Book Description:
The success of the US Women’s National Soccer Team is undebatable. They’ve won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals, they’ve set record TV ratings, drawn massive crowds, and earned huge revenues for US Soccer. But despite their obvious dominance, and their roster of superstar players, they’ve endured striking inequality: low pay, poor playing conditions, and limited opportunities to play in professional leagues. 
The National Team, from leading soccer journalist Caitlin Murray, tells the history of the USWNT from their formation in the 1980s to the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, chronicling both their athletic triumphs and less visible challenges off the pitch. In the wake of their 2015 World Cup victory, the athletes pushed back publicly against the unequal treatment they’d received from FIFA and US Soccer and negotiated a landmark collective bargaining agreement on their own. Murray also tells of the rise and fall of professional leagues in the US, including the burgeoning National Women’s Soccer League, an essential part of the women’s game. A story of endurance and determination, The National Team is a complete portrait of a beloved and admired team. 

I received this book as an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I have played soccer since I was in first grade and still play on a recreational league today. I remember going to see Mia Hamm play and how amazing it was to watch the team. When I saw this book I jumped right on the chance to read it; to read what it took for women to make it soccer.

This book was full of information about how the National Team was formed to how it and the women’s soccer league is now. However, it didn’t feel like I was reading a history book, instead it was like reading a story. I have watched the World Cup games and the Olympic games, but I don’t remember everything about it, not even what games they have won during the competitions. So reading it was just as exciting as if I was watching it going omg do they win what is going to happen?! So it was a lot of fun to read.

The part about women’s soccer that I never realized is that when I was younger if my dream had been to be a professional soccer player it probably wouldn’t have happened. I had no idea how much the women have gone through to get where they have been. They were never treated as well as the men and some couldn’t continue to play because they hardly got paid and had to quit their dream. But there are those that persisted and worked hard to get women’s soccer where it is today.

This book did a great job of giving the background on players, the struggles of forming a women’s league, the struggles that the team themselves had, and just overall information that is not out there. The book isn’t dry, the writing is well done, there are parts that have quotes from the women who have been on the National Team and who are still on the National Team. So you get different points of view.

I definitely recommend this book and am so glad I had the opportunity to read it.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

P.S. World Cup year Go USA!!

Reading Challenges: Golden Trio #28, NJM #2, 52 Book in 52 Weeks #35, Ragdoll #14, & Netgalley & Edelweiss

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