BLOG: Breakers Unlaced - Boston Believes #WeWillWin

It’s an exciting day to be writing about the 2015 Women’s World Cup after the United States beat Columbia, 2-0, in the round of 16 on Monday night. The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) has given soccer fans something to believe in this summer as they continue the fight to become world champions. Back here in Boston, I sat down with Boston Breakers’ starting center back Julie King to hear about how the World Cup is affecting the game at home.

Boston Believes #WeWillWin

By: Katie Ponce  I  6/23/15

It’s an exciting day to be writing about the 2015 Women’s World Cup after the United States beat Columbia, 2-0, in the round of 16 on Monday night. The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) has given soccer fans something to believe in this summer as they continue the fight to become world champions. Back here in Boston, I sat down with Boston Breakers’ starting center back Julie King to hear about how the World Cup is affecting the game at home.

Like most of her generation, Julie can remember the summers of the World Cup starting with the legendary 99ers. For those of you somehow unaware of the kick-butt 1999 USWNT, they defeated China in penalty kicks, resulting in an epic celebration of Brandi Chastain sliding to her knees, swinging her jersey above her head as U.S. became world champions. This remarkable group of young women had stars like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lily, Joy Fawcett, and Chastain, making up the female version of the Fab Five. The victory for soccer fans would forever be one of those moments in history where you knew exactly where you were when it happened because at that moment, everything changed.

“I remember being at a soccer tournament with my sister having to tape the game,” King said. “We were covering our ears after the game so that we wouldn’t hear what happened before we could watch it.”

The 1999 World Cup victory was a pivotal moment for U.S. women’s soccer and would forever shape the women’s game. The 99ers became role models for generations to come and helped make a women’s professional soccer league possible. In fact many of the 99ers played in the Women’s Professional Soccer, (WPS) league before its fold in 2012. Some even stuck around with the return of the league you know today, National Women’s Soccer League, (NWSL).

“Of the 99ers, Kristine Lily was always a role model to me. I remember growing up with a poster of her hanging in my room,” explained King. “A surreal moment for me was joining the Breakers for the first time and seeing Kristine Lily on the bench because she was now helping coach the team.”

Today, the 2015 World Cup is a highly anticipated summer event as the whole country hopes for this year’s team to bring home the title. However, back in the states, the NWSL must also go on. This summer, the 23 U.S. players, plus several international players, have all taken a short absence from the women’s professional game. While this means that all nine of the professional teams are missing some stars, Julie believes that it has also been a good thing for the league.

 “Without the national players, a lot of younger players have been able to step up into more demanding roles,” she said. “Their absence has also allowed the players still left to prove that we can keep the league exciting.”

Everyone who has been supporting the Breakers and the rest of the NWSL teams can certainly agree. The league is a little less than halfway there and here in Boston from goalkeeper, Jami Kranich stepping up to replace USWNT keeper Alyssa Naeher to rookie Stephanie McCaffrey breaking through as forward, games have been nothing shy of compelling. King also noted that although all teams are missing key players, most of the teams stick to the same style of play and continued to do what they do best.

While King and the rest of the Breakers have embraced the positives of the professional league without the national team players, they certainly still are cheering on their teammates abroad.

“I obviously want the United States to win. France and Germany both are looking really good. However, Germany had much easier games in their group stages than we did. I think the tough games that the United States had to play will help them now in the elimination round,” predicted King.

Let’s hope Julie is right in her predictions as the USWNT takes on China this Friday in the quarterfinals. The Boston Breakers are hosting another #FIFAWWC viewing party at City Hall Plaza this Friday. We invite you and all your family and friends to join us at 7:30 p.m. as we cheer on U.S. for what is hopefully the next step in their journey to victory.

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Photo: http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/04/29/17/13/150429-wnt-23-stories-rel

Works Consulted:

About Us. (2015). Retrieved June 23, 2015, from National Women's Soccer League website:

     http://www.nwslsoccer.com/News/index_E.html

FIFA Women's World Cup™ archive. (2015). Retrieved June 23, 2015, from FIFA.com website:

     http://www.fifa.com/fifa-tournaments/archive/womensworldcup/index.html

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