Meet the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team: Shannon Boxx

The 2015 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Saturday, June 6 in Canada. The United States team is one of a handful of favorites to win the tournament and they’ve got a great story. Despite decades of excellent play, the team has not won a World Cup championship since 1999. That’s a whole generation of dreams denied and all the reason anyone should need to root for the team this year. To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.

Shannon Boxx

Position: Midfielder

Number: 7

National team experience: 190 caps, played in three previous world cups, has scored 27 international goals

What to expect from Shannon Boxx:  Unless something goes terribly wrong, Boxx will be playing a supporting role at this year’s world cup. In her prime, Boxx was a dominating midfielder who could just as easily shut down opposing attacks as score goals. Now at 37, she’ll look to use her experience and rangy 5’8″ frame to make things difficult for the opposition when she’s in the game. She can still close down on an attacker quickly and punish them physically. In most of the team’s recent games, Boxx has either come on between the 75 and 80th minute. In the World Cup, with fewer subs and higher stakes, I would expect her not to play as much, if at all, but it’s nice to know that the team has someone with her experience on the bench, who will be ready if needed.

Video: Here’s a typical offensive Shannon Boxx play. She gets her head to the ball, stays in the play, and gets her head onto the ball a second time to score.

Non-gendered personal interest item: Boxx has had lupus for more than a decade. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects skin, joints, and energy level, all things that are pretty important for a top-flight athlete. It’s pretty amazing that she’s been able to play through the disease. Recently she’s become an advocate for sufferers of lupus. You can read an article she wrote about living with lupus and what can and should be done for people with lupus here.

Check out her US Soccer page and follow her on Twitter.

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