As we celebrate America’s upcoming birthday this weekend, there will be the usual cookouts, fireworks, outpouring of red, white and blue everything and passion and pride in being a citizen of this great country. While this is always the case every year on the Fourth of July, there is something else driving pride and passion to be at an all-time high. That something else is the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
The U.S. women’s national soccer team or USWNT is currently playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament is taking place in Canada, and the USWNT has made it to the finals, which will be played in Vancouver against Japan (again) this Sunday.
Those of you who love and follow soccer already know this. I am one of you. I grew up playing soccer year-round. It was my life and I looked up to the players on USWNT. Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were my heroes, and I wore their jerseys with pride (which I still own and wear to this day). I was even Mia Hamm for Halloween once – World Cup medal around my neck and all (it was a participation tournament medal, but my imagination was strong). For those of us who grew up with the love and passion for the sport, it’s easy to understand why we are following USWNT with such fervor, but what about those who seemingly could care less about soccer? Why are they so invested in the team this time around?
It all circles back to one thing: the human connection. United We Stand is not just a motto; it’s who we are as Americans, as humans. We are all striving for one common goal. The overall human connection is what drives the passion and pride.
There are three focuses that have been supporting this connection, which can be represented by the hashtags that U.S. Soccer has been promoting in regards to the World Cup.
This goes back to the understanding that we are connected as American citizens. Those women on the field are not alone. Every American is with them throughout every sprint, set play, shove, goal and celebration along the way. We are not only there for the good, but also the bad. With every mistake, penalty or defeat, we do not waver. We are a united front for USWNT. We are #OneNationOneTeam.
This one focuses on the dreams of the players and women across the United States. As an American woman, this represents more than winning the World Cup. Yes, the players represent every girl who has ever loved and played the game of soccer, but it’s so much more than that. This is about the connection of empowerment and belief. She can and she will be the best she can be. She can and she will win the World Cup… become class president… get the job. She can and she will achieve her dreams – because she believes and we all believe right there with her.
How fitting that USWNT will once again be facing Japan in the finals. Leading up to this World Cup, #ScoreToSettle has been the motto of the team. Americans don’t like to lose, and they will work their hardest in order to achieve. Americans – and humans – are driven. Americans want to be successful; they want to be the best. This desire leads to an intense, shared drive that both players and fans feel together. This drive connects us in every aspect of our lives.
These are the human connections that bring us together for the Fourth of July, for USWNT and much more. So after you enjoy your cookouts on Saturday, be sure to keep rocking the red, white and blue for the game on Sunday. USWNT are back and they have a score to settle.
How do you see human connections playing into the passion and pride for our country? How will you be celebrating the Fourth of July and cheering on USWNT? Let us know on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays