To close out our 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage, we leave you with thoughts from one GESM employees, Carly Samp, who spent a month in France following the U.S. Women’s National Team from Le Havre to Paris and beyond. Click here to read our 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by-the-numbers infographic.
Over the last three decades, the U.S. Women’s National Team has dominated the international soccer scene. Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, and Michelle Akers were my idols growing up and I had dreams of following in their footsteps as a youngster. Of course, as you grow older you realize some dreams are a little too far out of reach. After several opportunities to visit France the past several years, working remote from France and following the USWNT journey was a no-brainer. For me, it was a chance to fulfill my childhood dream of being apart of the team. Aside from that, I love the French culture, food, and Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world – all good excuses to make my way to France!
Part of the action
Of course, we had to make our first stop at Parc de Princes to take in the FIFA Women’s World Cup opener (France vs. Korea Republic). France certainly embraced their team, and the population took a serious interest in the World Cup as it was happening. We had so many great conversations with people from all over the world who came to cheer on their country, and of course, plenty of American Outlaws roamed the streets. The turnout from American fans was truly impressive – every city in France we went to (Reims, Le Havre, Paris, Lyon) had American’s flooding the streets.
We ended up going to each of the USWNT group stage games, as well as the semi-final, and of course, the final. Being able to go to most of the games actually made me feel apart of the team; maybe not as a player, but as a fan. At GESM I’ve had the opportunity to go to cool events and high-profile games, but mostly in a working capacity. Being able to support the USWNT in France as a fan was such a cool experience. Although insignificant on a larger scale, I truly felt like I played a role in the team, albeit from the stands.
While the 99ers were a source of inspiration for me as a 10-year-old, the 2019 team still continues to inspire me. Twenty years from now a whole new generation of players and fans will be look back at the summer of 2019 as a source of their inspiration. I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend in France for the duration of the tournament and to be able to witness history. Check out some of my favorite photos below from the trip: