2019 World Cup: Meet the Record-Breaking U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

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Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup just kicked off a few days ago, and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team is already making history. During their first match against Thailand, the team broke records for "most goals scored by a team in a World Cup match, the largest margin of victory in a World Cup match, and most individual goal scorers in a single Women's World Cup match," according to CBS News. And if that's not all, superstar Alex Morgan's five goals left her tied with Michelle Akers (a member of the 1991 USWNT) for most goals scored in a single World Cup match.

While that's all in a day's work for the team, they're also getting shit done off the field, too. On March 8 (also International Women's Day), the team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation demanding equal pay. The federation filed responses denying wage discrimination. While the ongoing suit won't affect the team's quest for a back-to-back World Cup win, it sends a powerful message for equal pay across the board.

With their statement-making tournament debut, we can't wait to watch the upcoming matches. To prepare, you're going to want to familiarize yourself with these 23 incredible women, so we rounded up all of their Instagram accounts (and other social media handles for some) below so you can follow along. 

#6: Morgan Brian

According to her USWNT profile, midfielder Morgan Brian was the youngest member of the 2015 World Cup team (she was 22 at the time). She was on the 2016 Olympic team and currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars.

#7: Abby Dahlkemper

Defender and World Cup first-timer Abby Dahlkemper won an NCAA National Championship with UCLA in 2013. She currently plays for the North Carolina Courage team, which won the ICC Championship in 2018.

#12: Tierna Davidson

Twenty-year-old Tierna Davidson is the youngest player on this year's team. The defender won the national championship with Stanford in 2017, and now plays for the Chicago Red Stars.

#19: Crystal Dunn

Defender Crystal Dunn, 26, was a student athlete at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and now plays for the North Carolina Courage. This is her World Cup debut.

#8: Julie Ertz

Midfielder Julie Ertz played for the U.S. in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. According to her USWNT bio, Ertz and her husband Zach Ertz (who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles) started the Ertz Family Foundation to help create opportunities for children in sports and education. 

#21: Adrianna Franch

Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch holds the record for shutouts (36!) at Oklahoma State University; it's the sixth-most in NCAA history. She was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 and 2018. This is her first appearance at the World Cup.

#18: Ashlyn Harris

Ashlyn Harris was named Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011 (WPS) and 2016 (NWSL). According to her USWNT bio, she's technically a two-time World Cup winner since she was on the teams for the 2015 FIFA World Cup and the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup. Off the field, her big interest is fashion (you can tell by her very stylish Instagram), and she has her own T-shirt line. She and teammate Ali Krieger are engaged (and post the cutest Instagrams of each other).

#17: Tobin Heath

Forward Tobin Heath is known for her "nutmegs," which is a term for kicking or pushing the ball between an opponent's legs. In fact, her fans refer to her as "Queen of the Nutmeg." This is the two-time Olympic gold medalist's third World Cup.

#9: Lindsey Horan

Midfielder Lindsay Horan is making her World Cup debut. According to her USWNT bio, she is the first female soccer player to skip college and go straight to the pros. She currently plays for the Portland Thorns, but before that, she played in France. Her Instagram account is private, but you can catch her on the USWNT account.

#11: Ali Krieger

This is defender Ali Krieger's third World Cup—during the 2015 tournament, she started every game and was on the field the whole time (save for 10 minutes). She's currently with Orlando Pride but has also played internationally with FC Frankfurt and Sweden's Tyreso FF. She's engaged to teammate Ashlyn Harris.

#16: Rose Lavelle

According to her USWNT bio, midfielder Rose Lavelle was the number one overall draft pick at the 2017 NWSL College Draft. She currently plays for the Washington Spirit, and this is her first World Cup appearance.

#10: Carli Lloyd

You might remember Carli Lloyd's phenomenal performance in the 2015 World Cup final, during which she scored three goals in 15 minutes. The veteran forward is a three-time Olympian (and two-time gold medalist), and this is her fourth World Cup.

#20: Allie Long

In the 2016 Olympics, Allie Long started three out of four games. Now, she's making her first World Cup appearance. The midfielder currently plays for Reign FC in Washington.

#22: Jessica McDonald

Forward Jessica McDonald was the first NWSL player to reach 33 regular-season goals, according to her USWNT bio. The World Cup first-timer is also mom to a 7-year-old son, and says in her bio that he motivates her to succeed: "I want him to be proud of his mom."

#3: Samantha Mewis

Samantha Mewis helped UCLA win the 2013 NCAA championship. During her rookie year on the Western New York Flash (now the franchise is known as the North Carolina Courage), she started all 20 regular-season games. This is the midfielder's first World Cup.

#13: Alex Morgan

This is forward Alex Morgan's third World Cup, and she is ready for the challenge, she's quoted in her USWNT bio: "The World Cup is the best of both worlds—I'm feeling confident and ready to be a leader." Off the field, the Olympic gold medalist is an author and was named to the 2019 TIME 100 list of influential people.

#1: Alyssa Naeher

According to her USWNT bio, Alyssa Naeher won the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award, after her record performance of 106 saves in 24 games. She was on the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympic teams and plays for the Chicago Red Stars.

#5: Kelley O'Hara

The former Hermann Trophy winner (think the Heisman, but for soccer) is making her third World Cup appearance. The defender was on the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams, and played every minute of every match during the 2012 Games.

#23: Christen Press

Forward Christen Press is the all-time leading goal-scorer at her alma mater, Stanford. She was on the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympic teams and plays for the Utah Royals.

#2: Mallory Pugh

Mallory Pugh was called up to the Women's National Team when she was 17, which made her the youngest player to debut in 11 years, according to her USWNT bio. She was on the 2016 Olympic team, and this is her World Cup debut.

#15: Megan Rapinoe

One of Megan Rapinoe's most memorable career moments, per her USWNT bio, was when she "sent a 50-yard wonder-cross to Abby Wambach in overtime" during the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Cup. This is her third World Cup, and she's been a member of Team USA at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

#4: Becky Sauerbrunn

Making her third World Cup appearance, Becky Sauerbrunn is also a two-time Olympian (and won gold during the 2012 Games). She was also named NWSL Defender fo the Year three years in a row from 2013 to 2015. 

#14: Emily Sonnett

Defender Emily Sonnett was the first overall pick in the 2016 NWSL draft and currently plays for the Portland Thorns. This is her first World Cup.

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