Carla Overbeck played college soccer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1986 to 1989, where she won the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship each of her four seasons.
Overbeck played for the Raleigh Wings of the W-League in 1998 and helped the team finish with a 14–0 record and clinch the league's championship title. From 2001 to 2002, Overbeck played for the Carolina Courage in the WUSA, the first professional soccer league for women in the United States. Overbeck first appeared with the U.S. National Team in 1988 and was a member of the U.S. team that won the first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991. Playing central defender she led a defense that allowed only five goals in six matches. She was one of two players to play every minute of each of the team's games at the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the 1999 Women's World Cup. In 1998, she captained the national team to win the first-ever Goodwill Games.
On May 6, 2006 Overbeck was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was a 2010 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame inductee.