Pulisic who? The US Men's National Team may be playing right now for the Gold Cup, but there's no doubt who rules American soccer: women are the rock stars. Coverage of the Women's World Cup is everywhere. The ratings on Fox are huge. There are so many US faithful in France during this tournament that it's felt like a home game every time. America leads the world in lots of categories. But for the world's biggest sport, the American men can't hold a candle to the American women.
I've argued that women often make better leaders than men. While the US men couldn't even make the last Men's World Cup, the US women have won 3 of 7 Women's World Cups, and are on a mission for their 4th. The USWNT is at the pinnacle of their sport globally, even though they get less funding and support from the US Soccer Federation and FIFA (and face sexism, with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggesting, "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so"). They're setting an example for young women everywhere, and they're fighting for equal pay so future generations can succeed as well.
As they prepare for what is perhaps the most important game of the tournament tomorrow - against France as 3pm ET - here are quotes from members past and present to get you fired up and ready to win:
1. "There is something quintessentially American about the USWNT. Last-minute, dramatic finishes and technical finesse aside, the spirit of the program reflects a determination and perseverance that resonates with the deeply held belief that with hard work, anything is possible." - Ali Krieger
2. "My teammates told me that my presence, my support, my vocal and relentless belief in them from the bench is what gave them the confidence they needed to win us that championship... Wolf pack, wherever you're put, lead from there." - Abby Wambach
3. "For me, every game I play is about revenge. It's like, 'This is the battlefield and it's time to get dirty.'" - Carli Lloyd
4. "A champion is someone who does not settle for that day's practice, that day's competition, that day's performance. They are always striving to be better. They don't live in the past." - Briana Scurry
5. "Kind of looking around and realizing who my teammates are and who I'm surrounded with makes me a lot calmer." - Samantha Mewis
6. "If it's a header, I'm putting all my money, and all the other team's money, on Michelle." - Mia Hamm, on Michelle Akers
7. "At the FIFA World Player of the Year event, FIFA executives and FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn't know who I was. And I was being honored as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking." - Alex Morgan
8. "No I or individual is better than the team. I've scored no goals just on my own. Every goal I've ever scored has been because of someone else on my team, their excellence, their bravery. And I'm kind of the end product of a collection of a really good vibe, and feeling, and creativity on the field. - Abby Wambach
9. "My life changed dramatically when I joined this team... It changed because of the influence of all these women, from 1991 to now. Being given the responsibility and trust of taking the fifth penalty kick forever changed my life, but really, being with these women and watching them work every day, being such a great influence on my life as a person - that was the greatest part." - Brandi Chastain
10. "We're all of the same thread. You have different personalities that pop up with each generation, but I very much look at that team and ourselves as fighting for the same goals, on and off the field... We are all cut from the same cloth, the United States women's national team." - Megan Rapinoe
11. "That's the neat thing about the Olympics. So many of these athletes, they don't make a ton of money, they train for four years to compete, and they realize, 'Look, this is a blessing that I have this chance to represent the United States of America.'" - Julie Foudy
12. "I'm personally offended when I am scored on." - Briana Scurry