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Catching Up With The U.S. Women's National Team

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 30, 2019 |

By Lord Castleton | TV | November 30, 2019 |


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Many of you haven’t thought of the United States Women’s National Team since they won the world cup, but for some of us, the dance never ended. FIFA just published the viewership numbers which showed that more than a billion people watched with Women’s World Cup.

If you happened to miss the World Cup, you can see highlights here:

Man, I get misty just watching the highlights of some of those games. USA vs Spain. USA vs France. USA vs England. Nailbiters all.

I’ve followed sports teams and franchises in one way or another since I was but a wee lad, but never in my life have I loved a team more. Any team in any sport. The USWNT is precious. To me, in a sporting world of cheaters and dopers and thugs and crooks and irritating egos, they feel like the one great thing out there. They are the foil to all the awful things happening in the world. Through them, noble messages of tenacity and toughness and team spirit run counter to the parts of society that feel broken and unhealthy. Through them themes of equal pay and gay rights are trumpeted from the highest peaks. But equal to their accomplishments, equal to the drive and the discipline and the might are pretty much the funniest, most personable, most lovable and most devoted people you could ever follow en masse.

And follow them I do.

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DAY 2: idols taking selfies #uswnt #tobinheath #ashlynharris #carlilloyd #alikrieger #crystaldunn #christenpress #meganrapinoe #lindseyhoran #malpugh #mallorypugh #sydneyleroux #sydneylerouxdwyer #abbywambach #soccer #ussoccer #womenssoccer

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The saga of the Women’s World Cup was a real place of bonding for my 14 year old daughter and I and we enjoyed that so much that we just sort of kept going with it. We missed the games and so we jumped in to whatever content the women of the USWNT were posting. Game shows, scare videos, interviews, or merely their cackling propensity to kick over each other’s rolling suitcases to the non-wheel side. We soaked it all up.

And they’re a delight. How? I don’t know. I don’t know how you put this many marvelous people in the same place and it doesn’t lead to friction. But rather than allowing themselves to get testy with each other, what they instead exemplify is inclusion and kindness and bravery. Time after time, they raise each other up instead of tearing each other down. When’s the last time you could say that about a workplace?

So where are we? Let’s catch up with the team as a whole, first.

CATCHING UP

When most of us last saw our ladies they were the toast of the country, a parade in New York, awards shows, morning shows, and the like. They were giddy with their World Cup win. It was all sort of a dream.

But shortly thereafter, they had to get back to paying the bills, which meant returning to their club teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. That, for fans like me, was a bit of a bummer, because instead of seeing our women playing together, now they played against each other. Gah. Torture.

But seeing that level of play was informative as well, because on every team, you can see how the women of the USWNT stand out. They’re clearly exceptional.

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In fact, when the final NWSL season awards were tallied, USWNT players racked up nine of the eleven positions. Only Australian superstar Sam Kerr and Goalie Aubrey Bledsoe weren’t on the team. (But more on Bledsoe in a minute…)

Ultimately, the North Carolina Courage won the NWSL title for a second straight year. You can watch the whole game here. (I recommend at least watching the first few minutes and the last few of the award ceremony — Note the NWSL site has been really broken for the last week or so, but check back once they fix it).

The NWSL is in its relative infancy (founded in 2012) and features only nine teams at present with a tenth on the way for next season, but if you love these players, try to catch a game in your area. Someday we’ll look back at championship games like this one, with an attendance of only 10,000 and find it quaint. Someday, this sport will be much, much bigger. And where else can you see the best players in the world this close? While most of this piece is about the American players, you can’t discount foreign players who grace the NWSL. The MVP of the championship game, for example, was Brazil’s Debinha, who might be the most dominant force in the women’s game. She’s unreal.

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That game also marked the final professional match for legendary US player Heather O’ Reilly, who hung up her spurs after seventeen years of professional play.

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O’Reilly leaves the sport with two NCAA championships, three NWSL championships, three Olympic Gold Medals and one World Cup Championship. What a career.

COACHING CHANGE

Probably the biggest piece of news about the women’s team since the World Cup is the retirement of coach Jill Ellis. She left on top, which is the best way to do it, as one of the winningest coaches in football history.

Her replacement was viewed by just about everyone as the next logical choice. But he’s a man! GASP. I know! Czech-born Vlatko Andonovski has taken the reins of the USWNT and all I’ve heard so far is praise.

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That was interesting to me because I didn’t see much of a ripple at all when Jill Ellis left. I expected a little more friction from the women on the team, but all I’ve heard is gushing praise for Vlatko. Superstar Tobin Heath said that he’s already got her seeing the game “in a whole new light” which is shocking because she’s practically unstoppable already.

