USWNT Black next generationGetty/GOAL

'We're here to thrive' - Sophia Smith and Crystal Dunn on the USWNT's rising generation of Black stars, the impact they'll make and how they can lean on each other to change the world

The U.S. women's national team means so much to so many people. It's more than just a national soccer team - it's an institution that represents hope, equality, strength, power and success... all rolled into one.

But for decades, it didn't necessarily look like the people it represented. Like much of high-level women's soccer, there was a lack of diversity at the top of the American game for years.

That's changed now. The new generation of USWNT stars is led by a group of rising, Black up-and-comers, determined to change the game for those after them. They know that they embody those values mentioned above, but they also represent much more.

Article continues below