SheBelieves Cup & Why the USWNT is so Important

In case you guys don’t follow me on social media, or just don’t know in general, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team is once again headed to the World Cup! In 2019, this team will be up to defend the title they won four years ago, and this time they are headed to France.

Right now, the women are in their own tournament titled the “SheBelieves Cup”. The last game of the tournament will be played tonight (March 5th) at 6:00pm. The USWNT will take on Brazil in what is supposed to be their toughest match.

The “SheBelieves Cup” was created in 2016, a year after the US women won the World Cup in Canada. The whole concept of this tournament comes from the idea of women and girls having success on and off field. The goal is to give encouragement to the dreams and goals of women and girls in a world full of outdated gender norms. The campaign started in 2015 leading up to the World Cup, but since then has become so much more.

I remember sitting in the living room with my sister watching the pre-World Cup ads and getting emotional. It was the first time that either of us had seen a group of women, that we so looked up to, creating a worldwide movement for the sport we both love. The previous year, my high school soccer team won our state tournament. While it was awesome for our small soccer community, the rest of the people around us didn’t quite understand it. That sucked. We had worked so hard for something, succeeded, and were still just another group of girls.

Then the World Cup happened and my soccer hopes were once again lifted. The women had won and were bringing the title back to the United States. Since then, women’s soccer has been at an all time high in this country. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is consistently selling out full stadiums as well as inspiring younger generations of soccer players.

This year’s “SheBelieves Cup” invited the teams of England, Brazil, and Japan to the U.S. to compete and prepare for the trip to France in June.

During the USWNT’s second game of this tournament, they wore special jerseys that further develop the concept of female empowerment.

Names like Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), Mia Hamm, Carrie Underwood, Sally Ride, Serena Williams, and Beyoncé adorned the backs of these jerseys. Each player picked a woman who inspired their own dreams and honored them in their game against England. Even now, as a 20 year-old who doesn’t have the opportunity to compete in soccer at the level I used to, I was inspired and warmed to my core. Women supporting women; what could be better than that?

One of US Soccer greats, Mia Hamm, once said, “Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her.” This tournament and team is for that little girl, and for many more to come.

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