While the U.S. women’s national team will try to forget the 2023 World Cup after their Round of 16 exit, it was a tournament to remember for center back Naomi Girma.
Girma rose to stardom in her first World Cup, playing every minute of all four games for the United States. Her presence on the backline was particularly important with the absence of former captain Becky Sauerbrunn due to injury. Sauerbrunn has 216 caps to date and a long history of incredible leadership, guidance, and professionalism for the USWNT. Girma’s performance this summer was the single best part of the team’s World Cup campaign, with the young center back filling Sauerbrunn’s center back shoes with ease.
She added leadership, composure, and a skillset that fans will rave about for years to come.