Q&A With Katie Nolan
It’s been four years since the “clean” incident, and it’s now evolved into a WHOLE thing. In fact, every time the U.S. Women wear their white jerseys, the phrase “So fresh, so clean” is used. What are your thoughts on having been the originator of this epic running gag?
First of all, I cannot believe it’s been 4 years. I mean obviously it has, because that’s how World Cups work, but still. As for being the originator of the gag, I can’t take full credit. Alex deserves most of the praise, as does the color white for having so few adjectives you can use to describe it. But it has been incredibly fun to be a part of USWNT lore, because the fans and the women of this team are some of the coolest and kindest people I’ve ever interacted with.
Do you enjoy it when you see that many fans have now caught on and appreciate the so fresh, so clean joke on gamedays… or any other time?
I love it. It’s cool because everyone has such a great sense of humor about it. When we originally ran the piece where I joked about the uniforms not looking like USA colors, I knew I was coming from a place of playful support, but you never know how something will be received. When I first met Alex- after the piece aired- and she mentioned she had seen it, I was nervous that I had offended her. But she immediately gave it right back to me, and then the fans got in on the joke. It sounds silly to say but when you do this for a living, those are the most rewarding moments. I haven’t stopped stanning for everything related to this team since.
Were you always a soccer fan? Would you now call yourself a hardcore fan of this team?
I was not. And I’m usually scared to admit that, for all of the millions of connotations a sentence like that could convey, but like I said this fanbase has made me feel welcomed in a way that makes me not afraid to say it. I used to dislike soccer pretty strongly, which I know now came from a place of total ignorance. But after meeting Alex and Sydney and Kelley before the World Cup 4 years ago, I was glued to my TV for their games. I even got to go up to Canada for a match, and it was incredible. They are entirely responsible for changing my mind on the sport. Which isn’t saying much, because I was just an idiot, but I’m really grateful to them for that. And yes; I would now call myself a hardcore supporter of this team. I have put together, like, 3 different proposals to try to get my bosses to send me to France this summer. Fingers crossed.
Do you love the WNT more or less than Mo Salah? Do you love Alex more or less than Mo? What is it that you find most entertaining about the U.S. Women’s team or that makes you want to keep following?
Oh, so you’re just gonna ask me the most impossible question in the world. Got it.
As much as I love Mo Salah- and it’s A LOT- I wouldn’t have found that love without the WNT. I think the love I have for both Salah and the WNT are really similar; it’s about watching people who clearly have this pure love for what they do, doing it at the highest level. There’s a real joy in watching that.
The women’s team is also comprised of some of the smartest, most engaging athletes I’ve ever spoken to. Every interaction I’ve had with them is impressive. (And frustrating because, like, I’m supposed to be good at this and they’re supposed to be good at soccer. It isn’t fair that they’re better than me at both.)
Sooooo, we released our new kits for this year’s World Cup. Thoughts on them? If we recall, you were upset there was no red or blue on them back in 2015. We’d say that’s no longer a problem this time around. The real question is, are they still clean? Also, shutout to you for staying true to your brand.
I love them. I was going back and forth on which one I should buy, but I think after typing all this I’ve decided. I have to get the white one. It’s just so........... I can’t think of the word. Ask Alex.