The U.S. Women’s National Team has advanced to the round of 16 in the 2023 World Cup and as they prepare for their matchup with Sweden, several team members are participating in an important initiative.
FOX Sports is partnering with the nonprofit organization Common Goal and U.S. Women’s National Team players like defender Sofia Huerta to make mental health a priority along with physical fitness at every level of the game.
By supporting local nonprofits like the Chicano Federation of San Diego and the youth they serve, Common Goal enables the soccer community to put mental health at the forefront when discussing player care.
Huerta joins teammates Naomi Girma and Sophia Smith for this collaboration through a three-part feature series and multiple public service announcements produced by FOX Sports, according to FOX.
The teammates will discuss the importance of mental health in professional soccer, pairing their stories with young female athletes across the United States who are navigating their mental health journeys.
The U.S. takes on Sweden in the round of 16 at 5 a.m. EST on Sunday, Aug. 6. But the USWNT will be without one of its top players in its round of 16 match. Rose Lavelle picked up a yellow card in the 39th minute of its final Group E match against Portugal.
Leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, FOX Sports introduced Common Goal USA’s new mental health initiative in the June 4 episode of its award-winning pro-social series "VOICES," which highlights diverse sports stories impacting our communities and culture.
"During such a pivotal year for women’s sports, we are excited to partner with FOX Sports and players from the USWNT to ensure that mental health is at the forefront this tournament," Lilli Barrett-O’Keefe, Executive Director of Common Goal USA, said in a FOX release. "Historically, conversations around mental wellbeing have been either ignored or stigmatized in grassroots and professional soccer. Together with FOX Sports, we’re making it our goal to change that."
The relationship between Common Goal and FOX Sports goes back to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, when FOX Sports supported and featured Play Proud, Common Goal’s initiative to make soccer a safe and inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community, throughout its tournament coverage, FOX noted.
To support this initiative, text USWNT to 44321.
This story was reported from Washington, D.C.