Today’s Monday Morning Mojo is a tribute to all the women soccer players out there, the fans, spectators and anyone who enjoys big sporting moments.
In Celebration of the Women’s World Cup
For the past week I have been enjoying the Women’s World Cup being played in Australia and New Zealand, have loved how well the game has evolved and delight in the varying stories come from this.
If you haven’t watched the US women play, you are missing something special. They are favorites in the tournament and play again late tonight for those watching in the US. It’s fun to watch China still in contention, after their win against Haiti last week. If you haven’t seen the Japanese or the Columbians play, I have really enjoyed the styles of both teams.
There are a lot of individual stories as well. Defender Julie Ertz of the US having delivered a baby less than a year ago. Linda Caicedo of Brazil, an ovarian cancer survivor at the age of 15, is now 18, making her World Cup debut and scoring in her first game. The rise of Giulia Dragoni, a 16-year-old Italian, dubbed the “Little Messi”, playing in her first World Cup. Watching veterans like Marta of Brazil and Christine Sinclair of Canada is also a lot of fun, who both have scored goals in five World Cups throughout their careers. The corner kick of Ireland Captain, Katie McCabe, captured below is priceless.
There is certainly a lot of joy watching this competition.
The Importance of This Competition
The significance of how the Women’s World Cup has evolved cannot be understated. Both of my sisters played soccer in their youth, and continued at college, when the sport was in its formative years for women. Thanks to the introduction of my good friend, John Kallis, who I played soccer with in high school, I have a first-hand experience watching the development of Louisville Racing, a women’s team in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US. Louisville Racing has fielded six players during this year’s World Cup, including US Midfielder, Savannah DeMelo, and China Forward, Wang Shuang.
The Story of Maya
A final personal, uplifting story from one of my friends, Misha Sher. I got to know Misha through work. He kindly made the introduction for me to Pele, and we have stayed in touch over the years. He has a young daughter playing for the Arsenal development program in London and she is on her way to stardom. Here are a few photos of her today.
I mentioned to Misha I was going to include Maya in today’s Monday Morning Mojo, and Misha wrote me this last week.
“We fly to Australia this evening for the rest of the tournament, and I am so very much looking forward to it. What’s cool about Maya going down to watch this tournament is the story about the moment she fell in love with the game. I took her to Women’s World Cup in France in 2019 when she was 4 years old (see below). I wanted her to know what it feels like to be in a packed stadium watching women, perform at the highest level. She was absolutely mesmerized. When we returned home and I was putting her to bed, she said: ‘Daddy, one day, I’m going to play in the World Cup’. I had tears running down my face. Forget clichés and marketing speak, this is the power of ‘seeing is believing’. What many people have seen since then is someone who has committed herself to this game every single day and who is now on the level of top academy male peers and featuring in documentaries and brand campaigns. Ask Maya what she is going to do when she grows up and she’ll tell you she wants to be the youngest player to represent England at a major international tournament (she can also represent USA and Australia). I wouldn’t bet against her :).”
Check out videos of Maya here.
I hope you have a great week and you enjoy the rest of this tournament.