Thanksgiving is a time to take a moment and look back on all that we are thankful for from the past year.  The beautiful game provides many inspirational moments. Ones that we won’t forget as we move forward into 2016.  And we take a moment to give thanks for a few of our most memorable moments.

USWNT celebrate winning 2015 Women's World Cup

USWNT celebrate winning 2015 Women’s World Cup (Image courtesy US Soccer)

USWNT win 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – With their last FIFA Women’s World Cup title coming in 1999, the pressure was on the U.S. women’s national team heading to Canada in the summer.  Head coach Jill Ellis’ side were (as always) considered favorites to lift the trophy but the last 3 tournaments only provided heartbreak.  The USWNT left little doubt who the best team in the world knocking in 14 goals while only conceding 3 on the way to the title.  Carli Lloyd paced the team with her Golden Ball performance that included the first hat-trick in a Women’s FIFA World Cup final.

Copa America Centenario 2016Copa America Centenario 2016 – Rumors circulated that the 100th anniversary of the Copa America scheduled to be hosted in the USA may be cancelled as various groups working to finalize the details for the tournament were pulled into the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal.  But on Friday, October 23 US Soccer confirmed that the show will go on and feature the full line-up of all 10 CONMEBOL teams and 6 teams from CONCACAF.  Next summer’s tournament will be the biggest tournament hosted in the U.S. since the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Leicester City
– Leicester City is symbolic of all that is good about the game.  And a representative of what the smaller clubs can accomplish.  After AFC Bournemouth earned their first promotion to the English top division, the Premier League, the end of last season, Leicester City are equally surprisingly sitting on top of the Premier League table at Thanksgiving.  The Big 4 is no longer leaving much to be thankful for the remainder of this season and in seasons to come. (And did you notice that last season’s champions, Chelsea is wallowing in 15th place?)

Columbus Crew fans (Images courtesy MLS Instagram)

Columbus Crew fans (Images courtesy MLS Instagram)

Major League Soccer – Since its inaugural season in 1996 there have been many ups and downs but Major League Soccer has survived and (is starting to) thrive with the landmark 20th season coming to a close.  With the play on the field getting better every year and a growing fan base the league is well on its way to being one of the most followed pro sports leagues in the U.S. And the critics said this could not be done.

U.S. Soccer Moves (A)Head in the Game – Concussion awareness is front and center in professional sports, and the United States Soccer Federation, United States Youth Soccer Association, American Youth Soccer Organization, US Club Soccer and the California Youth Soccer Association made a bold move to minimize the short-term and long-term effects of concussions in youth players.  The organizations adopted new rules to eliminate heading for children 10 and under and limit heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13.

And we would be remiss if we did not give thanks to all the soccer fans in the U.S. and around the world that shop with World Soccer Shop.  Without your support it would be impossible for us to work to build the best selection of soccer gear and be a small part of the passion that sings out for the beautiful game.

HAVE YOUR SAY…What has soccer made you thankful for this Thanksgiving?