In my quest to fill the Pajiba world with the most amazing women’s soccer players, I humbly suggest my favorite player in the world, Christen Press.
She’s a phenom.
Now, I’ve written many times about how much I love the 2019 US Women’s National Soccer Team, and that they’re my favorite team of all time, and how you could just root for every player without remorse or having to swallow things like “I know she has a DUI but she’s a great player” or “I know what she said about gay marriage wasn’t aligned with me, but…”
There was none of that. They were just wonderful and awesome.
It was a heady time to be a fan of futbol.
Since then, we’ve seen the Olympics get bumped and watched as some long-time fixtures of the team possibly age out. There’s some rumored doubt around names like Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris as to whether or not they’ll be on the Olympic squad in 2021, which features a smaller roster than the World Cup team.
But in that time, for the past half decade, really, Christen Press has been announcing her presence with authority. A long-time backup who couldn’t get on the field because of the immense talent in front of her, she began to force the issue with her play. She’d substitute into the game in the second half and immediately bury one in the twine and everyone would ask why isn’t she starting? All she does is score!
And she kept doing it, no matter the level, no matter the league. She’s that rare player who is a clear and present danger to score from anywhere, at any time. Right now, I don’t think there’s a more feared sniper in the women’s game anywhere on the planet.
I remember a game vs Japan this year where she just turned on a dime and chipped it over the head of the Japanese goal keeper, who she noticed was cheating out. You don’t even see her peek at the goalie, it’s just turn and chip. That’s just insane touch. And her two goals against Costa Rica this year were a thing of jaw-dropping technical prowess.
In fact, she was so dominant in 2020 that she won the Golden Ball award during the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, being recognized as the tournament’s best player.
In college, she won the award for top player in the country in college and still holds the Stanford records for career goals and assists. Ho hum. She was also the first American woman to earn the golden boot as top scorer in the Swedish league.
But okay! She’s a good sportsballer. Big fuckin’ whoop. We Pajibans have more discriminating taste. Someone knocking around an inflatable bladder barely moves the needle!
The pedigree of being a Stanford grad notwithstanding, during her early years, through 2015, she kept an amazing blog where she wrote about her life, her travels and her experiences playing soccer around the world. She’s legit smort.
Like many athletes, she’s voraciously clean-living, but unlike many of her US teammates, she doesn’t do a lot of swearing in public. It gives her this sort of winning, wholesome vibe, never seen more than in this clip that I adore.
HER LAUGH HELP IM SOFT pic.twitter.com/7RJWqqSC2S— best of christen (@christenarchive) December 2, 2018
I mean, come on. What a gust, indeed. Who says that?
She’s also an entrepreneur, co-owner of a women-owned clothing line and just an unflappable, shining ray of sunshine.
No matter what you read, no matter where you go, you’ll never hear a negative word uttered about Christen Press. She is universally beloved, admired and respected - by teammates and opponents alike. She’s the owner of a rescue dog and kicked off PETA’s 2016 “Adopt Don’t Shop” campaign. She’s also a constant contributor to a great number of different charities and youth sports organizations.
Is she in a relationship with teammate Tobin Heath or are they just besties? I honestly don’t know but I think Tobin is a goddamn delight in her own right, so whatever it is is cool.
I’m sure I speak for all of their fans when I say that they’re both an inspiration and a joy to watch, to follow and to root for, and there’s basically no better ambassador for America than Christen Press.
And now we come to the reason for this piece. The one terrible thing about Pressy: it’s nearly impossible to find bad pictures of her.
Friends, Pajibans, Thirsty-Ones. I give you, the stunning, the radiant, the one and only, Christen Press.
chrissy p 😻 pic.twitter.com/NyN67DxiNi— best of christen (@christenarchive) November 27, 2020
anyway it's her world and we're just living in itpic.twitter.com/ymo8yaFcOL— alex 🌙 (@captpress) November 27, 2020
SHE!!!! pic.twitter.com/1afw47YiMI— alex 🌙 (@captpress) November 14, 2020
Christen Press with braids; a thread💫 pic.twitter.com/nMWpZmEWqN— Isa ミ☆ (@SnixxHeath) November 14, 2020
Image sources (in order of posting): USWNT, CP blog