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 8th, 2023 | 17:19

Special Edition: U.S. Women's Soccer Originals (Linda Gancitano)

Linda Gancitano was the first girl on her high school boy's soccer team, so she got to play alongside her younger brother, Nick. According to Nick, even at an early age, Linda "never took any guff from anyone" and would slide tackle the biggest male forwards. Flash forward to University of Central Florida (UCF) and Linda was a veteran on the team when Michelle Akers joined -- ironically, the entire time, Michelle thought she was going to get cut. Linda shares that the team had an attitude of "do something or get out of here. Basically, you got to pull your own weight." And that she did, and more... In this episode Linda shares about her time on the USWNT, and we hear from one of her students, Kayla, as Linda became a Happiness Studies teacher and educator as well as Founder, How Low Can You Go Challenge (initiative empowering youth to reduce their school's carbon footprint through reduced energy, water & food waste). When asked what she wants to say to her teammates, Linda gushes, "I am so proud of us and of every single team from then on...whether we won or we didn't...it's just that the tradition of the United States Women's National Team is absolutely incredible." Contributing experts including Linda's brother, Nick, as well as student and mentee Kayla. Media used in this production: -38 years after making history, first USWNT to be honored at Asheville City regular season finale, Chris Womack, June 29th 2023, -The Forgotten Early History of Women’s Soccer, Laurent Dubois, January 22, 2016 -ESPN YouTube Channel, 'USWNT win the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage | 2023 ESPYS (📍 @CapitalOne)'