Vlatko is known as old school, but has a reputation for building positive environments and thinking as a players-first kind of leader. He’s well liked by all of his former players and spoken of very highly in soccer circles. He’s an NWSL two time coach of the year. And his stated goal is to really scour the soccer world for the best players, not only the professional ranks, but every college as well. This is a fairly looming concern as 12 members of the national team are age 30 or older.

On the field, he’s known as a tactician and sort of a player guru. He helped revitalize the careers of many players on the USWNT, including Becky Sauerbrunn and Ali Long. A former professional footballer himself, he’s known for pushing his teams to play “more sophisticated” soccer. Which basically means that he wants to build out from a predictable midfield center and focus on constant offensive pressure. And he isn’t hell bent about his defenders being offensive minded, so that opens the player pool up a bit more than it has been in the past few years.

And lastly, certain players will become more regular. With superstar Alex Morgan on maternity leave…(yes that’s right) 37 year old Carli Lloyd will have the first shot at center forward. Lloyd was uber classy about being a substitute on the World Cup Roster behind Morgan, but she’s very direct when asked about it. She thinks she’s the best in the world still and deserves to start. If you watch her play, honestly, it’s hard to disagree with her. Also, NWSL goal scoring superstar Lynn Williams, who couldn’t seem to crack the forwards under Ellis, will likely be more of a featured player, which is great because she’s siiiiick.

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And there will likely be more of an open competition at Keeper, which is good because Ashlyn Harris and Aubrey Bledsoe are both en fuego.


THE OLYMPIC ROSTER

The first mission for Vlatko was to announce the preliminary Olympic roster. The Olympic roster can be difficult for players because the Olympic team is smaller than the World Cup squad. But I liked what Vlatko did right out of the gate. These are the players that have been invited to camp and from here Vlatko will have to pick 18 on-field players rather than the 23 allowed for the WC.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 3/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 23/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 56/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 0/0), Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 52/0), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 169/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 30/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 38/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 86/7), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 93/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 77/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 36/10), Allie Long (Reign FC; 50/8), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 59/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 13/0)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 160/32), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 286/118), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 13/2), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 128/49), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 60/18), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 19/4)

This opening roster showed that the team was expanding a little to include some players that had not made the World Cup squad. While watching the NWSL this season I kept commenting to my daughter how great Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe looked. And Lo! She ended up winning goalkeeper of the year and making the Olympic roster. New blood is a good thing. Competition is a good thing for athletes. Players need to constantly have someone nipping at their heels to keep bringing their A game.

If you look at the roster, you’ll see two numbers after each player’s name. The first number is CAPS, which is the jargon for international games played. The second is international goals scored.

So anyone with 0/ is new blood. Bledsoe, Cook, Dorsey, and Purce are all looking for their first cap.

THE FRIENDLIES

Last week the US team played perennial rival Sweden in Vlatko’s first match as head coach and they picked up right where they left off. With Alex Morgan out indefinitely, Carli Lloyd got her chance to shine and she looked like a world beater. Christen Press took over right away, feeding Carli Llord for the first goal and scoring the second one all by herself. The third goal by Carli Lloyd, a live action chip over Sweden’s keeper, is about as beautiful as it gets. The touch is insane. Straight up insane. It was 3-0 USA at halftime. Then the subs came in and it all fell apart a little. The best thing about friendlies is assessing your talent against the best in the world. The best part of the US team was watching subbed out vets like Press and Heath and Ertz making fun of their teammates as the game came crashing down without them on the field. The match finished 3-2 but the US was lucky to get out alive. The Swedish team kept pouring it on, and god I love that Swedish team. (My dad is half Swedish so there’s skin in the game for me). It was so nice to see Sofia Jakobssen and Kosse Aslani and Stina Blackstenius and Hannah Glas and Caroline Seger and Lina Hurtig and Nilla Fischer. It’s a joke in our family how much we love goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. She’s awesome.

In the end, Vlatko gets his first win and the US gets the best wake up call of them all, one where you still come away with the victory.

Last weekend the US played Costa Rica, captained by former NCAA star Rocky Rodruigez and it was a different level of play altogether. The USA was dominant, scoring nearly at will.

The game ended up 6-0 but it could have been much worse.

UPCOMING

The dates have now been announced for the upcoming CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament teams and and match locations

Group A (matches played at BBVA Stadium in Houston, TX)

A1: USA
A2: Costa Rica
A3: Panama
A4: Haiti

Group B (matches played at HEB Park in Edinburg, TX)

B1: Canada
B2: Mexico
B3: Jamaica
B4: Saint Kitts and Nevis

OFFICIAL SCHEDULE

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
Costa Rica vs Panama
USA vs Haiti

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
Mexico vs Jamaica
Canada vs Saint Kitts and Nevis

Friday, January 31, 2020 - BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
Haiti vs Costa Rica
Panama vs USA

Saturday, February 1, 2020 - HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
Saint Kitts and Nevis vs Mexico
Jamaica vs Canada

Monday, February 3, 2020 - BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
Panama vs Haiti
USA vs Costa Rica

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
Jamaica vs Saint Kitts and Nevis
Canada vs Mexico

Friday, February 7, 2020 - Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA
SF1: 1B vs 2A
SF2: 1A vs 2B

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA
F: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

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This may very well be the face of American soccer in the future. Born in Brazil, Caterina Macario moved to the US at age 12 and now plays for Stanford. An absolute soccer phenom, she’s the reigning NCAA Mac Hermann Trophy winner.

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Word is that she’s filed papers with FIFA to be able to play for the USA but unless there’s some sort of exemption, the 20 year old won’t get to suit up for the USWNT until 2021. AGHHHH.

But when she does? Look out. Macario is an unstoppable striker who would already be among the best players in the world if citizenship wasn’t a barrier. Waiting for her is a bit like waiting for Michael Jordan. Despite many overtures from the Brazilian national team, Macario has said that she wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol Mia Hamm. So I say, once again, and probably not for the last time, thank god for Mia Hamm.

That’s where we stand with the team! It’s going to be a dark few months as winter comes on and soccer games disappear. In the meantime, enjoy this YouTuber who might be the only person who adores Christen Press as much as my daughter and I do. She has (currently) 16 five-ish minute long videos on her channel which are all a treat. Enjoy!

Warning: Lots of colorful language and very NSFW right off the bat!

THE SUPERSTARS THEMSELVES

Now let’s take a look at the players, so you can get to know them as well as their fans do.

Megan Rapinoe

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Omg this is so damm funny πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’«πŸ’«βš½οΈβš½οΈ@Uswnt #uswnt

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Big Megan Energy ✨ #uswnt #fdt

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On-field:

She’s currently a member of Reign FC out of Tacoma, Washington.
One of the best players in the world, playing at a ridiculously high level so late in her career

Off-field:

She’s a twin with her fraternal twin sister Rachael.
Her girlfriend is WNBA star Sue Bird.
She’s touring and doing interviews and in the spotlight like crazy. The biggest breakout crossover star of the World Cup, she views herself as an ‘entertainer’ more than even a soccer player these days.
She started clothing company Re-Inc with fellow players Christen Press, Tobin Heath and Meghan Klingenberg

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Alex Morgan

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- - - - - - - - - - #uswnt #meganrapinoe #incorrectquotes #tobinheath #preath #christenpress #alexmorgan #kelleyohara #emilysonnett #lindseyhoran #roselavelle #malpugh #allielong #ashlynharris #alikrieger #sammewis #worldcup #football #soccer #uswntmeme #incorrectuswnt #timesup #feminism #wlwmemes #wlw #lesbianmemes

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this video made me tear up sm, i love alex 😒 β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ #alexmorgan #uswnt #orlandopride #sweetvideo #throwback #am13 #tears #uswntplayer #olympics #wwc #nike #nikeathlete #inspiring #rolemodel #dream #dreamcometrue #cutevideo #soccer #woso #nwsl #california #13 #team #crying #oldvideo #orlando #pride #foward #nikesponsered

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Lmao πŸ’―

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On-field:

Wasn’t playing for her NWSL team Orlando Pride because of a ‘knee injury’
Crazy aggressive player who is a natural goal scorer and one of the true snipers on the planet

Off-field

Just told the world that she is pregnant with a baby girl that is due in April
Planning to have her baby and then riiiiiiide to Japan to play in the Olympics
Enjoying life with her husband Servando Carrasco and going on bike rides on the beach
Her best friends are Kelly O’ Hara & Allie Long
Alex Calls Kelly “Wormy”

