BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — With the United States just two wins away from a fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title, Virginia Tech goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn thinks the sport is in a good place.
“I think it’s definitely catching more eyes than four years ago,” McGlynn said.
That much is certainly true. According to Nielsen, Friday’s match between the United States and France was seen by 6.3 million viewers on Fox, making it the most watched World Cup quarterfinal match on record in the US.
“We’re just growing and we’re getting better and people are wanting to watch us and are excited to watch us,” McGlynn said. “And it’s just a great experience as a woman to want to play at that level knowing that its growing and it’s going to continue up that path, I’m excited.”
Increased exposure to women’s soccer has improved the game in Southwest Virginia and Hokies head coach Chugger Adair hopes to take advantage of the home grown talent.
“Every year it multiplies by leaps and bounds as far as the growth of the sport,” Adair said. “More kids are playing. More adults are becoming parents who have played the game. The parents give back and wanting their kids to experience what they experienced growing up. So I think it continues to grow and multiply by leaps and balances.”
But there’s still plenty of room for growth. The U.S. women’s national team continues to fight for equal pay, even as it outperforms its male counterparts in terms of global success.
“We can do it just as better as men can you know,” McGlynn said. “We are exciting to watch and we are going to continue to be exciting to watch and you know we are just going to keep growing as players and as people and just to see how we are role models for the youth.”
Adair hopes it becomes a staple in every American household.
“That kids will want to be around the game and learning and being a part of the game and supporting their teams and their countries,” Adair said. “So tremendous hope and we want to see players become parents and parents become grandparents and so forth so the generations continue to grow and enjoy the sport.”