The United States Women’s Soccer Team is slated to take on The Netherlands on Sunday (July 7) and four of the squad’s members will be bringing their Black Girl Magic to the world’s stage.
Crystal Dunn, Adrianna Franch, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press and Mallory Pugh have all been major contributors to the U.S. team’s impressive run, defeating Thailand, Chile, Sweden, Spain, France and most recently England on Tuesday.
Below is just a little about each woman and how they may make an impact during Sunday’s World Cup Final.
The majority of scoring during the World Cup for the Americans has come from Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, however left back Crystal Dunn has been able to use her speed and endurance to prevent scoring opportunities on the other side of the ball.
A native of Long Island, Dunn will almost certainly start on Sunday. It’ll be her sixth time in seven tournament matches that she’ll be on the field when the opening whistle blows and is a part of a back line that did not concede a goal during three Group F matches. The 2019 World Cup comes just three years after Crystal Dunn’s first big international endeavor, the Olympics, during which the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals.
The Kansas-born goalie has assumed a minor role on the U.S. Women’s team so far but her merits leading up until this point are impressive. Franch is the first Oklahoma State alum to make the U.S. Women’s National Team and was named the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 and 2018, making her the only player ever to win the award twice.
The 31-year-old forward is a champion on and off the field. Mother to her seven-year-old son Jeremiah, McDonald said recently before a practice that she’s giving her all for her country and her family. “I’m out here not just representing the state I am from, not just my family name, not just the United States, but all the moms out there,” she said Wednesday (July 3). “That’s super cool for me.”
A Glendale, Arizona native, it isn’t likely McDonald will take the field as she primarily serves as a practice player, however her pre-game role is an important one. Her vigorous effort in practice is what gets the American team ready for their competition. So far, Jessica McDonald has made eight appearances in world competition and scored two goals.
A littleton, Colorado native, Mallory Pugh has seen some action during the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The forward has appeared in three matches, scoring once and assisting in another goal.
What’s amazing about Pugh though is her development at such a young age. At 17, she was called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team, making her the youngest player to debut for the USA in the last 11 years. So far, Mallory Pugh has represented the United States at two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Tournaments and was the youngest member of the team at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Expect to see more greatness from her in future world competitions.
A native of Palos Verdes Estates, California, Press has accounted for 49 goals and 30 assists in her 123 games played for Team USA. She's also the all-time leading scorer in Stanford University history knocking in 71 goals during her time in college.