008 under the name of Women's Professional Soccer. On September 16, 2008, the initial WPS player allocation was conducted and Pearce was chosen as captain for New Jersey's Sky Blue FC with fellow US Women's National Team players Heather O'Reilly and Natasha Kai.
In its inaugural season, Pearce and Sky Blue FC struggled, including the suspension of their first head coach Ian Sawyers and the resignation of his successor, Kelly Lindsey. In July 2009, the Sky Blue organization announced that Pearce would serve as the caretaker coach, in addition to her playing duties, for the remainder of the WPS season. After taking on the position as head coach, the third in one season for Sky Blue FC, Pearce took her team on to win the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Playoffs. It was later revealed she was almost three months pregnant with her second child at the time of the match. One week later, she was named WPS Sportswoman of the Year.
She remained with Sky Blue in a playing role for 2010 before switching to magicJack ahead of the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer season.
On January 11, 2013 Pearce was one of three members from the United States women's national team that was allocated to the new NWSL club Sky Blue FC, along with Jillian Loyden and Kelley O'Hara.
Christie Pearce has represented the United States at the 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup finals, in addition to the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics.
After training with the United States women's national soccer team during her senior year at Monmouth, she switched to playing as a defender. Pearce's first game was February 28, 1997 versus Australia. She tallied her first national team goal on May 2, 1997, in a match versus South Korea. Pearce started 16/18 games in her first season and finished with two goals and three assists. The following year, Pearce helped her team to its first undefeated season and led the United States to gold in the 1998 Goodwill Games by starting in both matches.
Pearce played 2540 minutes with the national team in 2000, including five games at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. The team finished with the Silver medal. In 2001, Pearce tore her anterior cruciate ligament and missed a majority of the limited national team season. Pearce was back with the team for two training camps in 2002, but focused on recovering from her surgery. In 2003, she started in 15/17 national team games and all four World Cup matches to lead her team to the Bronze medal.
In the 2004 Athens Olympics, she helped the United States win gold after defeating Brazil in what would be the final Olympic Games for a few of her senior teammates: Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy. It was in this same year that Pearce would become the fifth most capped defender in United States history.
Pearce returned to the team in 2006, after taking off the 2005 season to have her first child. In 2006, Christie returned to the team just 112 days after giving birth for China's Four Nations Tournament. 2007 brought Pearce's busiest year to date, starting in all 20 games in which she played and she became the most capped defender and second-most capped played on the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup team. She started in all six matches of the World Cup.
In 2008, Pearce was named captain of the Women's National Team and led the United States to the Gold medal once again, earning her 200th National Team cap at the 2008 Summer Olympics. With the retirement of teammate Kristine Lilly in 2010, she became the most capped active player in the world.
Pearce captained the USA team to win second place at 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, losing to Japan 1–3 in the penalty shoot-out, having drawn the final match at 2–2 at the end of extra-time. She played all 600 minutes in all 6 matches USA played.
In 2012 London Olympics, Pearce captained the USA team to a 2–1 gold medal win over Japan in the final; playing all 570 minutes in 6 matches and was a key free kick taker throughout the tournament. Pearce also saved a shot off the line from Japan in the Olympic final. The USA team won all six matches it played at the 2012 London Olympics, including 3 shutouts.
As of September 20, 2015, Christie Pearce is currently second on the all-time cap list with 311.
On July 5, 2015, she became the oldest woman to play in a FIFA Women's World Cup final, and in any tournament game, at age 40 years, 11 days, when she entered the final against Japan during the 86th minute. In 1999 she played against Korea DPR in the group stage, and in 2015 she played against Nigeria in the group stage, and in the final against Japan.
Pearce was married to Chris Rampone on November 9, 2001 in Jersey City, New Jersey but they separated in 2017. They have two daughters, Rylie (born September 29, 2005) and Reece (born March 6, 2010). In July 2011, Pearce revealed she had Lyme disease.
In 2012, Jersey Mike's Subs appointed Jersey Shore native Pearce as its first spokesperson in its 56-year history. She and her husband have since become franchisees of the chain, opening two locations in Toms River, New Jersey in early 2017.
Pearce was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game. In September 2015, she was ranked by EA Sports as the #8 women's player in the game.
Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Pearce and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a Ticker Tape Parade in New York City. Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.