The Support System That Sparked a USWNT Opportunity

Published by
Sports Illustrated

By Gwendolyn Oxenham For Naomi Girma, the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, her path to the national team and its pivotal upcoming qualifying tournament has been anything but standard. If you drive through a canyon, past a candle shop cloaked in wandering vines, and turn down a dirt road, you enter the Del Mar Polo Fields, training home of the NWSL’s San Diego Wave. It’s also home to the Surf Cup and many other youth cups—and for quite a few of these Wave players, this place holds sentimental power: They grew up dreaming on these fields. Now, as professionals, they have their own designated fi…

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