Looking to be the first US soccer captain since Mia Hamm to lead her team to a Women’s World Cup victory, Christine Rampone has an extra incentive. Of note, a World Cup victory would complement a great personal milestone for Rampone. Celebrating her birthday on June 24, during the World Cup, she shall turn 40.
Appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Kids (cover date June 2015), Rampone is joined by Alex Morgan, one of the world’s most popular players, and Abby Wambach, a 12-year veteran on the team who shall be counted on for leadership. As a side note, Morgan is featured on a pull-out poster in the magazine.
With the words, “The Avengers” in bright blue, adorning the bottom left of the cover, these real-life superheroes bring high motivation. Four years ago, the US endured a visceral loss in an emotional World Cup final to a Japanese squad looking to raise the spirits of a devastated nation suffering from the effects of an earthquake.
Gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Kids represents a special milestone for Rampone as she is the mother of two young children. In addition, she was among the members of the US national women’s soccer team selected as Sports Illustrated Sportswomen of the Year for 1999.
Having competed in four World Cups for the US, including the emotional victory in 1999 (which is also the last time that the US claimed the World Cup), she is the appropriate choice to serve as captain of the US contingent heading into the 2015 edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In Rampone’s distinguished career, it will signify a historic achievement in her career as she shall be one of only five women internationally to have played in at least five World Cup events. Making her debut for the US national team a generation ago on February 28, 1997, her first career goal with the national team occurred on May 2, 1997, versus South Korea.
Heading into the 2015 edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, avenging that loss is definitely the US team’s mission. Taking into account that the championship game shall be held in Vancouver, it offers a unique element of redemption. During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Canada defeated the United States in the gold medal games of men’s and women’s ice hockey. Only adding to the sporting rivalry between the two nations, the possibility of Canada and the US in the World Cup title game would likely be the highest rated soccer game in TV history for both countries.