No debate needed: Christen Press is the USWNT’s best player


Christen Press is in a league of her own.

The veteran forward has had a standout Summer Series, but for those following the USWNT, that comes as no surprise. Press has been a quiet force for the national team since her first cap in 2013, scoring three goals in her first two outings with the squad, becoming the only U.S. woman to do so.

In her 146 appearances with the USWNT, Press boasts a staggering 60 goals and 41 assists, stats which are even more impressive when you consider for how many of those games Press came off the bench.

Under former head coaches Pia Sundhage and Jill Ellis, Press was seen as a super-substitute and a game-changer, but not necessarily a starter. Despite being consistently shut out of the starting 11 for big tournaments, Press continued to make her mark.

In the 2019 World Cup, Press replaced an injured Megan Rapinoe in the USA’s starting lineup against England. She wasted no time in the World Cup semifinal, scoring a necessary goal in the 10th minute to secure the lead and eventually win the match.

The career-defining moment only added to the belief that Press had been sorely underrated at the international level.

Press’ role on the national team has undergone a renaissance under current coach Vlatko Andonovski. With new leadership at the helm, Press has gotten more starts and more opportunities to energize the national team’s attack.

USWNT fans first got a taste of what an Andonovski-era Christen Press would look like in the 2020 CONCACAF tournament. The veteran forward scored an astounding five goals to capture the tournament’s Golden Ball Award. (And almost every one of her strikes was a work of art.)

With the world on notice, Press has been on a tear for club and country over the last year, emerging as one of the most compelling attackers in soccer. She is peaking at the right time, hitting her stride in the USWNT’s June Summer Series ahead of the Olympics.

The veteran forward was the only player to start all three matches, upholding the team’s offense. After scoring against Nigeria and then assisting Lynn Williams, Press has now been directly involved in 34 goals in her last 35 games for the U.S., contributing 14 goals and 21 assists.

With such astronomical numbers, Press’ dominance is now finally undeniable.

Heading into the Tokyo Olympics, there’s no debate needed: Christen Press is the USWNT’s best and most important player on the pitch. After years in a supporting role, she is finally getting her moment in the spotlight — and making fans wish she’d been there all along.