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Who Is Christen Press? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Forward Competing In The World Cup

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Who Is Christen Press? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Forward Competing In The World Cup

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is set to face off against France on June 28th after winning all their games in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup so far: Thailand 13-0, Chile 3-0, Sweden 2-0, and Spain 2-1. If the team makes it to the finals, they’ll play on July 7th, and become champions... again. 

The U.S. team is the most successful team in international women’s soccer, winning three Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. But despite their success and wins, they still aren’t paid as much as the men’s team. And because of this, they filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, alleging unequal pay, even though the men’s team isn’t nearly as successful.

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But part of being a soccer fan means getting to know the players on the field. So, who is Christen Press? Here are 7 things to know about the forward for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.

1. She comes from a family of athletes.

And they’re extremely competitive, too. Her dad, Cody, played football at Dartmouth, and her mother, Stacy, was a tennis player. It was their attitude, she told Sports Illustrated, that “placed extraordinary value on winning.” She also described her family as “a little ridiculous; they’re wild, really colorful and animated and big personalities.”

2. She began playing at a young age.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on May 25, 2019 at 8:24pm PDT

Press started playing soccer when she was just five years old. And once she reached high school, she was the team captain for two years and starter for all four. She also played tennis and track.

During her time in high school, she was named NSCAA High School All-American, Parade Magazine All-American, Southern Section Division IV Offensive Player of the Year, and Prep League Offensive MVP four times. Press also played club soccer for Slammers FC.

3. She continued through college.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on May 16, 2019 at 11:57am PDT

Press attended Stanford University, playing for the Cardinal women’s soccer team and becoming the lead scorer. She was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Hermann Trophy, Soccer America Player of the Year, Pac-10 Player of the Year, and Pac-10's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

But she’s also considered one of the best players in Cardinal history. She set the record with 71 goals, but also broke records for assists, shots, and career points.

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4. And she eventually went pro.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on May 9, 2019 at 7:34am PDT

After college, Press was drafted to the Washington Freedom, which was renamed magic Jack, and signed to Atlanta Beat before the league was suspended. In 2012, she signed with Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC in Sweden.

From 2013 to 2014, she played for Tyresö FF in Stockholm, finishing the season as the top scorer. In 2014, she signed to the Chicago Red Stars, where she played until 2017, and returned to Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC for three months. She currently plays for the Utah Royals FC, as well as USWNT.

Her credits include being an alternate for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2013 and 2014 Algarve Cup, 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, 2017 Tournament of Nations, 2018 and 2019 SheBelieves Cup, and 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

5. Her teammates and coaches have great things to say about her abilities.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on Jun 7, 2019 at 7:11am PDT

Press has set records with her college team, and her natural athleticism makes her stand out from the rest. According to Becky Sauerbrunn, “She’s so dynamic off the dribble. She can score from the left or the right, she’s got such a scorer’s touch, she has everything you could need. She’s just quality. When you have a quality, well-rounded striker like that, it’s difficult to defend. You’ve seen countries struggle to defend her.”

And the head coach for the Utah Royals FC agrees, adding, “She’s evolved her game a lot over the last couple years, and she’s gotten away from that traditional 9 position and is a more dynamic player. She has an ability to pass, has the ability to go and score from anywhere... It’s scary to anyone.”

6. Being in Sweden made her realize how much she loves soccer.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on Jun 24, 2019 at 7:51am PDT

While playing for Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC in 2018, she had a sort of epiphany. As she told ESPN, while walking on the cobblestone streets of Gothenburg, it was “one of the strangest experiences of her life.” 

“It felt like it gave me what I needed, and I never thought I would need that again. Time passes, and your situation changes, and I really feel like I did need it again. I did need a break from my norm, a break from my routine. To oversimplify my first experience, that’s what it was — it was a distancing from the pressure I had felt, and there was a little bit of relief just in that distance. This time it wasn’t that I felt so much pressure — it was like I just had to be free again.”

7. She started a clothing business with her teammates.


A post shared by Christen Press (@christenpress) on Jun 5, 2019 at 8:23am PDT

Along with Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and former teammate, Meghan Klingenberg, the athletes started their own business called re-inc. According to these ladies, the goal of their company is to encourage female business owners, especially in a male-dominated industry. Press said, “We want to be intentional because the goal isn’t just to make money. The goal is to change the structure.”

She also told the New York Times, “We weren’t able to capitalize on the moment [the 2015 World Cup win]. Everyone around us was — TV, sponsors — but we weren’t compensated or treated like what we were: the absolute best soccer players in the world. [So], we decided it was time to change the paradigm. We wanted to start in fashion, because it’s male-dominated, and streetwear is the worst of it. It’s made mostly by men, for men, and women have to adapt. It’s ripe for disruption.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.