Tobin Heath

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Tobin ☺️ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ … . . @alexmorgan13 @christenpress @emilysonnett @alikrieger @tobinheath @tierna_davidson @mrapinoe @lindseyhoran10 @reeba04 @lavellerose @malpugh @afranch23 @uswntplayers @kelleyohara @alyssanaeher @moebrian @sammymewyy @abbydahlkemper @carlilloyd @jmac1422 @allie_long_ @julieertz @cdunn19 … . . #emilysonnett #uswnt #christenpress #christenpress23 #christenpressfanpage #press23 #nwsl #tobinheath #preathisreal #kellyohara #fifa #carlilloyd #carlilloyd … … #emilysonnett #uswnt #christenpress #christenpress23 #christenpressfanpage #press23 #preathisreal #preath #tobinheath #tobintuesday #uswnt #uswntsoccer #uswntparade #alikrieger #ashlynharris #ashlynharris24 #lindseyhoran #worldcup2019 #worldcup #tobintuesday

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something to cheer us up. #tobinheath #uswnt #nwsl #soccer #skill #portlandthorns

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β™₯️β™₯️ ~ ~ ~ #christenpress #press #preath #tobinheath #heath #soccer #womenssoccer #womensfootball #football #uswnt #usasoccer #usawomenssoccer #usa #usaswe #sweusa #soccerplayer #footballplayer #tobinpress23 #christenpress23 #tobinheath17 #repost #fanaccount

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awww (I don’t own this photo) credit- @drive_x_strike #uswnt #christenpress #tobinheath #preath #preathisreal

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9.6.19 This shits cute. β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ #abbywambach #tobinheath #christenpress #alexmorgan #kelleyohara #uswnt #hopesolo #alikrieger #juliejohnston #julieeartz #ashlynharris #meganklingenberg #meganrapinoe #lindseyhoran #malpugh #roselavelle #nwsl #portlandthornsfc #uswnt #wwc #wwc2019 #allielong#alyssanaeher #crystaldunn #moebrian

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SO NO ONE IS GONNA TALK ABOUT THIS ??? ❀️❀️ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ #tobinheath #christenpress #nswl #soccer #fifa19 #womenssoccer #women #womenempowerment #womensworldcup #uswnt #football #malpugh #lindsayhoran #abbydahlkemper #beckysauerbrunn #emilysonnett #preathisreal #preath #adriannafranch #roselavelle #meganrapinoe #carlilloyd #socceredits #soccerskills #footwork #uswnt #re-inc #utahroyalsfc #portlandthornsfc #tobintuesday #beastmodesoccer

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On-field

Plays for Portland Thorns (my favorite other than Orlando)
Has possibly the sweetest feet in the game. I saw her kick a pass with the outside of her right foot to spin a through-shot to a teammate and curl it around a defender while running full speed.
Unselfish to a fault. Doesn’t shoot. SHOOT THE BALL TOBS!

Off-field

One half of PREATH. This is the group of rabid fans who ship her and international beauty Christen Press. There are subreddits of Preath. There are twitter and instagram accounts. People on the Preath bandwagon are sure that they’re more than best friends.
Re inc founder
Lives in Portland, OR (with Pressy?)
JUST CONFIRMED IN AFRICA ON SAFARI WITH PRESSY (And wearing Pressy’s number on her hat while Pressy was wearing Tobin’s # on her shorts…)

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Baecation looks good on them πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ … #christenpress #cp23 #tobinheath #th17 #baecation #preath #southafrica #safari #23 #nwsl #uswnt #utahroyals #portlandthorns #reinc #meganrapinoe #meghanklingenberg #demguns #malabeads #love

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Christen Press

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πšπš›πšŠπšŒπšŽπšπšžπš•πš•πš’ πš‹πšŽπšŠπšžπšπš’πšπšžπš•, 𝙸 πš“πšžπšœπš πšŒπšŠπš—’𝚝 πŸ’›πŸŒ» ||β€’ #christenpress #christenpress23 #23 #uswnt #nwsl #utahroyalsfc #worldcup

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Maaaaajor Erin Brockovich vibes happening here - The judge overseeing the USWNT’s discrimination case against US Soccer granted the team ✨class status✨ which is a bfd because the lawsuit can now include any player called up to training camp since 2015. . Judge Klausner also gave some hints to where his head is at on the dispute by affirming the women were paid less on a per game basis and had lesser working conditions than the USMNT (like how US Soccer chartered 17 flights for the men’s team in 2017 while the women’s team was stuck in coach) . Judge Klausner also threw out US Soccer’s *ABSURD* (his word not mine) claim that there was no discrimination since some top USWNT players outearned USMNT players….because the women had to do twice the amount of work to earn it. Typical. This is not the final ruling (the actual trial is in May) but it’s a good ass sign and will likely be the #motivation US Soccer needed to work out a settlement deal with the team… . #USWNT #WomensSoccer #woso #MeganRapinoe #AlexMorgan #CarliLloyd #TimesUp #TimesUpNow #Equalpay #Equality #ChristenPress #TobinHeath #AliKreiger #AshlynHarris #AllieLong #EmilySonnett #KelleyOhara #MalPugh #USSoccer #Preath #Krashlyn #NikeSoccer #JulieErtz #CaseyShort #RoseLavelle #LindseyHoran #Feminist #WildFeminist #FutureMillionHeirs

