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U.S. WNT Flashback - 20th Anniversary of First-Ever Match: Cindy Gordon

Cindy Gordon was a flank midfielder who played with pace and fire. She played four years of NAIA soccer at Western Washington, where she played against future national team teammate Denise Boyer. She still plays with many of the women who she played with and against in college (including Boyer), and plays in the spring on a women’s Over-30 team in the Washington State Women’s Soccer Association. She plays on co-ed teams the rest of the year. She coached a few years of girl’s high school in the late 1980s and has also coached young girls in youth soccer.

More on the first-ever U.S. WNT match: OOOSA! | First Goal | Players Reflect

Career caps/Goals:
National Team Career:  1985-85
Hometown: Des Moines, Washington
Position played in first match: Left wing midfield
College:  Western Washington (1981-1986)
Last WNT game: July 26, 1986, vs. Italy (0-1 Loss)

What she’s doing now: Works at Seattle Children’s Hospital in the biochemical genetics lab in Seattle, Washington.

WNT Career Highlight: “Just going that first year. For so many years, it had been a national team on paper, but they are not going to do anything. But that year they finally picked a team to go somewhere and it was very exciting.”

Memories of the first game: “I remember that when we played Italy, they were very physical. I remember thinking that this is why our shorts have drawstrings because someone is going to be pulling on them. I think they scheduled us in the first game of the tournament because they thought it was going to be pushover.”

Thoughts on how women’s soccer has grown: “It’s come so far from where we first started. When I first started playing in 1972, it was the first year of Title IX. My brothers, who were younger than me, had started playing a few years before. I asked my mom if I could play and she said that girls don’t play sports. When they passed Title IX, it was a big step forward. Soccer has come a long way with all the programs and camps and premier teams and the scholarships. That would have been nice to have when I played, but I also see a lot of girls who are 12 and 13 who are being pushed into one sport. It might be better for young girls to play a few sports, to play basketball for a few months a year.”

Thoughts on the 1999 Women’s World Cup: “I loved watching it. I played with Brandi Chastain in Baton Rouge (in 1985). Watching her score that goal was great and the whole thing was very exciting. I was very proud of them. I had fun for what I did, but what happened wasn’t my doing, it was more (the growth) of women in sports.”

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