I am a HUGE US Women’s National Soccer Team fan. Like fangirl level. Like little 8 year old girl in the stands who looks like she might die right then and there, fan. I watch nearly every game, try to go to as many games in person as I can, and own who knows how many shirts and jerseys.
This obsession has been ongoing since I can remember. Watching my idol(and still idol to this day) Mia Hamm run rampant on the field, the chills I got(and still get every. single. time.) as I watched the ’99 World Cup, and the tears of joy and heartache after each big win and loss, are some of the most vivid memories and moments I have had in my 26 years of life.
If the US is playing a friendly match, you can bet my DVR is set if I can’t watch it live. If the US is playing in an international tournament, you can bet my DVR is set, and I have also stopped whatever I am doing, wherever I am, to seek out a TV and watch.
Why though? Why am I and many other people, both male and female of all ages, so obsessed and invested in this team?? What makes them so irresistible to even people who have little interest in soccer? It may just be my rose colored glasses, but it seems as if no other USA team captures the hearts of our country like the USWNT does.
Here’s my list of why I believe many of us have such a love affair with the group currently known as “The Gals”.
- They are GOOD… I love the men’s team as well, but they just don’t match up when it comes to international success. 3 World Cup Titles 4 Olympic Gold Medals, and many more international tournament titles. We have dominated international women’s soccer since it started.
- They are good and do it with STYLE… The way the USWNT plays is unlike any other team in the world. Fast pace, pressure, high scoring, passionate, skillful, and always dramatic in big moments. Whether it is winning by PK’s, winning on last second goals (see Abby Wambach in the 2011 WC against Brazil *chills*), or scoring midfield goals in the WC final against Japan (See Carli Lloyd’s amazing performance to lead the team to their 3rd World Cup Title in 2015). They get you to watch because they win, but the way they do it keeps you watching game after game and year after year.
- They are attractive… We all know it. And we all know this is why they initially get attention from many viewers. This often times leads to an appreciation for their badassness, so I am okay with it. For those of you who only watch because you think they are hot and do not appreciate the skill and heart shown on that field…shame on you.
- They are INSPIRING… Name a team who has captured the hearts and minds of so many little girls (and boys) in recent memory like the USWNT has. You can’t.
- They represent GIRL POWER… Obama said it himself when the team visited the White House after winning the 2015 WC, “This team taught all America’s children that “playing like a girl” means you’re a badass.” They give girls the courage to go out there and play with the boys. To beat the boys. And to hold their own and stand up for themselves. To see more about their visit to the White House, and what Obama had to say about how they represent girl power, check this out http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2015/10/27/9621552/president-obama-uswnt-us-womens-soccer-team-white-house-playing-like-a-girl-means-youre-a-badass
More to come. Did you really think I could fit everything into one post??