Women's soccer team aims to look good, play hard
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A new professional women’s soccer team in Austin is aiming to work hard, play hard and look good while doing it, but not everyone in the women’s soccer community is on board.
The Nationals team founder Anna Villarreal says the goal is to spark an interest in younger women.
"Soccer players are fun, they're sporty and they're smart. All of our players are college educated and it’s just showing them as role models as the complete package," founder of The Nationals said.
This package rolls beauty, entertainment and sports all into one. The team's web site talks about trips to the spa and shows photos of Marilyn Monroe playing the sport.
"We want to pull in that teen girl that likes makeup, but she also likes being sporty,” Villareal said. “We just want to show that you can be feminine and you can also play soccer."
But not all soccer enthusiasts are sold on the message.
When amateur soccer player Esmy Macias first checked out The Nationals’ website, it featured photographs of the team in swimwear. Those photos have since been removed.
"It kind of seemed to be taking the focus away from the women, their level of skill that they have and them as players,” Macias said.
Macias plays for the Austin Women’s Soccer League and worries that The Nationals may be setting the wrong example.
"Being a female athlete is beautiful and it’s beautiful in its own right and,” she said. “They need to focus on that."
But if you ask The Nationals, they'll tell you their focus is where it needs to be—the game.
"They train five or six times a week,” Villareal said. “The spring schedule has a ton of games in it, so they'll be playing a lot."
The Nationals' first game is in February. For more information, visit TheNationalWomen.com.