The two-time defending champions United States Women’s National Soccer team has begun its journey for a third consecutive World Cup win, which would be the first time a team has won three back-to-back World Cup trophies.
The USWNT began their World Cup journey strong with a 3-0 win over Vietnam. Sophia Smith had two goals in the first half of her World Cup debut, and team captain Lindsey Horan secured the victory with a goal in the second half. The defending champions dominated with 26 shots on Vietnam, while Vietnam did not get a single shot.
Alyssa Thompson has made headlines during the series, as she is the youngest player for the US Women’s National team at the World Cup. Thompson is the first teenager in nearly 30 years to compete on the US team at the World Cup.
While this spotlight can be overwhelming for anyone, especially a teenager, Thompson has experience with the spotlight. She became Nike’s first sponsored college athlete, and she became the youngest-ever National Women’s Soccer League draftee.
Thompson skipped college to go pro. At just 15 years old, the Los Angeles native verbally committed to a Stanford Cardinal program after the program won three national championships in a decade. However, three years later, the child prodigy opted to swap her NCAA career to go pro.
"I was always thinking I would play in college and would go from there," she told Insider. "A high school player had never been drafted in the NWSL, so that wasn't really a thought. And then it became a real option in the couple of months before the NWSL Draft."
As if her story isn’t impressive enough, Thompson became the youngest-ever NWSL draft pick when Angel City FC, her hometown club, selected her as the first overall pick of the 2023 draft. All of the 47 players chosen after her had competed at the collegiate level.
Thompson proved herself immediately. Through 15 games during her rookie season, Thompson has had 12 starts, scored three goals, and put up an assist.
"On the field, you forget about age," Thompson said, "off the field, everyone has their different styles, but we think less about age and more about having a good group of personalities."
The USWNT will take on the Netherlands, getting one step closer to claiming their third Cup trophy in three years.
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