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The National Team

The National Team

National Team: the Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer by Caitlin Murray is a must read for any fans of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT).

Which, obviously, I am. Here’s my 2003 AYSO soccer card:


(Read my essay in Kveller on why the USWNT is more than just a soccer team.)

I read The National Team earlier this spring, but am only now catching up on my review. In the excitement of the World Cup, and the new spotlight on the team’s fight for gender equality, this is vital reading. Have you become obsessed with Megan Rapinoe? Learn about all the players that paved the way before her.

Murray, a soccer journalist, expertly lays out the history of the team’s fight for equality. She interviews players, coaches, observers, and so many others to build a compelling narrative of where the team has been and where they want to go. It is a history of the team — from the 1980s to the present — but also the stories of all the individuals who pushed the team forward.

Brandi Chastain, the iconic USWNT player, blurbed the book. She wrote: “Reading The National Team, I couldn’t help but laugh, cry, smile, and have an overall warm feeling. I enjoyed it so much I had to force myself to put it down because I didn’t want it to end. Caitlin Murray has done a wonderful job sharing the history, personal stories, and memories of the national team.”

Since reading it, I began following Caitlin Murray on Twitter. She shares important news about the USWNT, like the $731,003 pay gap in World Cup bonuses, and has been the go-to writer for analyses of the team.

“For years Rapinoe and her colleagues have been doing the most patriotic things athletes can do: Not only have they’ve been winning World Cups and Olympic gold medals for the United States, they’ve managed it all while fighting for equality — in sports and society at large,” she recently wrote in NBC News.

If you have any interest in the World Cup, the USWNT, or women’s soccer, this book is worth your time.

Rating: ★★★★★

Get it here https://amzn.to/2ZZlhxi

The Memory Police

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