The United States announced its roster for the Women’s World Cup in style, seeking help from President Joe Biden, pop superstar Taylor Swift, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and rappers Lil Wayne and Megan Thee Stallion.
The U.S., the most successful team in international women’s soccer, will be bidding for an unprecedented third consecutive title at this year’s World Cup, which will be held from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
The 23-player roster was announced on USWNT’s Twitter account on Wednesday, as a star-studded lineup of politicians, celebrities and former players revealed the names.
President Joe Biden, joined by First Lady Jill Biden, kicked off the eight-minute-long video.
“For nearly, 40 years the U.S. women’s national soccer team has epitomized what it means to be a champion,” President Biden said. “From lifting trophies to fighting for gender equity, these women have been a source of inspiration to Americans of all ages – our family included.”
“Joe and I can’t wait to watch this team soar at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” added Jill Biden.
The Bidens were joined by Grammy-winning musician Swift, who introduced forward Alex Morgan, calling her “a friend” and someone who she is a “massive fan of”.
“I’m such a huge fan of the whole team and I can’t wait to watch you guys play this year. Congratulations you guys and I will be watching,” Swift added.
Morgan, who is set to make her fourth Women’s World Cup appearance, said she was surprised to see Taylor announce her name.
“I was really surprised to see Taylor announce me but all the other amazing celebrities, influencers and people so influential in the soccer world announcing the roster was pretty cool,” Morgan told reporters.
“Give U.S. Soccer props for that. I think they nailed it with Taylor announcing me. She had some really nice things to say and I feel like we’ve supported each other a lot, so it was really great to see that.”
MEGAN INTRODUCES MEGAN
Shaq introduced forward Trinity Rodman, who will be playing at her first World Cup, and Megan Thee Stallion revealed Megan Rapinoe, the oldest player on the roster at 37.
“She has shined for years with the women’s soccer team, and she’s going to continue to do so at this year’s World Cup. Congratulations, girl, and bring home another title!” she said of Rapinoe.
Fellow rapper Lil Wayne was the last to feature in the video as he introduced defender Crystal Dunn, welcoming her for her second World Cup campaign.
Twice Olympic champion and World Cup winner Mia Hamm and alpine skiing legend Mikaela Shiffrin were also part of the unveiling, alongside wrestler and actor John Cena.
American actress Blake Lively, U.S. men’s player Matt Turner and former player Tim Howard, as well as WNBA player Breanna Stewart, were also part of the announcement.
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a group with a good blend of youth and experience.
The U.S. defeated the Netherlands in the final in 2019. The Americans are in Group E, where they play the Netherlands, Portugal and Vietnam.