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6 Amazing World Cup 'Soccer Moms'
They're world class athletes, but around the house, these six professional soccer stars are simply known as "mom." When this international roster of women isn't busy kicking butt during a World Cup match, they're doing what the rest of us moms do, but we're guessing kicking a ball around the yard is a bit more exciting at their homes!
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American Christie Rampone is the captain of the National Women's Soccer team; this will be her fifth World Cup! She's a mom to two daughters, Reece and Rylie. Rampone is also a three-time Olympic gold medal winner. Despite her success on the soccer field, she recently wrote in the Players' Tribune that ultimately everything is about her kids. "I'm trying to remember not to sweat the small stuff," she says. Rampone told Sport Illustrated, "Women athletes can aspire to do two things at once. To be a mom and still be an athlete."
Amy Rodriguez is a forward for the United States. She has a son named Ryan who turns 2 years old this summer. Ryan is the only boy among the kids of American World Cup moms. "So he gets a lot of love," Rodriguez told Sports Illustrated. She also confided about her experience playing professional soccer as a mom, "It's so hard. But I've really enjoyed it, especially on the national team, because we've got a team that supports moms and has a history of supporting moms." When Rodriguez isn't charging down the soccer field toward the goal, she enjoys wakeboarding and camping with her family.
American Shannon Boxx is a midfielder. Her daughter Zoe was born early last year. The new mom also battles Lupus and is a spokesperson for the disease. She told Sports Illustrated that her daughter is a reason to smile, no matter how hard things get. "Now, I can't imagine doing this without Zoe. Seeing her smile when I come home from practice, it's like starting a brand new day. Even if I've had a bad day, I'm like, things are pretty good now. I think that's a balance I may not have had before. Having her around keeps things in perspective, for sure." Boxx also said she hopes Zoe looks at her one day and thinks, "Wow, my mom did this."
Casey Stoney is the captain for England's World Cup team. Stoney and her partner, soccer player Megan Harris, welcomed twin sons Teddy and Tilly this past fall. "The decision to be open about my sexuality and tell the world we were going to become parents absolutely petrified me," Stoney told HuffPost UK Parents. "But to anybody who ever questions why we've had children, I'd say: Well, look at what we've been through to have them and look at how wanted they are."
Melissa Barbieri is goalkeeper for Melbourne Victory from Australia. She had her first child, a girl she named Holly, in 2013. It seems the new mom athlete can live in both worlds, but still some things are just sacred. In April she tweeted: "I'm ok with projectile vomit... It comes with the territory. I draw the line at p-vomit on the Baby Jordan's. I cry like a baby."
German soccer star Fatmire Alushi recently announced she is sitting out this World Cup because she is pregnant. In a press release she said, "Of course I would have liked to have played in the World Cup, but there are things in life that are just more important than football." Alushi says she plans to return to her sport, adding, "I am really looking forward to it. If everything goes as expected, then at some stage I will try to aim for new goals as a footballer."