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News | Oct. 22, 2019

USA women face world’s best military soccer players at World Games

By Petty Officer 1st Class Gulianna Dunn U.S. Armed Forces Sports

Elite military soccer players from around the globe competed in Wuhan, China to determine the best of the best at the 2019 CISM Military World Games.

Air Force Lt. Col. Marci Walton, the team captain, led the team of female service members from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps against football teams from Germany, Korea and China.

“Soccer is the world’s sport and women’s soccer is pretty big right now – specifically with U.S. winning the World Cup,” Walton said. “We all have a competitive edge and so working with this team in this environment, that attitude is contagious.”

Despite their fierce drives on the field and intense competitive spirit, the women’s team fell short against their competition and were eliminated during the preliminary rounds.

“I think only getting to train together for 10 days during our camp hindered our performance,” said Walton. “While we had a lot of support from supervisors and commanders, it’s always been a challenge because of the real-world mission.

“I think getting the word out about the program and the value of what we’re doing out here representing the United States is probably what we need help with the most.”

The Conseil International du Sports Militaire, or CISM competition, is the culmination of each nation’s military sports and fitness programs. Service members compete at elite levels to advance to the global stage where they can seek victories in international competitions. This year’s CISM games features military athletes from around the world from 109 nations with about 10,000 participants.