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The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women who Changed Soccer

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,086 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals, set record TV ratings, drawn massive crowds, earned huge revenues for FIFA and U.S. Soccer, and helped to redefine the place of women in sports. But despite their dominance, and their rosters of superstar players, they’ve endured striking inequality: low pay, poor playing condition ...more
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
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Jen Lyon Definitely! It's well researched, unbiased and a relatively easy read. There is a very small handful of explicative language in it (from quotes from s…moreDefinitely! It's well researched, unbiased and a relatively easy read. There is a very small handful of explicative language in it (from quotes from some of the players) but certainly nothing that would stop me from allowing a younger student to read it.(less)

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May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
During the late 1990s, women’s sports came of age in the United States. The benefactresses of the women’s movement and Title IX, girls growing up in the late 1980s and 1990s could finally play sports that had for generations been denied to them. The crown jewel of this generation was the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, which has been nicknamed the women’s Olympics because American women dominated, winning gold medals in many sports across the board. Following the success of the Olympics on home so ...more
In 1999, a revolution occurred in not only women’s soccer, but for women’s sports in general. The United States women’s national team captured the World Cup in front of packed stadiums across the country, capped off by a thrilling win on penalty kicks in the Rose Bowl against China. While this was the first tourney in which many people saw the team, this was not the beginning of the women’s national team, nor would the team rest on its laurels. The entire history of the team, from the humble beg ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: firstreads, sports
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

This is the history of the US women's soccer team, from its formation as an entity, to its gold medal winning ways of today.

What seems like it might be some sort of inspirational story is unrelentingly grim, with no sense of joy, only of pique. It's certainly odd, and I don't see how this would inspire any young girls to endeavour to play soccer.

Certainly not for the depressed.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved every second of this book. It enabled to me relive exciting soccer moments and is a great read for anyone who loves soccer. It also documents how each generation of USWNT players has battled for gender equality and the details are so inspiring. I recommend everyone read this book.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book via Goodreads First Reads program in exchanged for an honest review.

The premier women’s national team in the world and the gold standard all are judged upon, saved soccer in the United States not that US Soccer cares to pay them for it. The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Change Soccer by Caitlin Murray reveals the struggles and triumphs of the United States Women’s National Team from its inception through to the present day both on the field and within the
Laura I.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Second, more detailed and even more positive review, written in May 2020 -- because, you know what, this book was fantastic and deserved 5 stars]

You probably know the 2019 USWNT team – Alex Morgan’s tea-sipping pose, Rapinoe’s killer set pieces, Tobin Heath’s fancy footwork, Christen Press’s heartbreaking hands-toward-heaven goal celebration, Alyssa Naeher’s incredible saves…I could go on. But do you know the story of those three other stars on their jerseys? Did you know that back in 1999, you
Original review posted on my blog From Ink to Paper

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
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Right before reading this, I read "The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women's Soccer Team and How It Changed the World," which focuses mostly on the '99 champion team as well as how the USWNT got there. It was great to follow that up with this one, which moves through that early period in about 75 pages and then digs into the following eras up through shortly before the current 2019 World Cup. Although there is a lot here, its core is documenting the struggles the national team players have been thro ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books about women's soccer in America that I have read. Caitlin took it back to the 80's and 90's when women's soccer in America was just getting started. She provides a ton of behind the scenes information from past and current players, touching on World Cups, women's professional soccer leagues here in America and all the work many of the players have gone through to get fair compensation and basic necessities like uniforms that aren't hand-me-downs from the mens team. ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The US Womens National Soccer Team are tremendous on the field - but the impact of all their work off the field to negotiate better pay and equitable treatment is just as great. They are setting the standard for female athletes around the world. If only someone from FIFA and the US Soccer Association would read this book.
Laura Beard
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I played soccer on a team from age 5 until I had children and I watch the US women’s national team on tv so I love soccer! I think a lot of people would enjoy it even if they don’t like soccer though. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the team and their advocacy.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

That’s it. That’s my entire review.

Jk jk jk but in all seriousness, I absolutely LOVED this book and am sad that it is over, I could have read so much more about the badass USWNT and their history.

Obviously I’d known of Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain, but I was a child when the 1999 World Cup was happening and I don’t remember watching it. The first time I distinctly remember getting behind the USWNT (besides the casual fangirling of Abby Wambach, who g
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
This is a five-star read about the women who launch Ladies soccer to the world. Yet their greatness is what they contributed to equality in women's sports thus lifting the entire fight for women's equality in all aspects of life for the underserved. Caitlin Murray has written that which could easily become the definitive history of the Women's National Soccer Team.

Move over Miricle on Ice! Brandi Chastain fired the shirt (jersey) that was Heard Around the World! The 1999 USA Women's Soccer Team
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Part 1 of my USWNT obsession.

