Members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team don’t just identify as soccer players. They identify in Christ.
On June 11, the U.S. Women’s National Team made history after beating Thailand 13-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Since then, the team has also won against Chile during the event held in France. But that’s not all that makes this team stand out. On social media, several of the players reveal that they have a relationship with God.
On her Twitter account, star player Tobin Heath’s bio simply says “ephesians 2:8-9.” That passage reads, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Throughout the years, she has quoted the Bible and posted inspirational messages including “God is good. All the time.” In 2018, Heath tweeted “thank you Lord for another day” while recovering from an injury. Seven years earlier, she wrote about attending church at Hillsong NYC as well as a Bible study.
In a 2011 interview with Beliefnet, she revealed she was raised in a Christian home. Her career, she added, was for God.
“I play to glorify Him. I worship Him with the gifts I’ve been given. Through that, I just hope He can be glorified,” she said. “I try to keep that as my motivation when I step out on the field every day whether it’s practice or a game. It’s to work as hard as I can in thankfulness for what He’s given me and hopefully some of that can come back to Him.”
Likewise, her teammate Julie Ertz calls herself a believer in her Twitter bio. In 2017, she remembered God in a tweet of gratitude: “Thank you to my family, the fans and the coaches. God is good!”
Faith also plays a role in her marriage, Philly Mag reported in 2018. Her husband Zach, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, revealed “we’ve built our marriage on a strong foundation of the Word and lean on Jesus when we need to.”
Julie added of her faith, “When I laid my foundation in the right spot, my faith allowed me to perform better. I was able to see the big picture; I had a more positive thought process. My mind just switched.”
In addition to Heath, Allie Long attended Hillsong NYC at one point. She regularly cites the Bible, including on April 20 when she tweeted, “‘Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God.’ Mark 10:27.”
In 2015, teammate Kelley O’Hara shared on Twitter she had “been loving” going to a morning Bible study.
That same year, player Crystal Dunn thanked God for her career. “Words can’t explain how much i have grown as a person and a player. I owe it all to god, my family, my friends and my #spiritfingers,” she typed. Earlier that year she added “God only knows how many times i’ve cried at night. But every morning he gave me a smile that got me through the day.”
In 2018 she tweeted “Thank you lord for another day #gameday #blessed.”
Teammate Alyssa Naeher has tweeted about going to church and regularly shares Bible verses. In 2015, she shared a photo of her new nephew, Judah, and tweeted, “5 hours after becoming a World Cup champion I became an auntie!! God is so good!” In 2011, for Easter, she tweeted, “Thank you Jesus for the greatest gift ever given!”
Player Rose Lavelle has also tweeted about church and Psalms including “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad.”
In 2013, Mallory Pugh shared her thoughts about God: “when I lay down [at] night I thank The Lord above that’s given me everything I ever could dream of.”
Jessica McDonald, the only mother on the team, references God in her Twitter bio. In March, she told her followers that her seven-year-old son was named after a Biblical figure.
“Hebrew meaning of Jeremiah: Appointed by God. I named you Jeremiah bc it’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible,” she wrote. “I am so blessed to have a son like you.”
She has also run a Bible study and regularly quotes the Bible. In 2018, she urged, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”
Teammate Emily Sonnett also has attended church and cites the Bible. “Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock,” she typed in 2013.
Similarly, Morgan Brian has attended church and Bible study. In 2016, she tweeted“God’s word is life-giving and worth giving my life to.” That same year, she wrote an essay for the Christian Fellowship of Athletes where she wrote about her growing in her faith.
“I feel like I’ve been given this platform as a professional athlete for a reason. It’s not just about fulfilling my childhood dreams,” she wrote. “I can see the purpose—to make a difference in people’s lives and point them to the One who saved me: Christ, my Lord.”
In other words, their goal isn’t just kicking a ball into a net; It’s heaven.