Emily Sonnett has only been back on American soil for about a week, but the 25-year-old athlete from Marietta is still riding a high from the U.S. national soccer team’s win in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sonnett and her teammates returned last week to celebrate their victory in a parade held Wednesday in New York City. It was Sonnett’s first World Cup appearance.
“It was incredible ... being able to play with probably the best women in sports,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday.
Sonnett, who plays in the National Women’s Soccer League for the Portland Thorns FC, was one of seven defenders on the FIFA Women’s World Cup team. Two other Georgia athletes, midfielder Morgan Brian of St. Simons Island and defender Kelley O’Hara of Fayetteville, also were on the 24-member team.
As a defender, Sonnett got some play time during the June 16 match against Chile. Playing in front of tens of thousands of people didn’t make her anxious since she regularly plays in front of large crowds in the U.S., Sonnett said.
Sonnett is a 2012 graduate of Fellowship Christian School in Roswell and a 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia. She served as an alternate to the U.S. women’s soccer team in the 2016 Olympics.
Members of the women’s soccer team have attracted a lot of attention for their calls for equal pay and co-captain Megan Rapinoe’s open criticism of President Donald Trump. Sonnett declined to comment on either topic.
Every Georgia native either loves or hates Waffle House, including talented soccer players. Sonnett made it clear to the AJC that she loves this Peach State institution and that the All-Star Breakfast is her go-to meal. This popular menu item consists of a waffle, two eggs, grits, toast and choice of bacon, sausage or ham.
Since the home of The Big Chicken is her place of birth, Sonnett’s favorite eateries are naturally in Marietta. She and her family are regular visitors to Marietta Square and are fans of Marietta Pizza Company and SweeTreats. She also likes what Marietta has done with the Mountain to River Trail, which runs from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to the city limits at Atlanta Street.
Sonnett is also proud to see metro residents throw their support behind Atlanta United FC. She thinks a women’s pro team in Atlanta would be met with the same enthusiasm.
“I think Atlanta has a incredibly unique market in terms of their first couple of seasons in getting numbers and the love they are getting,” she said. “I think it only makes sense they’ll think about getting a women’s team.”
Her success on the field wasn’t something that fell into her lap, Sonnett said. She told the AJC she “lived, breathed and loved” soccer since she was a little girl. She said she hopes younger people, particularly children, can find something they are passionate about and “do it wholeheartedly.”
“I’m a firm believer in purposeful practice and with time and energy spent on something you’re passionate about, you're only going to have success,” she said.
» RELATED: USA wins Women’s World Cup
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