Honestly, while it definitely helped that I am a recent soccer junkie (with this book adding fuel to this nascent fire), this was an incredibly well-written study of the national team. I've dabbled in other nonfiction/journalistic pieces, and I felt like this was genuinely the best I have ever read. I've come across Ms. Murray before in her WoSo pieces for The Guardian, so I knew that I would enjoy her writing, but I was thoroughly surprised by how she maintains susp
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading about the USWNT. I've been watching them since the 99 world cup. This was a great review of their history, starting from the 80s, leading up to the world cup later this year. From this history, I have a better understanding of the past events that I recall from two decades of watching, and how the present fits into this larger narrative. My quibble is that the title mentions the women who changed soccer, but the emphasis is on the team itself. The work and its focus is c ...more
Jessica Gonzales
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5/5 Stars.

I’ve been following the USWNT since I was a little girl. After the 1999 World Cup, my mom signed me up to play soccer at age 4. I was one of millions of girls who picked up a soccer ball as a result of the 99ers. Throughout the years, I would watch them play when I had the chance, but it wasn’t until the 2015 World Cup that I started following the team extensively. The National Team is a well researched account of the USWNT, and filled in so many gaps I had in my knowledge of the team
Joyce Macdonald
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Obsessed with this book! I loved the detail of the players, the game..all of it. I kept putting the book down to search plays, players or interviews. Then I kept calling my kiddos over to watch plays, listen to soccer interviews. While we love soccer and play constantly I am not familiar with much history, US or otherwise.
Huge learnings about US soccer leadership, management,building the business of soccer in the states and, for a long time, utter lack of support. Systemic poor treatment and pre
This was a very different book abt the history of women's soccer! It is very clear that the previous one was by an academic and this one is by a reporter. Murray writes in clear, short paragraphs. While I wouldn't qualify her writing as dry, it doesn't include the analysis that the last book did. She states the facts clearly and concisely and moves on.

Because of the writing style, this book goes very quickly. It covers 30 years of history in what seems like the blink of an eye. Murray provides p
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The USWNT has been a touchstone in my life for as long as I can remember. The 99 squad will forever be my heroes, and I’ve fallen in love with each iteration of this team in a new way. This is the story from the beginning. The very beginning, before there was a women’s national team. It largely tells the story that happens between all the major milestone moments, in between the World Cups and Olympics. The story of the fight for their rights as players, of coaching changes and more. Murray inter ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Almost as compelling as the women who have made up the USWNT itself, Murray’s book is eminently readable and covers not only the soccer, which fans have always known, but also the mountains the women have had to scale in their fights first for tolerable and now for equal treatment. These women repeatedly do things no others can do, but they face the same challenges that women have always faced in patriarchal society. I think that maybe their ability to come up big in nearly every important situa ...more
Annelies Quinton
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly inspiring and very well written. The book explores the decades of hardship the US Women's National Soccer Team has endured. From basic rights, like women's cut uniforms, to gender pay discrepancy, the book shares the nature of the team and their endless courage to fight for their rights. The women presented in the book are amazing role models to everyone, especially young women, as they encourage people to fight for their rights and not be afraid to go against social norm ...more
Paul Carr
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soccer
This is the best single book I’ve read about the history of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. The author traces the team’s path both on and (perhaps more importantly) off the field, relating how the team came together and matured in multiple ways. Looking back through a 2019 lens, one finds it hard to believe the difficulties the team encountered, and how they persevered to change the face of women’s sports around the world. Recommended for anyone interested in soccer or even women’s fight ...more
Samantha G
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
The stories the USWNT have to tell are incredible but they deserve a better storyteller. Murray breezes through the facts and the only thing that gets you invested into the stories are the quotes and actions of the players involved. This is a good, quick read for someone just learning about the National team but it left me feeling there was a lot about the team left on the table. The book gets heavy into collective bargaining towards the end which gets a bit dry and didn't seem to fit with the t ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
I received an ARC of The National Team in a Goodreads Giveaway. The National Team is a concise history of the US Women's National Soccer Team starting in the 1980's through the present. The book balances stories of the team's success with stories of disheartening inequality. I also found the interwoven story of the attempts to form a successful U.S. professional league fascinating. I recommend this enjoyable read. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great read, and good prep for the WWC. Definitely confirms that the US Soccer federation has always been the villain of this story.
Abigail Dankoff
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Would rate it a bit lower for its all-over-the-place writing, but I just love these ladies and this team. Watch out, Paris. David has become Goliath and she came to PLAY.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
fantastic overview of the women's national team, including the evolution of their work towards gender equality. ...more
Barbara Friend
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everything you ever wanted to know. And more!
Anoka County Library
Excellent, in-depth exploration of the history of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. Murray expertly describes the technical aspects of the team's pivotal wins and losses over the past 30+ years - beginning with the first Title IX babies coming of age by winning the 1991 Women's World Cup and ending just before the 2019 Women's World Cup (which the U.S. wins for a fourth world championship). The sportswriter conveys the drama of the highest-stakes games at various stages of each major tourna ...more
Ann Coenen
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this and learned a ton about the history of women’s soccer. If you follow the sport, or even if you don’t- I think it’s a very interesting read.
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Goodreads Librari...: The National Team duplicate pages 4 15 Feb 21, 2019 02:24PM  

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