Did you hear? Women’s professional soccer is coming to Boston! The National Women’s Soccer League announced that Boston will be the 15th team to join the league, and the home matches will be played in a revitalized George R. White Stadium in Franklin Park — right in the heart of Boston.
In my house, with soccer-playing daughters and a couple of parents who love sports of all kinds, we’re super excited about this news. I mean, we love cheering for the Revolution at Gillette as much as the next guy, but our Rapinoe and Morgan jerseys will look even better at a women’s game.
Plus, as a woman, I also happen to love that this soccer club is backed by an investor group that is 95% women. (Do you even have to be a woman to love this news? Maybe I just love it as a human.) This actually feels like leveling the playing field (or soccer turf), not just talking about it.
The only downside to this news is we have to wait until 2026 for our Boston squad to take the field. So for all you fans and supporters of female sports, here’s what we can do in the meantime:
1. Watch women’s sports on TV.
My family was pretty crazy about the recent Women’s World Cup that was played in Australia and New Zealand. There were a couple times where everyone in my family* woke up at 5 a.m. to watch a big match live.
*And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. My husband wasn’t doing it to make a big deal of men supporting female sports; he just likes watching good soccer. But to all you dads, it does show your kids something.
If soccer isn’t your thing, there are so many televised sports to get excited about: tennis (if Coco isn’t an example of female power, who is?), the WNBA, swimming, even field hockey. With streaming TV, we now happily have access to competitive sports played by men and women.
2. Catch a women’s collegiate — or high school — game.
In Greater Boston, we have a gazillion colleges and universities, most of them offering free (!) games for your family to check out. Even high school sports can be fantastic to watch; I cheered on our local Brookline girls’ varsity soccer team in the playoffs and was blown away by their fast and aggressive play. Showing your daughters and sons what the next level of sports looks like will open their eyes just a bit wider.
3. Encourage female coaches and mentors.
Why are almost all the youth sports coaches men? Don’t get me wrong, good sirs, I appreciate your service. It’s just that I think our kids need to see some women holding the clipboard. Moms, we are the ultimate multi-taskers and get-it-done-ers, so you know we can coach, too.
But if a female coach isn’t in the cards for your team, you could seek out a local high school or college female to run a few private workshops with your kid. My girls worked with a Colby College soccer player this past summer and were clearly inspired by her.
4. Wear your favorite (female) athlete’s jersey.
And I don’t just mean this for all the little girls out there. Imagine a day where a boy wears a Naeher goalie jersey to practice or writes a bio on Serena Williams for school. And one where all the kids are talking about the match the night before, when she booted an amazing power kick into the top corner of the goal.
Am I crazy to dream it?
Or maybe not so crazy, if others are dreaming it too.