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some of my favorite moments from the game :) christen faking the corner and tobin almost scoring - - - - - #tobsxheath #tobinheath #uswnt #soccer #fifa #nwsl #woso #portlandthorns #throwback #thornsfc #ptfc #th17 #tobintuesday #worldcup #christenpress

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π‘“π‘’π‘π‘˜π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘ β„Žπ‘–π‘‘

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feeling a preath today so im glad these 2 lovely ladies exist in the worldπŸ₯°β€οΈπŸ’™βš½οΈ #preath

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On-field

Just got her 50th international goal for the US
Slays for Utah Royals
Has the best goal celebration (other than Pinoe)
Always smiling
Maybe the face of US soccer for the next half decade and the sport’s next goal scoring phenom

Off-field

The other half of PREATH.
Re inc founder
A Stanford graduate, she has a fierce intellect. Sadly, her personal blog, written by her, hasn’t been updated since 2015, but when you read it (pre-World Cup) and see her hopes and dreams of winning a World Cup? It’s pretty amazing.
Her outer loveliness is only superseded by her inner loveliness. After one game, a girl in the stands asked her to sign something for her and Pressy said hang on. She ran and got her coat, took off her game jersey under it, signed it and gave it to the little girl.
You will almost never catch her not smiling.


Emily “Saucy” Sonnett

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I’ve shaped my life’s work around becoming a meme- all it took was getting punched in the face

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Some videos of our favorite dancer @emilysonnett - - - #uswnt #nwsl #uswntsoccer #soccer #womenssoccer #emilysonnett #dance #justdance #fun #team #usa #gitdown #cowboyboogie #lovepartner #thegitup #thegitupchallenge #gitup #gitupchallenge

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This content is gold bitch β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ … . . @alexmorgan13 @christenpress @emilysonnett @alikrieger @tobinheath @tierna_davidson @mrapinoe @lindseyhoran10 @reeba04 @lavellerose @malpugh @afranch23 @uswntplayers @kelleyohara @alyssanaeher @moebrian @sammymewyy @abbydahlkemper @carlilloyd @jmac1422 @allie_long_ @julieertz @cdunn19 … . . #emilysonnett #uswnt #christenpress #christenpress23 #christenpressfanpage #press23 #nwsl #tobinheath #preathisreal #kellyohara #fifa #carlilloyd #carlilloyd … … #emilysonnett #uswnt #christenpress #christenpress23 #christenpressfanpage #press23 #preathisreal #preath #tobinheath #tobintuesday #uswnt #uswntsoccer #uswntparade #alikrieger #ashlynharris #ashlynharris24 #lindseyhoran #worldcup2019 #worldcup #tobintuesday

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no noπŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ•ΊπŸ½#emilysonnett #allielong #uswnt #soccer #football #campcontent #training

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Who’s more crazy: Kelley or Sonnett πŸ˜‚?? Oh and sorry Instagram ruined some of the quality.

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9.12.19 Here’s Emily forcing Tobin to give her a high five after a rough game. [ πŸ“· wosoisgay on tumblr. ] β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ #abbywambach #tobinheath #christenpress #alexmorgan #kelleyohara #uswnt #hopesolo #alikrieger #juliejohnston #julieeartz #ashlynharris #meganklingenberg #meganrapinoe #lindseyhoran #malpugh #roselavelle #nwsl #portlandthornsfc #uswnt #wwc #wwc2019 #allielong#alyssanaeher #crystaldunn #moebrian

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That was jus fucked up Rodriguez screaming at sonnet’s face πŸ™„butt angry Lindsey and angry Tobs came and rescue her πŸ˜‚β€οΈ#preath #preathisreal #lindseyhoran #tobinheath #christenpress #amyrodriguez

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her face I can't! I love sonny w my whole heart - creds to klleyoharas on tumblr - #emilysonnett #utahroyalsfc #portlandthorns #nwsl #uswnt

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On-field

Super aggressive defender
Has a knack for yanking people over and then looking around like she has no idea what happened.
And equal opportunity enforcer, she also pulled Pressy down in one game vs The Royals, but set her down gently.
Has been playing super high (down the field towards the opponent’s goal) lately
Plays for Portland Thorns

Off-field

Sonny may very well be the heart of the US Team. She’s relatively unknown compared to many of the bigger names on the team, but she’s insanely popular with die hard fans and her teammates. It’s a little nuts how much we love Sonny.
Troublemaker.
Known as the “third wheel” in every best friend group.
Cackles on the reg
Hung out with Kelly O’Hara for like a week and posted everything on Instagram
Great dancer
Makes memes like a pro
No one but sports announcers call her ‘Emily’.

Mal Pugh

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“I’m 21!” πŸ˜‚ The @uswnt’s parade is underway in NYC and it’s already lit!

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bigggggg fans of the hoodies and of course @flyprvt

A post shared by Mallory Pugh (@malpugh) on

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Who else wants to recreate this with me??

A post shared by USWNT (@memeswithuswnt) on

On-field

Plays for Washington Spirit
Amazing Goals
Loves to hug people after she scores

Off-field

Jokes that she’s always eating
Her best friend is Lindsay Horan. They have a language where they go Meep meep at each other.
Super goofy
Boyfriend is Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson

Lindsey Horan

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The Great Horan and CP23 πŸ‘ΈπŸΌπŸ‘ΈπŸ½

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oh lindseyπŸ˜‚ @lindseyhoran10 #equalplayequalpay

A post shared by ⚽️β™₯️ (@uswnt.8) on

On-field

Plays for Portland Thorns
Is a brick wall
Dominant two-way midfielder

Off-field

One of her old coaches body shamed her and she just came out about it
Her best friend is Mal Pugh
Loves flipping suitcases (check insta)


Carli Lloyd

On-field

Started playing before video was in HD
Literally one of the best players on the team, in the country and in the world
She really wanted more playing time in the World Cup but stayed classy throughout
Amazing goal scorer
Plays for Sky Blue FC

Off-field

Married
Always pushing her body
Takes a 15 minute ice bath after every practice no matter what
Prides herself on her level of fitness
Confident
Very intelligent
Kicked a football field goal 55 yards for NFL teams in practice
The “mom” of the team. She doesn’t get involved with all the silly nonsense of the younger players and does all the honorary stuff like presenting balls to new cappers.

Sam Mewis

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Sry for being inactive. I've been busy with school and friends and all! I promise I'll be more active Β° Β° Β° Β° #mewis #sammewis #uswnt #roselavelle #emilysonnett #Lindseyhoran #malpugh #mallorypugh #ashlynharris #alikrieger #alexmorgan #allielong #kelleyohara #fun #USWNT #nwsl #woso #EqualPay #fourstars #cute #womensoccer #bff #bitches #bestbitches #northcarolinacourage #WashingtonSpirit #portlandthorns #ptfc #USWNT23

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Happy birthday @sammymewyy thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter to everyone ⚽️ #uswnt #tobinheath #alexmorgan #meganrapinoe #christenpress #soccer #ashlynharris #kelleyohara #allielong #alikrieger #sammewis #roselavelle #lindseyhoran #crystaldunn #nwsl #carlilloyd #julieertz #emilysonnett #malpugh #adriannafranch #alyssanaeher #wwc #ussoccer #beckysauerbrunn #worldcup #mallorypugh #usa #uswntsoccer

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Wishing the happiest birthday to this cutie @sammymewyy πŸŽ‚bless @ashlynharris24 for this content πŸ˜‚ … … #sammewis #uswnt #uswntedit #uswntsoccer #uswntmemes #uswntedits #uswntπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #uswntplayers #uswntfunny #wordcup #womensworldcup #worldchampionship #champion #womensoccer #soccer #ashlynharris

A post shared by I am soccer ⚽️ (@uswntxnwsl) on

On-field

Sam is 6’0” tall
Confident and amazing at soccer
In fact, statistical analysis shows that she was the best player from any team in the World Cup.
In 2018 she took a ‘Soccer I.Q.’ test and placed in the top 1% in the world for both men and women.
Plays for North Carolina Courage who won the playoffs
Rose Lavelle is her best friend

Off-field

Just had a birthday recently (hilarious picture on insta)
Super fun and goofy
LOVES TO READ

Ali Krieger

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My edit, this is my first time to do something like that, I hope you like it πŸ’œ If you think this is too bad, please tell me the truth! Thank you guys! #ashlynharris #alikrieger #krashlyn #orlandopride #uswnt

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She very busy.. leave a message. #kriegergotakeeper

A post shared by Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) on

On-field

Gets pissed when people don’t follow her directions
Plays for Orlando but is out right now for knee surgery
Fierce defender
Ash accidently kicked her and they had a hilarious feud on twitter

