Twenty years ago, my family and I went to the first match in the 1999 Women’s World Cup at Giants Stadium. The USA beat Denmark 3-0, but looking back, the day was really a pop culture phenomenon: Mia Hamm scored the opening goal,*NSYNC performed in the opening ceremony, 2015 World Cup Golden Ball-winner Carli Lloyd was in the stands.
A month after that, Brandi Chastain scored the iconic goal that clinched the tournament and made that team immortal. It was my 12th birthday.
Yesterday, on my 32nd birthday, I had another special birthday moment — covering the celebration for the 2019 World Cup-winning US Women’s National Team at City Hall Plaza. (Here’s the story for the Queens Daily Eagle).
I wrote about the event for my paper, the Queens Daily Eagle, and it is a dream come true to be able to cover cool events — soccer events — as A JOB. I started this website right before the 2014 World Cup, traveling around the city writing about the culture of soccer at an Ivorian restaurant, a Costa Rican bar, an Iranian party.
I didn’t realize it then, but that project jumpstarted my journalism career and helped me finally get to a place where I couldn’t suppress my true passion anymore.
I called that 2014 project my World Cup Tour of NYC. It ended at viewing party next to the East River, but it started something in me and helped me to pursue my ultimate goals.
Photos by David Brand