The United States women’s soccer team is an inspiration to fans around the country. On Saturday, the American players honored those who inspire them.
For its SheBelieves Cup match against England, the USWNT wore the names of famous women on the back of its jerseys. Among the honorees were Mother Teresa, Beyonce Knowles, J.K. Rowling, Serena Williams and other women from history, sports and entertainment.
March is Women’s History Month, and each player had a customized jersey while offering an explanation for her choice.
Alex Morgan honored Abby Wambach, the former star U.S. striker who is still the world record-holder for most international goals, men or women.
“She made me believe in myself at times when I didn’t,” Morgan told USSoccer.com. “She instilled this confidence in me. She was always there for me, and as teammates sometimes fighting for the same position, you can sometimes be selfish, but she was completely opposite of that. ... She wanted me to break whatever records she set. Having someone that really fought and believed in me and told me about her belief in me was pretty incredible. I’ve never come across someone like that.”
Team captain Megan Rapinoe, meanwhile, chose writer and civil rights activist Audre Lorde.
“Audre Lorde was unapologetically herself,” Rapinoe said. “She so beautifully and powerfully expressed all parts of herself and her experiences at once. She was a woman, a lesbian, a feminist, a person of color, a civil right activist and a poet. She understood so clearly that change does not come from playing by the existing set of rules.”
Becky Sauerbrunn honored Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose example has become increasingly important in these tumultuous political times.
“The Notorious RBG. She’s a complete rock star,” Sauerbrunn said. “Dissenting opinion, battling cancer and then showing up to vote … what can’t she do? I just think she’s amazing.”
Here’s a full list of players and their honorees, whose impact surely can’t be quantified in a simple description of profession:
Abby Dahlkemper – Jennifer Lawrence (actress)
Tierna Davidson – Sally Ride (astronaut)
Crystal Dunn – Serena Williams (tennis player)
Julie Ertz – Carrie Underwood (musical artist)
Emily Fox – Elena Delle Donne (basketball player)
Adrianna Franch – Briana Scurry (soccer player)
Ashlyn Harris – Cardi B (musical artist)
Tobin Heath – Doris Burke (basketball analyst)
Rose Lavelle – J.K. Rowling (author)
Carli Lloyd – Malala Yousafzai (female education activist)
Jessica McDonald – Maya Angelou (poet/civil rights activist)
Samantha Mewis – Mia Hamm (soccer player)
Alex Morgan – Abby Wambach (soccer player)
Alyssa Naeher – Robin Roberts (broadcaster)
Kelley O’Hara – Heather O’Reilly (soccer player)
Christen Press – Sojourner Truth (civil rights activist)
Mallory Pugh – Beyonce Knowles (musical artist)
Megan Rapinoe – Audre Lorde (writer/civil rights activist)
Becky Sauerbrunn – Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court justice)
Casey Short – Katie Sowers (NFL assistant coach)
Emily Sonnett – Tina Fey (comedian/writer)
Andi Sullivan – Jessica Mendoza (softball player/MLB analyst)
McCall Zerboni – Mother Teresa (nun/missionary)
Joey Gulino is the editor of Yahoo Soccer and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.
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