To coincide with the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s opening match in the 2015 FIFA World Cup, Nike has released a stirring ad to get fans pumped to fever pitch.
Team USA, the Olympic champions and runners-up to Japan in the 2011 World Cup, start their 2015 campaign against Australia on Monday evening.
The ad features players’ preparation, mainly in training at Providence Park, Portland, Oregon, home of the MLS Portland Timbers soccer team and women’s side the Portland Thorns. The venue also hosted games during the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Team captain Abby Wambach is seen alongside many of her star teammates, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, undergoing some grueling training routines. Wambach holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 182 goals and is thought to be playing her last World Cup.
The 60-second spot is set to the track American Woman, first released in 1970 by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. The ad, made by Thousand Creative, carries the strapline, “Strong Alone. Unstoppable Together” and is part of a wider campaign for Nike Soccer under the banner of “No Maybes.”
Team USA is among the favorites to win the tournament, which has become increasingly popular. This year’s expanded competition features 24 teams and is expected to reach up to a billion viewers worldwide.
It seems unlikely that many of the competitors will be shedding any tears regarding the exit of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president who recently said he was stepping down amid widespread corruption allegations. Blatter famously once offered that in order to increase the popularity of women’s soccer then perhaps the “pretty” ladies should take a leaf out of volleyball’s book and wear more feminine outfits, suggesting: “tighter shorts, for example.”
Update: Team USA now sits atop Group D after comfortably beating Australia 3-1, while the other teams in Group D, the “Group of Death,” Sweden and Nigeria, drew 3-3. The team’s next match is against Sweden on June 12.