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Danielle Slaton

The Evolution of the Beautiful Game

May 22, 2019

Danielle Slaton for Goal Five

I am a fan of the United States Women’s National Team and I’d love to see them repeat as World Cup champions in July. But I am also a fan of the beautiful game and the more I watch, the more I love what the game gives. I love what I see and I love what I learn. The game is evolving and improving and it is fun to witness. It is more nuanced and sophisticated than ever before and that is a true gift. We are living in an age where we get to see the best soccer in all of history.

In the last six weeks, I’ve seen Alex Morgan score her 100th goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team and both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored their 600th in club play. I’ve seen a 96th minute goal by Tottenham Hotspur to advance to the Champions League Final and four epic goals by Liverpool to unexpectedly overtake Barcelona and do the same. I’ve seen Vincent Kompany – a defender – score the goal of his life to secure the English Premier League title for Manchester City, and observed the best build-up play and goal I’ve ever seen from a U.S. youth national team (congratulations U-17 USMNT). I've seen Kealia Ohai of the Houston Dash finish a perfectly bent ball into the back of the net that I could only dream of scoring. Thanks to the many outlets we have to watch soccer in this country, I get to witness these little gifts, and more...and all of this within the last two months!

A goal is the hardest thing to create in soccer. Perhaps that’s why we cheer so loudly and celebrate so fully when it happens. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of preparation, and sometimes a bit of luck, but when it happens, it’s a beautiful thing. That is, in part, why I’m so excited, as we sit just a few weeks away from the Women’s World Cup in France. I know we are in for a real treat - sophistication, nuance, beauty, celebration, and joy. And I get to be up front to see it happen.

Danielle Slaton in G5 World Equal Play T-Shirt

I depart for Paris on June 2 for a five-week adventure calling games on Fox and FS1 alongside Derek Rae. It’s going to be great and I promise to document my adventures as much as I can! [Insert shameless plug to follow me on Twitter - @daniellevslaton - so you can see my attempts at fun storytelling via social media.] And though I will smile if the U.S. does well, when good soccer happens, I give thanks for the miracle and I don’t give a da*n which country performs it.

Like Danielle, we can't wait to see all the quality action that this World Cup is sure to produce. We look forward to her coverage with Fox and FSI.  



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