Off-field

One half of KRASHLYN, her ship name with fiance Ashlyn Harris
How popular is KRASHLYN? Well, they just landed their own television show called ‘Girlstar’ on HBO!
Getting married in December to Ashlyn Harris
Ashlyn is so popular that sometimes fans don’t recognize her and ask her to take pictures of them and Ash
Always moving - always at a gala or helping people
Her and Ash are partnered with Tag Heuer #DontCrackUnderPressure

Rose Lavelle

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rose and her gummiesπŸ˜‚ @lavellerose #equalplayequalpay

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Rose Lavelle appreciation post we LOVEE her πŸŒΉπŸ‘πŸΌ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ β€’ #roselavelle #washingtonspirit #uswnt #funnyvideo #dancing #favoriteplayer #fifawwc #uswntplayer #uswntvideo #4stars #champion #goalscorer #dancingvideo #soccerplayer #soccer #rose #lavelle #cincinnati #throwback #cooking #thespirit #rolemodel

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LiNdSeY!!! ~ rose #lindseyhoran #roselavelle #uswnt #scare #football #soccer #roombuddies

A post shared by worms and janiceπŸ› (@abbydahlkemperstan) on

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They’re actually hilarious when they suddenly become like children πŸ˜‚ (second slide). Oh and the last slide.. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR 1K!!! I AM SO GLAD I’M PUTTING A SMILE ON 1,000 FACES!!!! As you can see I did an edit! But a lot of you have been saying I should meet a player and in fact, I got tickets to an Orlando Pride vs Sky blue game this weekend! Not only that but I will most likely be going to the game on October 6 of the uswnt vs Korea and I’m thinking of doing something that I think will be really cool. Stay tuned!

A post shared by USWNT (@memeswithuswnt) on

On-field

Rose has a chance to be the single best player in the entire world. That’s the kind of talent she has. She can do it all and makes it look effortless. With a little more confidence she’ll get there.
Plays for Washington Spirit

Off-field
Hails from Cincinnatti
Loves inspiring little girls
Her best friend is Sam Mewis

Abby Dahlkemper

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Time to laughπŸ˜‚β€ #uswnt πŸ“½from @jmac1422 story

A post shared by AND THAT'S THE TEA🐸 (@snipermorgan13) on

On-field

Amazing defender
A forceful player who is fearless in scrums and never seems to make mental errors
Plays for North Carolina Courage


Off-field

Super nice
Tough on herself
Little story: my daughter flew to the NWSL championship game with a friend and was hoping to get an autograph but she’s not really a push-to-the-front-of-the-crowd kind of person. Abby Dahlkemper saw her away from the crowd a little and came up to her in the stands and asked if she wanted a picture. Made my daughter’s day. What a jewel Abby is.

Becky Sauerbrunn

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A goal fit for a πŸ‘‘ #UTAvPOR #NWSL

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On-field

Amazing defender
Plays for Utah Royals
A warrior

Off-field

Loves cats
Super demanding on herself
bright and articulate
Avid reader
self described “nerd”
Video gamer

Jessica McDonald

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Not too bad of a year, kid. Not too bad…..

A post shared by Jessica McDonald (@jmac1422) on


On-field

Fierce
Super fast
Amazing goal scorer
Plays for North Carolina Courage

Off-field

Only USWNT player with a child (not for long though)
Amazing mom


Crystal Dunn

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2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣ #19 already is a special number, but this will definitely be one of my most memorable years! πŸ†πŸ₯‡

A post shared by Crystal Dunn (@cdunn19) on

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I’m definitely going to the gym with crystal just to watch her new gym dance πŸ˜‚πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ #crystaldunn #gymdance #grind #lol #northcarolina #nwsl #carolinacourage #uswnt #soccer #dancelessons #moves #bustdown #gains #legs #legday #heavyweight #thunderthighs #funnyvideo #dancingvideo

A post shared by @ uswntjitts on

On-field

Tough, hard-nosed player who hustles like crazy
Used to play in England for Chelsea
Currently plays for North Carolina Courage
Got injured in the final

Off-field

She’s a riot
Naturally joyful person
Amazing dancer
Smart and intuitive

Allie Long

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Forgive me NY, for I have sinned. (for the 49,504 fans who showed up that was for you)

A post shared by Allie Long (@allie_long_) on

On field:

Aggressive
Does a crazy flying bird thing when she scores
Plays for Reign FC

Off-field

Super funny
Can be chill/crazy
Screams forever when scared
Alex Morgan and Kelly O’Hara are her best friends

Tierna Davidson

On-field

Great defender
Great at kicking corners
Plays for Chicago Red Stars
Didn’t play in the final or the friendly game because of an injury

Off-field

20 years old
Youngest on the team
Super sweet

Kelley O’Hara

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i want her to be playing so bad:(

A post shared by ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@uswntbaesx) on

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good day today y’all πŸ˜‡

A post shared by ✌️ (@wosothorns17) on

On-field

Most aggressive person on the team
Will do anything to get the ball
Plays for Utah Royals
Still has a hurt ankle

Off-field

Is Sonnett’s mentor
Super hyper
Alex Morgan and Ali Long are her best friends
Kelly calls Alex Morgan “Janice” and is trying to get her to name her baby Janice Jr.

