Soccer followers are wanting ahead to the return of superstars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan on the 2023 FIFA Girls’s World Cup, however the U.S. girls’s nationwide workforce can be filled with extraordinarily gifted rookies.
The 2023 squad — which has 14 first-timers on its 23-person roster — has a median age of 28. That’s been true for the previous three editions of the World Cup, however the “veterans” this 12 months are nonetheless comparatively younger. Captain Lindsey Horan is simply 29, which her teammate Lynn Williams joked is “historical.”
“I feel this needs to be the youngest workforce that we’ve ever had,” Horan mentioned throughout a June interview on Williams’ “Snacks” podcast. That’s not fairly true — the 1991 workforce had a median age of 23 — however she’s proper that the 2023 squad is unusually inexperienced.
Sophia Smith, who signed with the Portland Thorns in 2020, made headlines earlier this 12 months when she revealed that she’s by no means used a CD participant. “A track will come on and Crystal [Dunn] will likely be like, ‘Soph, have you learnt who sings this?’” Smith, 22, advised Fox Sports activities forward of the match. “And I’m like, ‘No.’ And will probably be Tupac or one thing or somebody I’m presupposed to know.”
Naomi Girma, in the meantime, was shocked to study that Morgan, 34, as soon as had to make use of paper printouts from MapQuest with a view to discover her approach to video games.
Generational variations apart, the youthful gamers are thrilled to study from athletes they grew up watching at house. “I can’t imagine I’m enjoying with gamers that I’ve appeared as much as my entire life,” Alyssa Thompson advised ESPN on July 6. “After I got here in, each single participant I used to be like, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s her in actual life.’ Actually each single participant, I used to be like, ‘Whoa, I can’t imagine I’m right here.’”
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Earlier than the USWNT faces off towards on Vietnam on Friday, July 21, meet the 14 gamers making their World Cup debut this 12 months: