The US Women’s Soccer Team is safe after a mass shooting in Auckland, New Zealand, which resulted in multiple casualties.
Hours before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off on Thursday, July 20, a gunman opened fire at a construction site in downtown Auckland. Police referred to the shooting as an “isolated incident” in a Twitter statement, which later confirmed that three people were killed, including the suspect. Six others were injured.
US Soccer quickly took to social media to inform fans anticipating the start of the international tournament that players and staff “are accounted for and safe” following the incident. “Our security team is in communication with local authorities and we are proceeding with our daily schedule,” a statement read.
The federation later addressed the deaths as concerns for player safety grew. “US Soccer extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims who died in the shooting in downtown Auckland today,” a second Twitter designated statement. “We are saddened by the unforgivable loss of life from gun violence, and our thoughts are with the people of Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Several members of the team also responded to the tragedy before their first game against Vietnam. “Unfortunately, I feel like we in the US have dealt with this too many times. But there was definitely a ‘let’s get together’” feeling, go ahead. lynn williams he said during a press conference. “We still have a job to do. But (we’re) also acknowledging that there were lives lost and that’s very real and very devastating.”
Williams, 30, added that she and her teammates were “grateful” to be safe and that first responders were quick to react to the incident.
Advocate crystal dunn He extended his condolences to those affected. “This is very real,” she said. “I think everyone handles these situations differently, so it’s important to realize that (and) give people the space they need to move past the trauma that happened today.”
He continued: “But just understanding that we’re a unified team, and we give people the space they need, and hopefully we were able to get on the field and play and try to connect again on a tough day.”
The American team is one of eight based in Auckland during the group stage of the tournament, which officially began on Thursday. The FIFA Fan Festival, which had not yet opened at the time of the shooting, is also very close.
Dunn, 31, Williams and more American athletes are vying for their third straight Women’s World Cup, but the pressure hasn’t fazed the team.
“I would say that everything is as usual”, veteran player Carli Lloyd recently hinted at Fox News. “I would say the focus is always that the USA is the favourite, (the) number 1 team in the world. Everybody wants to go out and beat them. There is a target on his back. Chances are they won’t even talk about a triplet or really talk about the story that they can potentially do. Everybody knows”.
Earlier this month, soccer superstar megan rapinoe announced that he plans to retire at the end of the year. He made his national team debut in 2006 and now appears in the fourth World Cup of his career.
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“I can’t wait to be untethered,” Rapinoe, 38, told The Ringer in an interview published on Wednesday, July 19. “And being able to take trips, do things and move on or move to a different area in my life. But I’m also like, this is so much fun. I’m still fine. I still play in a very good team. I’m still in the national team. I think having the World Cup is also a big thing, hopefully knocking on wood, to get out. I’m like, this is fun.”