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‘We can always add layers to our game’: Lynn Williams on USWNT’s path forward

© Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK, NY — Fresh off two wins with the U.S. women’s national team, Lynn Williams was all smiles at the EA SPORTS FC 24 launch event on Thursday evening.

“I feel like the vibes in camp were amazing and I think that translated on the field,” Lynn Williams exclusively told The Equalizer. “We still have so much work to do, but I think when we were playing, it looked like we were having more fun, and playing with joy, and I think that’s when we play our best soccer. We need to focus and put in the effort, but when the U.S. is having joy, that’s when it is amazing, and that’s how I felt in this camp and in these two games.”

Although the two wins against South Africa certainty helped propel the team forward, so much is still in flux with the U.S. With the Olympics less than a year away, the team is fully focused on figuring out what went wrong at the World Cup, and Williams looking forward to seeing who will take over as manager following the departure of Vlatko Andonovoski.

“I would love to see somebody with international experience, who has been at that stage before, and knows the ins and outs of the US mentality,” Williams said. “We can always add layers to our game, but somebody who just knows the culture and bit, knows the players that they have, and if that means changing a system so be it, but looking at what players you have and knowing how to get the best out of these 11 or 23 players.”

With the departure of USWNT mainstays like Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe during this last camp, Williams is now taking stock of her own, evolving role on the team. While she knows there are players on the team with more experience than she has, she hopes that she can step up and provide support and help to her teammates in a veteran role.

“It’s such an interesting role, and it’s so funny because I’ve always said I’m not old, but I’m not this young 18 year old either,” Williams laughed. “It’s nice, I feel like this past year especially I’ve been coming into my own a little bit more, finding my role on the team. I’ve been around, I know what it takes, but at the same time that was my first World Cup. I’m still learning as I go, but it’s nice for me on a personal level to know who I am, the player that I am, and once you know yourself you can give more to others.”

With the next USWNT camp still a month away, Williams is now focused on the final playoff push with her National Women’s Soccer league club team NJ/NY Gotham FC. She and her teammates Midge Purce, Kristie Mewis and Ali Krieger were present at the EA SPORTS FC 24 launch event in New York City on Thursday, ahead of the game’s Friday release.

“It’s incredible and it’s about time,” Williams said. “To be able to see yourself in game form, we want exactly what the men have. That’s what this is, being able to have equality with the men. It’s not like we’re asking for the moon, we’re asking for the same.”

For former Gotham FC player and current EA SPORTS FC Live Content Assistant Producer Nicole Baxter, FC24’s inclusion and continued expansion of women, especially at the club level, is a significant stride forward for equality between the men’s and women’s game.

“I think realizing that the women’s players and lot of my friends will have the opportunity to be seen by the world in this way is almost like an out of body experience for me,” Baxter said. “When I’m working on the game and seeing these players that I know, and maybe they’re not the big international names, to know that people will become bigger fans of them from playing with them in the game is very exciting.”

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