Lynn Williams has already accomplished much in her soccer career.
The Fresno native and Bullard High graduate is the second all-time leading scorer in the National Women’s Soccer League. She’s won three NWSL titles and was the 2016 MVP.
Now, Williams has a chance to shine during soccer’s biggest international competition. She is a member of the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster.
The U.S. plays its first game on Friday, July 21 against Vietnam (6 p.m. Pacific Time on Fox) in Auckland, New Zealand. And, if a recent exhibition is any indication, Williams will play a role.
During the team’s final tune-up July 9 against Wales in San Jose, Williams’ pass set up a goal by Trinity Rodman in a 2-0 victory. Williams entered the game in the second half and had a fair amount of touches.
Williams has played for the U.S. national team in international competitions before. She was one of the last cuts for the 2019 World Cup team.
She is also battling back from a hamstring injury that cost her most of the 2022 season.
Co-Hosts a Podcast
Williams has grown accustomed to the spotlight as one of the best players in the United States who now stars for New Jersey/New York Gotham in America’s largest media market.
She and USWNT teammate Samantha Mewis host a popular podcast called “Snacks” that covers “life, soccer, and everything in between.”
While known for her goal-scoring, she also is a stellar defender. ESPN.com recently noted that since the start of 2022, Williams has 14.01 defensive interventions per 90 minutes in international play — the highest among all USWNT forwards. Defensive interventions include blocks, tackles, aerial duels won, and recoveries.
Williams Keeps Fresno in Her Heart
GV Wire caught up with her in San Jose. The interview has been edited for clarity.
GV Wire: What does being named to the World Cup team mean to you?
Lynn Williams: It means everything to me. Obviously, my career has had its ups and downs and everything. But it just means all my hard work has been paying off. I think that I’m proud of myself for the times I’m able to pick myself up when I haven’t always got the news that I’ve wanted. And also just means that my family gets to watch me do the thing that I love to do because they’ve sacrificed so much for me to be able to do this anyways.
How has being born and raised in Fresno affected your career?
I feel like Fresno is definitely in my roots. It runs in my roots and it runs deep within my blood and my heart. My family’s still there. Fresno is known for being like a small town, but it’s really not. And I feel like there’s kind of a small-town feel when you go back. I don’t know how to describe it. I feel like it’s just always home to me. So when I go away, I know that I can always come back to Fresno and feel a sense of home and belonging.
Do you still make it back?
I do, yeah. I make it back at least once a year. I try to come back.
What are your favorite spots in Fresno? Hangouts? Restaurants?
When you chose to play college at Pepperdine (over Fresno State), you said your father told you to “go see the world.”
Definitely. I think the best advice I got when trying to pick what college to go to was from my dad. And he said, “Go out and see the world. You can always come back home.” So I really took that to heart. I went and I saw the world. I have been able to see the world through soccer. I’ve been feeling very blessed by that. But like you said, you can always come home. So when I’m feeling down, I feel like overwhelmed, I come home and I get grounded and I can be around my family.
Will your family go to the World Cup?
My family will be here at this sendoff game (July 9). And then they will also make it down to New Zealand and Australia. My fiancée (Marley Biyendolo, who played basketball at Pepperdine, where they met) is Australian, so that side of my family will be there as well. So yeah, a huge group of family coming down. I’m very excited for (them) to be there.