The U.S. Women’s National Team continues its World Cup Victory Tour in Los Angeles this weekend, serving as a close-to-home reminder of what the USWNT has accomplished on the field this summer and inspired off of it.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup champions will be at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday to host the Republic of Ireland in the team’s first game in America since the World Cup win.
While the team is back on home soil now, they also had an impact on women’s soccer across the country and on girl’s soccer in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Canyon girls soccer coach Milan Cabrera used the Women’s World Cup as a teaching tool during summer camp, starting each practice the day after a game asking who watched the game and what the players thought of it.
“We focused on the judgment each team used and what their strengths were,” Cabrera said. “So if you were on this player’s team how would you play the ball? We talked a lot of strategy and tactics. Relating players to certain players to see.”
Many Canyon players had other extra-curricular activities happening throughout the summer, but still found time to watch the Women’s World Cup games.
They watched the games and they saw the celebrations. Alex Morgan sent shockwaves after pretending to sip tea after scoring the game-winning goal in a win over England that put the U.S. in the championship game. Megan Rapinoe’s post-goal bow became known around the world.
“I think they demonstrate how much fun you can have playing the game,” said West Ranch coach Jared White. “How cool it is to be with your best friends for those 90 minutes that you’re on the field?”
“It also can show the different types of personalities that can come together for a common goal. You have so many types of people with different backgrounds and cultures and they come together for a common goal and play for each other and good things happen.”
White also coaches a 2008 club team and during the Women’s World Cup, the young players chattered about the games while wearing Alex Morgan jerseys.
Morgan is from California and attended and played at Diamond Bar High School, making the dream of becoming a professional soccer player seem more within reach for area players.
“For the little ones, it’s ‘Look who you can aspire to be.’ All the players who played in the World Cup started where you are,” White said.
Cabrera also sees the Women’s National Team players as athletes high school soccer players can aspire to be.
“The way our women’s team carried themselves throughout the tournament, they did it confidently, they never second-guessed themselves in what they were doing,” she said. “Having my girls go in and be confident with what you do is a huge thing.”
The USWNT will have a public training session on Friday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena from 5-6 p.m. Admission and parking is free.
Saturday’s match against the Republic of Ireland begins at 7 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2 and streamed on the ESPN app.