Author: Adrian Beunder
Joy Fawcett is a legend in her own right for what she’s done playing for the USWNT, but her work didn’t end for improving the women’s game when she hung up her cleats. At Center-back, she played every minute of the 95, 99, and 2003 World Cup and is undoubtedly a top 10 women’s national team player of all time. With her 241 appearances and countless career-defining moments, what more could she give to the game for women 16 years after she retired? For a city built on breaking boundaries and sitting on the summit of Major League Sports-lore, the city has been without professional women’s soccer for over a decade and Joy is one of the people helping to make this step that is crucial to women’s soccer and the city of LA.
What’s the importance of bringing a women’s team to LA?
“It’s important to bring a women’s team to LA to bring more women role models to the community who play the most popular sport in the world. Especially with all the wonderful soccer fans here in LA.”, says Fawcett.
The success and fanatical atmosphere for LAFC found at the Banc of California Stadium is a testament to how ferociously supported soccer is here in SoCal. Young boys can now dream and see their favorite players in their own backyard without having to go to Carson, but Joy realizes the importance of that inspiration for women too.
“I know my girls benefitted from meeting and watching the best players in the world and would love for the girls to have the opportunity to watch, meet and dream with the Angel City Women’s Soccer players coming to the community.”
The benefits Soccer can bring to youth across the world are felt ten-fold by the kids in our programs across SoCal. Here at Pure Game, we know how much kids can grow through the vehicle of Soccer and the important values and lessons that can be gained through working in a team sport.
Joy believes Angel City FC will catalyze and continue the work we do as she says, “For the kids we service, it gives them female role models that they can see in person. It will show them if they want to play soccer professionally, they can. Also, to be able to see the sport they love, live, and in-person at the highest level.”
Soccer has had a huge impact on the person I am today. It has helped me develop self-discipline, confidence, how to work as a team and so many lifelong friendships! It has taught me the importance of working hard and the opportunities it provides me.”
This is a huge project and something that Joy says she and many other women’s soccer fans “Have been dying to see happen.” This project is going to come with many challenges, but Joy says the biggest one is securing the right venue that will be a great home for the team and fans. The support from actors. Entrepreneurs and athletes have been key to making this project come to fruition, but there is still work to be done before their kickoff in 2022.
“One of my favorite parts of playing professionally was getting to meet the fans, all the young girls who love the same game as I do.”
Joy knows that love for the game is only going to grow with Angel City FC and even 16 years after she hung her cleats up, she continues to inspire and make waves for women’s soccer.