BOOK REVIEW The National Team

A great primer for the 2019 Women’s World Cup!

The 1999 USA women’s soccer team did what no one would have thought possible just a few years earlier, and that included the players:  capture the attention of the nation, and bring the spotlight to soccer in the United States. Names like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Brianna Scurry, and of course the image of Brandi Chastain celebrating the winning PK against China are all iconic.

And today’s stars like Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe are all fixtures for the US team heading to France this summer, hoping to capture American hearts all over again this summer.

How did the National Team grow so much in 30 years?

None of this would have been possible 30 years ago. In fact, before 1985, there was no women’s national team. And before 1991, there was no Women’s World Cup. The rise of the game and it’s quality of play, and it’s stars did not happen by accident. And it did not happen easily.

In her brand new book, The National Team, Caitlin Murray traces the history of the women who created, and continue to advance the game. Drawing on her experiences as a journalist covering the game, Murray interviews almost 100 key figures to tell the complete history of the US Women’s National Team.   

This is a very well-written book, of course, gives the history on-the-field from the team’s formation in 1985 to a post-Olympic friendly in 2017. Murray describes key points in games and behind-the-scenes preparation in the USA’s 3 World Cup and 4 Olympics championships.

What these women did off the field will blow you away

But The National Team is more about the off-the-field struggles, challenges, and victories than the on-the-field results. This is a book about the women who followed their passion, stood up for their rights, and took risks trying to make a living from the game they loved.  

For me, this part was the most surprising and frustrating, but also the most inspiring.  If you love soccer and the US Women’s National team, the underdog, and people who fight the good fight, this book is a must-read. If you don’t, this book might win you over.

Sound good? Buy the book to read all the details.