I have been a fan of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team for years. However I’ve rarely, if ever, found myself sitting down to watch a National Women’s Soccer League match.
Part of the reason is I simply don’t watch much soccer that’s based in the US, unless it’s to do with one of our national teams. The other is that until recently, NWSL hasn’t been given a fair shake by networks and hasn’t crossed enough people’s radars. Part of that is likely due to bias toward men’s sports. But part is also on the individual.
I haven’t sought it out because I’ve grown up in this perpetual motion of men’s sports, and the toxic masculinity that goes with putting them on a pedestal. Yet there are some incredible women playing the game within this country, and I’m ashamed I haven’t given them my attention until now. I acknowledge that I have been ignorant, and I’m working to correct that.
The first step in correcting this is above, and the next step is “doing”.
I’m on a journey between now and April 9th, when the NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off. On that journey, I’m going to research each of the 10 teams in the league, learn their styles and histories, and come out the other end throwing my support behind someone.
I watch my beloved Tottenham Hotspur at every opportunity I get. And I’m excited that their women’s team will be hosting the North London Derby at the end of this month in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium instead of their regular home, The Hive. I briefly got to cheer for Alex Morgan on the Spurs when she spent a bit of time on loan there over the winter.
A slew of other USWNT mainstays have traveled across the pond to play in the Women’s Super League in England. But I want to focus here at home. And since my hometown no longer has a team within the league (RIP Boston Breakers) I need to direct my fandom elsewhere.
Now I want to find that passion for a team within the NWSL. I hope you’ll join me on my journey to discovering whether I’m looking for a team close to home, latching on to specific players, choosing based on colors and kits, or some other way. There’s much to come in women’s soccer this year, and I’m excited to finally be along for the ride.
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