On Saturday, Mar. 2, Elena Delle Donne was one of the players who represented the United States in a major sports match. That sounds right. She is on Team USA’s women’s basketball team. But what if I told you that Delle Donne played for the U.S. women’s national soccer team against England yesterday? That sounds weird. Did EDD change sports? Not exactly.
The American soccer team wore jerseys where each player wore the name of a woman whom she wanted to honor in commemoration of SheBelieves, a movement to inspire girls and women to “accomplish their goals and dreams, athletic or otherwise” according to its website. Delle Donne was one of the women honored, where North Carolina sophomore defender Emily Fox wore the Mystics star’s name on her No. 22 jersey.
UNC sophomore Emily Fox was called up to the senior team. She wore @De11eDonne's name. (via Fox's IG)— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) March 3, 2019
Fox is also from the DMV, where she went to Stone Bridge HS in Ashburn, VA pic.twitter.com/lFVRQ9cldS
In the crazy world of social media that we live in, Delle Donne learned very quickly. She was quick to repost Fox’s shout out on her Instagram account.
Needless to say, the Mystics superstar gave her seal. pic.twitter.com/Q0CSrC6EY2— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) March 3, 2019
U.S. soccer released an article where each player said why she recognized a specific woman on her jersey. Here’s why Fox honored Delle Donne:
I picked her because my grandma and grandpa live in Delaware and they have been following her since she was in high school. They introduced me to her in the sense of who she is as a person and athlete. I love how incredible she is on the court and in being herself, and how she ended up picking her family above all – dropping out of UConn to be closer to her family and especially her older sister.
Fox also has more reason to follow Delle Donne and the Mystics than her grandparents from Delaware. She’s from the D.C. area. Fox went to Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va. where she played one year with their varsity team but then focused more on working with U.S. soccer’s youth national teams where she played at at the U-15, U-18 and U-20 levels.
And at the college level, Fox also started most of the 2018 season where the Tar Heels made the third round of the NCAA Tournament. At the senior national team level for Team, Fox played and started in two games in 2018 in a pair of friendlies against Portugal and Scotland. The future is bright for Fox indeed.
Unfortunately, Fox didn’t take the field last Saturday against England. The Americans played to a 2-2 tie in Nashville, Tenn. They will play Brazil in their last game of the SheBelieves Cup in Tampa, Fla. on Mar. 5.
In Saturday’s game, the Americans played their most veteran (and all-professional) lineups. But Fox was actually a late call-up to the squad. She was originally going to be on the practice squad, but was moved up on Feb. 26 after Chicago Red Stars and Sydney FC midfielder Danielle Colaprico suffered a groin injury.
Of the 23 players on the SheBelieves roster, Fox was the only college player. That says a lot because Fox should be a regular on Team USA’s lineups in the near future. When that happens, we may see Delle Donne make more regular appearances for the red, white and blue for games like these!