This is a feeling I’ve had so many times over the last few years: I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here.
In a locker room at BC Place after a Timbers/Whitecaps match in 2013. In a bar in Victoria in 2014. Every single time I sit down in a presser with Caleb Porter. I have absolutely no idea how I ended up here, how all these events fell in line to put me in this place.
I’m in Vancouver, BC, tonight. Tomorrow I will go to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. I do not deserve this.
I do not follow women’s international soccer as perhaps I probably should. I do not claim to be a supporter of the USWNT. There are others with a much greater appreciation of the sport, of the contributions of the women playing, others who might gain something from this experience that I cannot being to fathom.
But I’m here.
I sat on a balcony tonight at a house in west Vancouver, a house we’ve been referring to as the Van City Haus, home to a collective of women’s soccer supporters from across the U.S. and, in fact, around the world who have come here to witness this iteration of the Women’s World Cup. I listened to some of their stories. I heard tell of women who grew up in areas where the schools didn’t offer sports to girls. I heard of parents and grandparents who went out of their way to make sure their daughters and granddaughters had opportunities they were not afforded. I heard the absolute joy of being able to witness and participate in the spectacle of the World Cup.
I met women who’ve been to World Cup matches in years past and those who knew nothing, like me, of women’s soccer before their cities became homes to NWSL teams.
Every story is different, every path is different. The one constant is that we all feel luck to be here. We feel as though we may be on the verge of something great, something historic, something that may be remembered for generations to come.
What will we remember from this experience?
For me, there is an overwhelming sense of gratitude to those who brought me here, for those who came before, for those who made it possible that two women’s teams will meet on a world stage in a stadium that will host 54,000 people from around the globe.
But I have no idea what I’m doing here.