U.S. Women's Soccer Team: What Success Looks Like Now
When they take the field at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada starting June 6, the U.S. Women's Soccer team—including (pictured below, from left) captain Christie Rampone, 39, and players Sydney Leroux, 25, Christen Press, 26, Abby Wambach, 34, and Morgan Brian, 22—is favored to take home the trophy. After all, they are loaded with experience (it will be Rampone's fifth World Cup) and scoring precision (Wambach holds the world record for most goals, for a male or female). But it's their teamwork that really sings: "We're always fighting for each other," says Rampone. "We want everybody to be happy and successful. You look at your teammate and you're just like, I'm not letting her down."
Why they're stronger together: "You can't find success alone," says Wambach. "Whether you are the CEO of a company or a professional soccer player, you need people around you to help you achieve. My teammates have taught me so much—not just about the game but also how far I can push my own limits."
How a Loss helps Them Win: "I used to be so focused on winning, I had a really hard time enjoying soccer," says Press. "If I missed a shot, I would spend a lot of time thinking about how I'd disappointed my teammates. Then I learned how moments of struggle make you stronger." Brian agrees: "It's good to lose sometimes. It makes you want to come back and play even harder, because you know there's another level to reach out there." Regardless of the score, says Rampone, "If you're not fulfilled and happy, it's not a success."
Their definition of success: "Our team is really putting ourselves in a position to win the World Cup," says Wambach. "Does that mean we have to play perfectly? No. But if we can trust each other and leave everything—all our hearts—out on the field, I think we're going to have something to come home to and cheer about."
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Photo Credit: Jason Bell