Flame Bearers Special Edition: U.S. Women's Soccer Originals

As the world tunes in for the ninth Women’s World Cup, it’s hard to imagine a time when professional women’s soccer didn’t exist. In 1985, 17 of the b…
Aug 15th, 2023 | 15:18

Special Edition: U.S. Women's Soccer Originals (Lori Bylin Sweeney)

When asked to recall her first soccer memory, Lori shares her team’s post-game tradition: whether they won or lost, 6-year old Lori and team would go to the nearby hamburger establishment and chow down on free french fries. And while the teams have changed over the years, Lori’s love for the game has only kept growing. Flash forward to 1985, and Lori had "no clue what to expect" when it came to the national team. According to her she was "so happy, surprised and excited to be a part of it." Funnily enough, it wasn’t until after the game started and others started “recognizing us that I was like, wow, this is pretty amazing.” As the youngest of 8 kids, Lori shares that "family is big for me," so she raised her family with her soccer-loving husband, with a ball at their feet. According to daughter, Megan, “soccer is in our DNA” as Mom and Dad built a soccer field in the backyard and Sundays “we don't go to church, we wake up and watch the EPL.” When we asked Lori about her hopes for the future of women's soccer, she replied, for girls "to play with no restrictions, financial or social stigmas. If she has it in her heart and she has the inner drive and desire, that she should be able to play wherever and however works for her."