Alyssa Naeher's father proud regardless of heartbreaking loss for US women's soccer team
The father of a local World Cup soccer goalie says he's still very proud of his daughter after a heartbreaking loss for Team USA against Sweden over the weekend.
In penalty kicks, the shot from Sweden's Lina Hurtig was initially saved by Stratford's Alyssa Naeher. Then her second attempt appeared to cross the goal line just barely and was confirmed by the officials. Sweden eliminated the Americans in the longest match in Women's World Cup history.
Naeher's father says it's been an incredible run for his daughter.
United States' goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher kicks the ball during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Sweden and the United States in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Scott Barbour)
"I'm mostly proud of who she is, and I tell her this all the time. She's been great at not letting soccer define her. She plays hard, she's trained hard for years, but she always has worked hard at keeping it in perspective," says Alyssa Naeher's father, John Naeher. John Naeher says he's heartbroken and sad for his daughter's disappointment in being eliminated but is extremely proud nonetheless.
Alyssa Naeher has had an incredible soccer career. "She was part of the U-20 World Cup gold medal team, she was part of the 2015 gold medal team," says John Naeher. Alyssa Naeher helped Team USA earn the title in the last World Cup back in 2019. Her father John Naeher just came back from watching his daughter play in New Zealand at this year's World Cup and says it's been a lot of hard work. "None of this was simple, none of this was easy," says John Naeher. For all the success this former Christian Heritage School star has had, she faced her biggest challenge yet Sunday. "A lot of the championships have been won on penalty kicks, so it’s always been difficult," says John Naeher.
That was most likely the last World Cup game for the 35-year-old.