#SheBelieves – Woman's World Cup Kick Off

By Chelsea Irvine

Chelsea Irvine
Chelsea Irvine

Some of my fondest memories are kicking a ball around the grassy expanse of a soccer field, basking in the sunshine with my teammates.  Some of my best friends to this day became my friends over halftime orange slices and year end pizza parties.  We were even lucky enough to catch a Women’s World Cup qualifier game in San Jose and I remember it like it was yesterday.  Team USA was badass and those women were role models for us young girls.  To see them out on the field representing our country was awe-inspiring.

During the 2011 Women’s World Cup, we watched in agony as Team USA made it to the finals only to fall to China in penalty kicks after a draw in regular time and two overtime halves.

It’s 2015 and we have redemption on the line.

The Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 takes place Saturday, June 6 to Sunday, July 5.  Much relief to my fellow soccer fans and me, Canada sits at a similar time zone, so Team USA games are perfectly situated during our “happiest” of hours, right after work.  I’d like to personally thank whomever slipped a fin to FIFA President Blatter to ensure we wouldn’t have to wake up before the sun to view our women kick some ass.  (Although, a big shoutout to Capital Garage and DeVere’s for being open at such ungodly hours during the Men’s World Cup 2010 in South Africa.  And bonus points for mimosas at 5:00am with no judgmental stares to go with them.)

While I understand that women’s sports are often seen as underwhelming, I challenge you to watch just one game and not immediately send an Outlook calendar invite to your friends to watch the next one with you.

As many of you saw, the Men’s World Cup in 2014 was a huge draw in California and throughout the US.  Undoubtedly, this was a great economic boost for local restaurants and bars showing the games.  I remember spending some of our 4th of July vacation time in San Diego not on the beach, but cheering on our boys in crowded oceanfront bars filled with rowdy #TEAMUSA followers. One can only hope that our local establishments will show that love for the best of the best of women’s soccer.

We see the Republic games sell out nearly every time, so we know there are soccer fans out there.  (Side note: If any you Republic players are reading this, how about some cameos at our favorite local pubs to help us cheer on our ladies?  #24, I’m looking at you.)

The full Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 schedule can be found here:  http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/index.html

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/officialussoccer

Insta: @ussoccer_wnt

Twitter: @ussoccer_wnt #USWNT #OneNationOneTeam

Hashflags: #USA #SheBelieves

Fun facts:

  • The United States Women’s National Team has been one of the best national teams in the history of women’s soccer, having won:
    • Two World Cups in 1991 and 1999
    • Four Olympic gold medals in 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012
    • Nine Algarve Cups in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013
  • Team USA has participated in all six FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and they are the only team to have reached the semi-finals of each tournament:
    • Team USA won the inaugural Women’s World Cup at China PR 1991
    • Eventual champions Norway knocked out the Americans at Sweden 1995
    • USA secured their second championship on home soil in 1999
    • They took third at USA 2003 and China 2007
    • Four years ago they succumbed to Japan on penalties in the Final of Germany 2011
  • With her five goals in the game between USA and Chinese Taipei at the FIFA Women’s World Cup China PR 1991™, Michelle Akers is still the highest goal scorer in a single match.  Named FIFA Player of the Century in 2000, Akers was capped 153 times and scored 105 goals. A two-time Women’s World Cup winner, Akers has scored goals 12 times during 13 appearances across three competitions.

 

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