Shannon Boxx is one of the veterans on the USWNT this year. The 3-time Olympic gold medal winner is no stranger to the pressure that comes from playing on a stage this big. She has the chance to leave the National Team as a World Cup Winner. For years she fought the symptoms of Lupus on her own until just a few years ago she opened up to her coaches, teammates and the world about her diagnosis. “Now that I’m public and out, it’s amazing how many people have supported me on teams, coaches, the foundation itself.” Since then her wish of continuing with her number one passion has come true – this will be her fourth and final World Cup.
Boxx attended college at Notre Dame, where she graduated with a degree in psychology and African-American studies. While at Notre Dame, Boxx played 101 consecutive games, had 57 assists and 39 goals. She also led her team to four Big East titles and one NCAA women’s soccer title. She is one of only 14 players who never missed a game while at Notre Dame.
As for Boxx’s professional career, it didn’t come easy. She played in Los Angeles for the Ajax in 1994, 2000 and 2005. In 1999 Boxx played for the Boston Renegades and Saarbrücken of the German Women’s Bundesliga in 1999-2000. In 2001, San Diego Spirit drafted Boxx in the third round of the inagural draft. Boxx went onto set the record for most fouls (48) and scored three goals and had five assists in her first year. Boxx played for the Spirit for two season until they traded her to the New York Power in 2003.
In August 2003 Boxx earned her first senior cap for the USWNT. During the 2004 Olympics, Boxx started all six games and helped lead the team to a gold medal. During the last few years, Boxx has had to battle to keep her USWNT spot. She suffered an injury in 2013 that sidelined her for eight months. In 2014 Boxx didn’t play in any games but she trained with the team in June. Her first game back with the USNWT since 2013 was at the 2015 Algarve Cup against Switzerland. She came on as a second half sub and then played in all three of the USWNT games.
Boxx has had several setbacks that will make the World Cup an interesting one for her. If her knee can hold up to the pressure then she will be a great second half sub. Her ball control and veteran status will make a great reinforcement for the USWNT this summer. She moves into space off the ball, plays with her head up, and knows how to keep the games pace at an even level. She has the dedication, the motivation, and the passion to make this year special.