With the USWNT set to make their 2023 World Cup debut against Vietnam, some of the players were invited to read letters sent to them by friends, family or teammates.
The starting goalkeeper for the Red Stars and U.S. Women’s National Team was one of the players chosen.
The letter Naeher read was written by friend and Red Stars teammate Arin Wright.
“Alyssa, to be good at something is great. To be the best at something is impressive. But to be one of a kind at something is undeniably admirable,” Naeher read. “There is not a person in this game that is the player you are on and off the field. You are intense, competitive, compassionate, understanding, resilient, unrelenting and you demand excellence from not just yourself but everyone around you.”
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) July 21, 2023
“Thank you, Gilly. Your support means everything,” Naeher said. “To be a teammate with you in Chicago for the last nine seasons has been special, and appreciate who you are as a teammate, as a friend and your support is incredible. So thank you very much.”
Naeher is penciled in to start the opener against Vietnam. This will be the third World Cup Naeher has taken part in, second as a starter. She was the back-up to Hope Solo in 2015.
The veteran goalkeeper has been integral to both the success of the national team and the Red Stars. As Wright wrote, she’s a presence both on and off the pitch.
Naeher is a two-time World Cup champion and in her career has made 91 appearances with the national team, recording 54 clean sheets. Naeher ranks third in U.S. history in caps, wins and shutouts.