Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch could think of no one else’s name she would rather wear on her back than that of Briana Scurry.
Especially in her first cap for the U.S. women’s soccer team.
“That’s who I looked up to as a kid growing up,” Franch said Saturday of the Hall of Fame goalkeeper who helped the United States win two Olympic gold medals and the 1999 World Cup. “So it’s kind of cool to get the cap with the name on the back.”
Scurry wasn’t the only surprising name that showed up Saturday on the field as the United States tied England 2-2 in the SheBelieves Cup tournament. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, J.K. Rowling and Beyonce each made an appearance as each American player wore a different woman’s name on the back of her jersey during National Women’s Month.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn’s jersey honored Ginsburg, midfielder Rose Lavelle’s Rowling and forward Mallory Pugh’s Beyonce.
Other famous women on the uniforms included Mother Teresa (midfielder McCall Zerboni), Sally Ride (defender Tierna Davidson), Cardi B (goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris), Carrie Underwood (midfielder Julie Ertz), Tina Fey (defender Emily Sonnett), Malala Yousafzai (forward Carli Lloyd) and Jennifer Lawrence (defender Abby Dahlkemper).
For Sauerbrunn, honoring women who inspired each of the Americans was perfect timing at a tournament named SheBelieves to help inspire and empower women.
Picking the Supreme Court justice was easy for Sauerbrunn.
“She’s a strong woman, and I think she’s gone through quite a bit in her career,” Sauerbrunn said. “And I think that she stood up for what she believes in, and she’s fought for women’s rights and gender equality, and I think that’s something we’re trying to do as a team ourselves, and she seemed like the perfect person to choose.”
Athletes honored include Serena Williams (defender Crystal Dunn) and former U.S. women’s team stars Mia Hamm (midfielder Samantha Mewis), Abby Wambach (forward Alex Morgan) and Heather O’Reilly (defender Kelly O’Hara).
“Absolutely LOVE being able to honor my role model, a hero, the GOAT in our match today with your name on my back,” Morgan wrote on Twitter before the match.
Wambach, Hamm, and O’Reilly all responded to having their names on U.S. uniforms again.
“This honor was as meaningful to me, as any championship I’ve won,” Wambach wrote on Twitter. “Amazing idea! All the feels.”
Midfielder Samantha Mewis wore Hamm’s name on her back and thanked her before the match for all Hamm has done for women and the U.S. women’s team. Hamm noted she was honored and humbled to be included in the inspirational jerseys.
“Continue to inspire and lead. Go USA!!” Hamm wrote.