Long Flight to the Women’s World Cup? US Players Have a Plan for That

Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY
Jun 27, 2023; Carson, Calif., USA; Trinity Rodman speaks to the press on June 27, 2023 at the U.S. Women’s National Team media day.

Midfielder Andi Sullivan plans on napping. Defender Emily Fox intends to keep with a soccer theme and finally watch “Ted Lasso.”

The U.S. national team — like most of the rest of the field — faces a long flight to the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Already seasoned travelers, the Americans have strategies for wiling away the time. And they’ll certainly need those tactics: The flight to New Zealand, where they’ll spend the group stage of the tournament, is 12 hours.

“I need suggestions!” midfielder Kristie Mewis exclaimed about the shows she plans to download for the flight. “Honestly, I’m rewatching ‘Suits’ right now. I love ‘Suits.'”

Once they get there, the players will retreat into a self-imposed bubble where they shut out the noise and the distractions for some seven weeks. Most stay off of social media platforms for the duration.

Forward Trinity Rodman, making her World Cup debut, is taking the advice of the veterans. Rodman’s dad is former NBA star Dennis Rodman, so she gets a lot of attention just because of her name.

“They have been very open about making sure you have entertainment and ways to distract yourself outside of your phone and social media, because I do think with social media you can get consumed by it and you can definitely get sucked up in it,” Rodman said. “But I think finding those ways to isolate yourself, finding hobbies in the hotel room: Coloring, journaling, reading, Fortnite. I’m a bit of a gamer so that has definitely helped me to just like relax.”

The United States plays Wales in a send-off match on Sunday in San Jose, California. That same night, they’ll fly to training camp in New Zealand.

The World Cup kicks off July 20. The United States opens with a game against Vietnam on July 22.