SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – This week, the first ranked U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will start their quest for gold in Tokyo.
The Americans are heavy favorites, and six players on the roster have Bay Area ties.
“I’m so thankful for the women who’ve paved the way for me, and I think it’s so important to carry that torch,” said center back Abby Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper, who anchors the U.S. defense, moved to Menlo Park in 5th grade. She’s a graduate of Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory.
“It was so good for me in a sense of the talent of females playing soccer, it pushed me to get better and allowed me to be on a really elite club team,” said Dahlkemper.
She won a national championship at UCLA in 2013 before joining the NWSL.
Then in October of 2016, came the call that every player dreams of.
“It’s super humbling, to be able to represent my country at the highest level means everything to me,” said Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper solidified her spot as one of the team’s starting center backs before taking on the biggest soccer tournament in the world.
She played in every World Cup match for the U.S. en route to becoming a World Cup champion.
“It was just euphoric, like oh my god. This was a childhood dream that came true. How many people can actually say that,” said Dahlkemper.
Now, a new honor, Dahlkemper says she doesn’t take for granted. She’s been named to the 18-player roster that will compete in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics beginning this week.
“It almost doesn’t feel real but I’m obviously so excited and I’m sure when we get to Japan it will all sink it, it’s totally go-time really soon,” said Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper says she’s honored to continue carrying the torch, and that this group will settle for nothing less than gold.
“We’re gonna look to get the job done, take it one game at a time, look to control the controllable, and everything else is just noise,” said Dahlkemper.
The U.S. women will face Sweden in their opening match on Wednesday at 1:30 a.m. PT.