The FIFA Women’s World Cup is in full swing, with plenty more games still to come. But did you know some US Women’s National Soccer Team members aren’t just star athletes but authors too? We rounded up the best books by women’s soccer players to help you celebrate the world cup.
It’s Not About the Bra by Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain, known for her iconic World Cup-winning celebration, delivers a powerful message to competitive youth sports that have lost their way. Drawing on her experiences and anecdotes from her past teammates, she guides young athletes in developing leadership skills, finding role models, and giving back to their teams and communities, emphasizing the importance of respect for the game and everyone involved.
In the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, during the final against China, Chastain scored the deciding penalty kick to win the cup. In a celebration that became one of the most iconic Woemn’s Worl Cup moments ever, she tore off her jersey and fell to her knees. That image graces the cover of It’s Not About the Bra and sums up the need to enjoy the sport at every level.
Go For the Goal by Mia Hamm
From humble beginnings to breaking records and inspiring a generation of fans and players, Mia Hamm became a global sensation. Here, she tells her story. Filled with personal anecdotes and photographs, her book also serves as a practical guide for young readers. It offers step-by-step advice on mastering the skills and techniques that made Hamm and her teammates the finest women’s soccer team in the world.
Mia Hamm is one of the most well-known names in women’s soccer. While Go for the Goal is an older book, it’s necessary for any lover of the sport and the USWNT.
When Nobody Was Watching by Carli Lloyd
In 2015, the US Women’s National Soccer Team won the FIFA championship after a hat trick by captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd. But in 2003, Lloyd almost quit soccer. With the help of her mentor and trainer, James Galanis, she worked relentlessly to harness her skill and passion, ultimately becoming one of the world’s best players.
When Nobody Was Watching is a story of turning doubt into belief through sacrifice and hard work. In her 2016 book, Lloyd emphasizes the importance of working hard even when no one is watching because it will ultimately pay off in the end.
Breakaway by Alex Morgan
From her early days in the American Youth Soccer Organization to her pivotal role in winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Alex Morgan’s story is filled with determination, triumph, and the drive to be the best. From playing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup to her triumph at the 2012 London Olympics, she’s now one of the USWNT’s top scorers.
One of the only women on this list still playing for the USWNT, Alex Morgan is a true success and role model. In Breakaway, she shares her journey with a captivating narrative and eight pages of full-color photos.
Bonus: The Kicks series by Alex Morgan
Morgan’s middle-grade series The Kicks follows the life and athletic adventures of 12-year-old Devin Burke. There are 12 books in the series, and they’re aimed at nurturing a love of sports among young girls. The Kicks even became a TV show in 2016!
One Life by Megan Rapinoe
From her early love of soccer to her journey as a champion athlete. Megan Rapinoe’s life is full of victories, failures and pivotal moments. In her deeply personal memoir, she reflects on the major moments of her life. From coming out as gay to taking a knee during the national anthem, Rapinoe is someone who knows how to stand up for what’s right and use her platform for change.
Rapinoe’s soccer journey is intertwined with her personal one. With One Life, readers learn how she found the courage to unashamedly be herself. It also encourages readers to embrace their own power and make a difference in their communities. This is especially apparent in the young readers’ edition, which is perfect for young people in need of a little inspiration.
Bonus: Wake Up Kick It by Trinity Rodman
Every day is an opportunity to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. This picture book encourages kids to wake up every morning and do something amazing! Written by one of the youngest members of the US Women’s National Soccer Team, Wake Up Kick It is a fun, inspirational story for all kids. As a special collaboration with Addidas, this book isn’t as widely available as the others. Still, you can get it from Soccer.com and WorldSoccerShop.com.
Wolfpack by Abby Wambach
“We have never been Little Red Riding Hood. We Are the Wolves.
We must wander off the path and blaze a new one: together.”
As co-captain of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion Team, Abby Wambach created a team culture of commitment, resilience and sisterhood. Now in retirement, she’s working to do the same for women everywhere.
In Wolfpack, Wambach creates a new set of rules to help women unleash their individual power and unite with others. Using the lessons she learned from women’s soccer, she encourages women to fight for a better tomorrow.
So many members of the US Women’s National Soccer Team have written inspirational stories. You can get most of these books at your local independent bookstore or Bookshop.org. Which of these have you read? Let us know below, then get back to watching the World Cup!
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