A group of former U.S. women’s national team stars are set to compete in a new tournament this summer with a $1 million prize.
The Soccer Tournament is a winner-take-all 7-on-7 competition that will feature a number of stars from both the men’s and women’s national teams. In a format similar to the World Cup, 32 teams will compete in eight groups of four. Each team will play three group matches in June, before 16 teams advance into single-elimination knockout rounds to determine the winner.
Alongside USMNT stars and international teams in the field, Mia Hamm, Carla Overbeck and Michelle Akers will coach an all-women team called US Women.
The team was organized by U.S. World Cup champion Heather O’Reilly, who will play alongside former USWNT players Cat Whitehill, Lori Chalupny and Lori Lindsay. A number of other players are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.
TBT Enterprises, which has run a basketball iteration of the tournament for nearly a decade, will put on the tournament after expanding into soccer last year.
“Right away, without knowing much about it, I got a team slot without really putting much thought into who was going to be on my team,” O’Reilly said. “I just knew that I wanted a team and I wanted a chance to win and a chance to be part of it.”
The US Women Team was organized by longtime national team player Heather O'Reilly, who will also play in The Soccer Tournament.More: https://t.co/rou1JVtdrJ pic.twitter.com/1BGyJ2xY2L— espnW (@espnW) April 27, 2023
The US Women Team was organized by longtime national team player Heather O'Reilly, who will also play in The Soccer Tournament.More: https://t.co/rou1JVtdrJ pic.twitter.com/1BGyJ2xY2L
At first, O’Reilly said she considered holding tryouts for the team but soon decided to see about linking up USWNT greats. O’Reilly then sent out an email to her former teammates, who jumped at the opportunity.
“It was just essentially blasting out an email and explaining [TST],” O’Reilly said. “First of all, I had to say, ‘Please just read to the bottom and don’t think this is one of my crazy ideas. This is a real thing.’ I usually have some crazy idea, so a lot of people sometimes are unsure of how serious to take something that I’m suggesting.”
Between the coaching staff and roster of players, the US Women team will feature a combined seven World Cup titles, three Olympic gold medals and over 600 national team appearances.
The US Women will be the lone all-women’s team in the tournament, though other rosters are expected to feature women alongside men.