Four of the World Cup champions made their way to Los Angeles for the 'Call of Duty' reveal event last week to see what the newest release has in store. On the road, the first-person shooter video game is a way for them to unwind and spend time together outside of soccer.
"We're ultra-competitive in everything, and so it was really fun playing on a team and relying on the team," USWNT defender Becky Sauerbrunn told Cheddar after playing the new release.
The game seems to serve as yet another platform for members of the women's national team to fight gender disparities. The team is notoriously outspoken when it comes to the wage gap between women and men.
The entirety of the USWNT split $4 million in earnings when they yet again claimed the World Cup title. Around the same time, a 16-year-old boy took home $3 million as the Fortnite World Cup champion — adding more fuel to the wage disparity debate fire.
"I think it's a fight that, in society right now, is just very prevalent and this kind of disparity needs to be shown," Sauerbrunn said. "Someone winning a Fortnite tournament and someone winning a World Cup may be in different realms or arenas, but what we did is just as amazing as what this guy did. I think it's just getting that message out there, having it heard and making people invested in the fight [to] close that gap wherever it is."
And the players say their love of gaming is another way they may be breaking the mold for young women.
"Representation matters," Sauerbrunn said. "I think if you see more women playing video games then more women will be willing to explore the world and so that's kind of what we're doing today. We are gamers, and we love this game. So, I think a lot of other people could enjoy it."
Although the teammates seem to be having a good time off the field, they have a new obstacle on the field: the departure of their heralded coach Jill Ellis. Shortly after the World Cup victory, Ellis, announced her decision to step down.
"Her legacy is amazing," USWNT midfielder Allie Long said. "To be the only woman to win back-to-back World Cups — I mean what a way to go out."