Soccer….Family Style


Girl Fight
November 27, 2010, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

1999 was one of those blissful pre-kid, pre-business owner years for me, when I could pick up and go to soccer games whenever I wanted, and I was a newly minted US soccer ultra fan, despite our performance in 1998 France World Cup. I wanted to see as many Women’s World Cup games as I could. My mom had a contact in New Jersey that was able to get us tickets to the opening match, which remains the only game I’ve seen with my mom (and I wasn’t even that rowdy at that game!)

That was all it took. I was hooked on the Women’s World Cup and continued on to games in Chicago and the final in Pasadena. Americans clearly loved soccer, but I remember talking with my travel buddies that night as we relaxed around the hotel pool after the final about how this was quite possibly the pinnacle for the USWNT. We hypothesized that it was only a matter of time until the rest of the world caught up to our skill level, and an unknown whether the US could support a professional women’s soccer league.

So here we are, eleven years later. Women’s professional soccer has sputtered and struggled along over the last decade. And the USWNT had become so dominant, that I think people forgot to support them. I took my daughter to a USWNT World Cup game in 2003, but I haven’t traveled the world for them as I have the Men’s team (there are limits to money and vacation time after all). We assumed that the US Women would qualify for 2011 Germany, and we’d go visit family and see them there.

Then, the unthinkable happened. We didn’t advance. And now we’re playing for our WWC lives today in Chicago. In our family, we’ve decided it’s time to start supporting the Women’s game, and I know we’re not alone. It’s fun to read women’s soccer fans learning about American Outlaws, and awesome to see American Outlaws coming out to support not just the USMNT. It makes me proud, as a soccer fan and a mother to a daughter that America has woken up to the fact that we can’t just assume our domination of the Women’s game anymore. And now that Mia has retired, we still have some amazing women playing for us, and not just Kristine Lilly (the woman I named my daughter after).

So today, while I dedicate myself to running my retail store on Small Business Saturday, my husband is taking the kids to Chicago with a few other American Outlaws to support US Women’s Soccer. I am very much there in spirit, and hope you will join me in paying a little more attention to the Women’s game. Today. Next Summer. At your local soccer games. We have to encourage our girls to stick with soccer, and continue to build our player and referee development programs for girls. We can’t afford to turn our backs on the rest of the world creeping up behind us any longer. And to the women it has been a pleasure to watch for the last 11+ years, you go girls…all the way to Germany.

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[…] we are, competitive to a fault. Now Americans assume that USWNT will qualify for the World Cup, and we’re shocked when they don’t with […]

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