The 2023 National Women’s Soccer League campaign has just kicked off, and The Cooligans hosts Christian Polanco and Alexis Guerreros celebrated by bringing on one of the league’s brightest stars, Bethany Balcer.
At just 26 years of age, Balcer has made a name for herself in both the NWSL and on the international stage. She won the 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year award, racked up nine goals in 21 appearances last year, and has already been called up to the United States women’s national soccer team, making her debut in November of 2021. Balcer currently plays for Seattle’s OL Reign, who sit 5th in the NWSL standings as of Wednesday, April 12.
Alexis kicks things off by asking Bethany about a potential NWSL All-Star Game, as MLS just announced plans for their All-Stars to take on Arsenal later this year. Balcer is completely on-board with a potential All-Star Game for her league, stating that the players have actually already discussed it. She loves the idea of putting the best 22 players on the field and thinks fans would too, imploring NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman to get the ball rolling.
Christian moves on to the topic of growth in women’s soccer around the globe. For years, it was understood that the NWSL was clearly the most competitive league in the world. However, now the top teams in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Division 1 Féminine, and Liga F are starting to catch up. Christian asks Bethany if there’s any concern about those teams improving, and Balcer reveals that NWSL players are actually excited about the growing competition. She says the more competitive women’s leagues out there, the better. However, Bethany still believes that the NWSL is unique because of the level of competition from top to bottom. Unlike other leagues, anyone can win on any given night, regardless of positioning in the table.
Alexis follows up with a hard-hitting question, asking Balcer about goals for her career. Bethany doesn’t rule anything out, including playing in Europe eventually. That being said, she’s very happy with her current situation on the Reign and is focused on earning more call-ups to the United States women’s national team as the World Cup approaches.
Alexis ends the segment by asking if Bethany — a known Tottenham fan — would ever consider joining his favorite team Arsenal, who are one of the Spurs’ biggest rivals. Balcer doesn’t even entertain that question out of loyalty to her squad, as any true fan and soccer enthusiast would do...
.@bethanybalcer wants an @NWSL All-Star Game! cc: @JessicaBerman1 pic.twitter.com/0e0FHe3QuI— The Cooligans (@SoccerCooligans) April 12, 2023
Bethany Balcer deserved more than a Chipotle gift card!
- Christian and Alexis didn’t have to fanboy over her in the street this time! OL Reign and USWNT star, Bethany Balcer, joins the Cooligans for a hilarious interview ahead of the 2023 NWSL season. She discusses the infamous 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year award, her relationship with Megan Rapinoe, and the one team she would never play for. Plus, Christian and Alexis try to give Bethany a new nickname. Not sure this one is going to stick.
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