Lynn Williams: Why the USWNT star must make it to the Olympics

Where there's a will, there's a Will(iams)

Lynn Williams warms up.
United States forward Lynn Williams warms up during the Summer Series match against Nigeria on June 16, 2021 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, TX. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Lynn Williams was voted as NWSL Player of the Month for June, scoring five goals in eight games. Four of which came after her exclusion from the USWNT’s regular Olympic selection.

Can her determination and willpower prove national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s decision wrong?

Her recent in-form status is not incidental

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The origins of the subtitle’s altered famous line come from way back in time. In 1640, George Herbert wrote the famous saying in his work Jacula Prudentum as “to him that will, ways are not wanting.”

Now, 381 years later, Lynn Williams is constantly proving Herbert’s point right. Her recent in-form status earned her the POTM status as well as a spot in the NWSL Team of the Month for June. Yet, this did not come easy and effortless for her.

Williams currently sits as the leading goalscorer at the start of the 2021 NWSL season. She has scored five goals and assisted another two in her first eight games for the NC Courage this season.

The Courage’s international forward scored four goals in the latest two games against Portland Thorns and Racing Louisville. Her team came out victorious (2-0 and 0-2) in both matches thanks to her goal contributions.

Most Courage fans know Williams’ worth on the field. Williams herself knows her worth as a player and as the face of a franchise such as the North Carolina Courage.

She also knows what it is like to be doubted by the media. Her recent form is for those who have been heavily doubting her over the years.

Can she lead Courage to another championship glory?

Williams has been on a scoring rampage since reuniting with the fellow international Samantha Mewis. Together they hope they can lead Courage’s team to the top of the league.

According to the NWSL official website, the 28-years-old forward is the front-runner in all three major categories. Apart from her record five goals so far, she counts 13 shots on goal with nine of them on target.

As it stands now, North Carolina is two points behind league leaders Orlando Pride with one game in hand.

If the Courage finishes the season on a high, they will battle it out for the NWSL league title for a third straight year (after 2018 and 2019).

She is committed to her goals

Although the California-native has been individually honoured countless times, this has been the first time she’s been named POTM. Since marking her debut back in 2015, she blissed to capture the NWSL Golden Boot and the MVP awards in 2016. She was also part of the League’s Best XI in the very same year after Western New York Flash won the NWSL.

The second all-time NWSL top scorer has been fighting for her goals on and off the pitch. Being a black empowered woman herself, she was the founding member of the Black Women’s Player Collective, an organization leading the fight against social injustice.

“Of course people are going to think you stand up for black lives because you are black. In recent times I realized that’s not enough. I’m not really doing anything or helping anybody by staying quiet,” Lynn said to Just Women’s Sports about the BWPC project.

The USWNT fierce battle for the spot

As the AP reported, the International Olympic Committee is considering expanding the Olympic football rosters to 22 players. That would come in handy. Qualified teams will look to boost their squads with the four alternate players they have already picked to take on board to Tokyo.

Otherwise, those four players would only be allowed to play if some of the regulars got injured. If the IOC verify the reports and let the national teams bring 22 players instead of only 18, it would work as a “painkiller” for Vlatko Andonovski.

Lynn Williams’ latest performances must have put Andonovski under heavy pressure, after picking her only as one of the four alternates. After the 44-year-old head coach decided to bank on experience for much delayed Summer Olympics, one must consider the fierce battle taking place for a spot in the final “privileged” squad.

The USWNT’s experienced front line, which is composed of big names like Heath, Lloyd, Press, Morgan and Rapinoe count 975 games and 388 goals between them.

The NC Courage forward would welcome the chance to represent her beloved national team in the Olympics for the first time in her career. She narrowly missed the 2019 WWC squad, but she has at least made it to the reserves roster this time.

Undoubtedly, Lynn Williams’ career is bound to leave a permanent mark in USWNT’s football history. On the contrary, nothing was ever given to her unless she worked for it.

Regardless of what IOC’s final decision on Olympic squads will be, Williams will have her chance to make it to the big stage. The work she puts in shall not go unnoticed. Her time will come.

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