Julie Ertz

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They say home is where the πŸ’š is.

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On-field

A wall of muscle
Phenomenal at set pieces and dangerous with her headers
Super strong
Always gets up after getting fouled
Plays for Chicago Red Stars

Off-field

Married to Philadephia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz
Her best friend is Crystal Dunn


Alyssa Naeher

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What a journey this has been. Words can’t describe all the emotions. I wouldn’t have wanted to go through this experience with anyone else! WE are World Champs! #23 πŸ†πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #France2019

A post shared by Alyssa Naeher (@alyssanaeher) on

On-field

Played all the world cup
Defining moment when she saved the penalty kick in the semi-final vs England
Is still amazing but miiiight be slowing down a little
Plays for Chicago Red Stars

Off-field

Very focused
No funny business
Totally non-showy.

Ashlyn Harris

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LABOUR DAY!!!πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

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πŸ›‘πŸ›‘πŸ›‘ @ashlynharris24 denies Abby Dahlkemper from the spot! #NCvORL #NWSL

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πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¦πŸ‡·πŸ‘‡πŸ» . πŸ‡«πŸ‡· J’ai vraiment un gros coup de cΕ“ur sur cette photo !! . πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ I really have a big crush on this photo !! . πŸ‡¦πŸ‡· Estoy realmente enamorado de esta foto !! . #krashlyn #krashlynisreal #alikrieger #ashlynharris #loveislove #love #orlandopride #orlando #ussoccer #uswnt #nwsl #onenationoneteam #pride #florida #wedding #december #training

A post shared by Mrs Krieger Harris πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ (@aliash_kriegerharris) on

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🦈 ANOTHA ONE 🦈 The Week 24 NWSL Save of the Week! #SKOPURP

A post shared by Orlando Pride (@orlpride) on

On-field

Awesome goalie
Super aggressive
Plays for Orlando
Is crazy intimidating when she wears black

Off-field

ASHLYN HARRIS, BITCH! (She says this like Rick James)
Co-star of upcoming HBO show ‘GirlStar”
Super confident
All tatted up
Doesn’t care what anyone thinks
Always doing something
KRASHLYN
Best instagram page

Morgan Brian

On-field

Midfielder
Plays for Chicago Red Stars

Off-field

Super funny
*find video of her carrying boxes and then someone knocks them over
Is married

Adrianna Franch

Goalie
Strong, intentional, powerful keeper
Plays for Portland Thorns
2017 NWSL Goalkeeper of the year

Off-field

Grew up in Kansas
Deeply thoughtful
Utterly sincere
There’s something so awesome about A.D. She’s such a warrior in the net and low key one of the most amazing players on the team


NICKNAMES

Megan Rapinoe: Pinoe
Alex Morgan: Janice (by Kelley)
Tobin Heath: Tobs, Toby, and Harry (by Allie)
Christen Press: Pressy and CP
Emily Sonnett: Saucy Sonny, Dasani, Sonnet
Mal Pugh: pew pew
Lindsey Horan: THE GREAT HORAN
Carli Lloyd: Carlos
Sam Mewis: Sammy and Mewy
Ali Krieger: Kriegs
Jess McDonald: JMAC
Crystal Dunn: Dunny
Allie Long: Harry (by Tobin)
Tierna Davidson: T
Kelley O’Hara: Ms. Kelley, (by Sonnett) Worms or Wormy (by Alex)
Ashlyn Harris: Ash
Morgan Brian: Moe
Adrianna Franch: A.D.

Aaaaaaaand that’s everything you need to know about the greatest team in human history. Follow them on social media. Cheer for them. Buy their jerseys. Watch their games. Back them in their fight for equal pay. They embody all of the hope of America’s future, both on and off the field. The more you get to know the women of the USWNT, the more you love them.

Thanks for making it this far and I’ll keep the updates coming as we near the Olympics!



Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.


Image sources (in order of posting): Getty Images, Instagram, NWSL


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