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UNITED STATES goalkeeper Adrianna Franch could think of no-one else’s name she would rather wear on her back than that of Briana Scurry — especially in her first cap for senior team.
“That’s who I looked up to as a kid growing up,” Franch said on Saturday of the Hall of Fame goalkeeper who helped the United States win two Olympic gold medals and the 1999 World Cup.
“So it’s kind of cool to get the cap with the name on the back.”
Scurry wasn’t the only surprising name that showed up on the pitch as the United States drew 2-2 with England in the SheBelieves Cup.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, JK Rowling and Beyonce each made an appearance as each US player wore a different woman’s name on the back of her jersey during National Women’s Month.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn’s shirt honoured Ginsburg, midfielder Rose Lavelle’s Rowling and forward Mallory Pugh’s Beyonce.
Other famous women on the uniforms included Mother Teresa (midfielder McCall Zerboni), Sally Ride (defender Tierna Davidson), Cardi B (goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris), Carrie Underwood (midfielder Julie Ertz), Tina Fey (defender Emily Sonnett), Malala Yousafzai (forward Carli Lloyd) and Jennifer Lawrence (defender Abby Dahlkemper).
For Sauerbrunn, honouring women who inspired each of the players was perfect timing at a tournament named SheBelieves to help inspire and empower women.
Picking the Supreme Court justice was easy for Sauerbrunn.
“She’s a strong woman, and I think she’s gone through quite a bit in her career,” Sauerbrunn said. “And I think that she stood up for what she believes in, and she’s fought for women’s rights and gender equality, and I think that’s something we’re trying to do as a team ourselves, and she seemed like the perfect person to choose.”
Athletes honoured include Serena Williams (defender Crystal Dunn) and former US women’s team stars Mia Hamm (midfielder Samantha Mewis), Abby Wambach (forward Alex Morgan) and Heather O’Reilly (defender Kelly O’Hara).
“Absolutely LOVE being able to honour my role model, a hero, the GOAT in our match today with your name on my back,” Morgan wrote on Twitter before the match.
Wambach, Hamm, and O’Reilly all responded to having their names on US shirts again.
“This honour was as meaningful to me, as any championship I’ve won,” Wambach wrote on Twitter. “Amazing idea! All the feels.”
Midfielder Samantha Mewis wore Hamm’s name on her back and thanked her before the match for all Hamm has done for women and the US women’s team. Hamm said she was honoured and humbled to be included in the inspirational jerseys.
“Continue to inspire and lead. Go USA!!” Hamm wrote.
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