I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this holiday season.
Hopefully you enjoyed the updates we provided during the trip our players and I took to Doha. Today I’m going to provide a recap of the trip, but before I do I’d like to remind you of some of the things I said when I took over the club. I said we were going to think bigger and differently. I said that we welcomed everyone. We support our players using their voices. We work off-the-field to prepare our players for their lives when soccer ends, and we support women and kids.
The purpose of our trip to Qatar was to represent our country in launching the 2021 Qatar Year of Culture with the United States. Part of that included our players working with young girls and women. While in no way am I suggesting that our players were solving world peace, I don’t think you can understate what our players did and what occurred during the 2021 Qatar Year of Culture launch.
The players and club you love were invited to Doha to represent our country and be examples to Qatar girls and women of what is possible with sport. Ambassador Al Thani wore Washington Spirit gear advocating women’s sports to his country. Our players were massively covered by Qatar media and broadcast to the country as THE examples of what is possible. The US Ambassador to Qatar, Greta Holtz, sent the following note to me:
I wanted to tell you how very grateful we all are to you for all the time and effort you put into bringing the very precious members of your amazing team to Doha under not easy circumstances.
You guys are the best diplomats and finest representatives of the American people we could have come to Qatar. Your trip made an impact on people here and I know that goodness will grow.
I hope you all have a safe and smooth trip home, a great training season and a winning year! We will stay in touch. Your team and your leadership are amazing.
We had a remarkable week. Our players would tell you it was a lifetime experience.
Our players led clinics for girls and special needs kids. Our players trained and played with the Qatar Women’s National Team. We learned about the history of Qatar and their plans for the 2022 World Cup. We toured their facilities for education, youth sports academies, sports medicine and national museums.
Our players engaged with the Presidents of Exxon Mobil and beIN Sports. Our players represented the best of America in everything we did. Our players also experienced the beauty of Qatar, drove dune buggies and in sand dunes, pet Arabian horses and rode camels.
We had a full schedule and did much, but one of the best moments of the trip for me was an interaction with the seven-year-old girl in this video. She told me that it was cool seeing women play football in her country. That is the impact our players made.
Our North Star guides us in our support of our players, more broadly women and kids. This trip was aligned with the words I shared with you nearly two years ago. I could not be prouder of our players. They are the best of the best on the field and off the field.
Our club is going to continue to lead in doing these types of things. We choose to be in the arena and in the conversation. That is who we are and who we will always be. That is what our players deserve.
I want to thank Ambassador Al Thani and his team at the Qatar Embassy in DC, US Ambassador Greta Holtz and her team in Qatar, and everyone in Qatar that made our trip so meaningful. I look forward to the future as well as the 2022 World Cup. It will be amazing.
I wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope to see many of you in person at Audi Field and I look forward to all that we will do on and off-the-field to grow this game and to support women and girls.