FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- USWNT Soccer star and Fresno native (Bullard HS) Lynn Williams joins us from New Zealand as Team USA looks to defend its title at the Women's World Cup.
Williams talks about making the World Cup roster for the first time, what the hometown support means to her, and why it's win or bust for Team USA.
Full interview transcription:
Alec Nolan: Lynn Williams joining us now from the US Women's National Team. Lynn, What is it like to represent the United States?
Lynn Williams: Yeah, it's a dream. It's definitely you feel like pressure on your shoulders. You know, there's so many people that want to be in your position. Every time I wear the crest every time I step on the field. I don't take it for granted at all. So it's just an honor. You know, I've been wanting to do this since I was like a little baby. So yeah, I feel very blessed and honored to do this
Alec: Last time around, you didn't get the call you wanted but this time around You did. Take me to the moment where you did get that call.
Lynn: Yeah, so I was with my agent and I knew I was actually throwing out the pitch at the Yankees game and I needed to just get my mind off the call because I knew it was coming on that day. My agent and I were just out in the backyard throwing practicing my pitch. And then Vlatko texted me saying, do you have a minute to talk and, you know, my heart starts racing, your my palms are like literally sweating. And he just gave me the good news that I made the team and in that moment, I was able to hold it together. But right after we got off the call, it's just like all the emotions come I started crying called my fiancée call my mom and dad just they were so proud of me but it just all the hard work and sacrifice. Like you said, I didn't get a call I wanted last time so to finally hear that call. It meant everything to me.
Alec: What is different about this version of Lynn Williams perhaps to the one four years ago?
Lynn: I really worked a lot on my mental game you can grow as a player of course and you can always sharpen little things. The US wants me for me so just the it my ability to change that mindset and realize that I am enough for this team. I belong here and to be lit in
Alec: Such a small percentage of people will experience what you are right now going to a World Cup. What is that atmosphere like? Kind of if you could explain it to the average person.
Lynn: Oh. Intense the best atmosphere ever. You know, you have all of these tactics that you go through on a game in the game and you're trying to say stuff information to people on the field, but you can't hear it because there's a million people yelling at you. You're watching the world and how each nation plays soccer a little bit differently and their tactics and their strategies and it's just an event that the the whole entire world is participating in. It's not just a like a club tournament or a club game. It's the world
Alec: Here in Fresno there's watch parties, people gathering at bars, restaurants, everyone mentioning your name. How does it feel to know that you have a hometown back Here that is so supportive of you?
Lynn: Yeah, it means everything to me, you know, Fresno is where I played most of my soccer. I think that so many clubs overlook Fresno as a place for talent, and I really feel like lucky to have made it to where I am. Just because I didn't go through, you know, the typical system of playing like with the youth teams and ODP and stuff like that. And I think that Fresno is such a region that is overlooked. So to know that I have the support of not only my family, but my extended family of my hometown. It really like helps me drive me forward. And I hope that anybody from Fresno or a smaller town can come look to me and say if she's done if she's coming from Fresno, and she's now on the world stage, like so, can I
Alec: Historically the women's side have been the most successful. Do you feel as if there's a target on your guys's back every single match?
Lynn: The US always seem to have a target we will get everybody's best game always. And so that means that we have to be the best always. And that's our standard though. And I think that's what makes us great is that we have the standard of winning and winning is a habit. It doesn't happen overnight. So yeah, of course we have this to target on our back, but we're definitely ready
Alec: Is it world title or bust?
Lynn: Always. Always world title or bust.
Alec: Lynn, Thank you so much, and good luck with everything.
Lynn: Thank you. You too.