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Lynn Williams Keeps Fresno 'In My Roots' Ahead of World Cup Soccer
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 9 months ago on
July 18, 2023

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Lynn Williams has already accomplished much in her soccer career.

The Fresno native and Bullard High graduate is the second all-time leading scorer in the National Women’s Soccer League. She’s won three NWSL titles and was the 2016 MVP.

Now, Williams has a chance to shine during soccer’s biggest international competition. She is a member of the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster.

The U.S. plays its first game on Friday, July 21 against Vietnam (6 p.m. Pacific Time on Fox) in Auckland, New Zealand. And, if a recent exhibition is any indication, Williams will play a role.

During the team’s final tune-up July 9 against Wales in San Jose, Williams’ pass set up a goal by Trinity Rodman in a 2-0 victory. Williams entered the game in the second half and had a fair amount of touches.

Williams has played for the U.S. national team in international competitions before. She was one of the last cuts for the 2019 World Cup team.

She is also battling back from a hamstring injury that cost her most of the 2022 season.

Co-Hosts a Podcast

Williams has grown accustomed to the spotlight as one of the best players in the United States who now stars for New Jersey/New York Gotham in America’s largest media market.

She and USWNT teammate Samantha Mewis host a popular podcast called “Snacks” that covers “life, soccer, and everything in between.”

While known for her goal-scoring, she also is a stellar defender. ESPN.com recently noted that since the start of 2022, Williams has 14.01 defensive interventions per 90 minutes in international play — the highest among all USWNT forwards. Defensive interventions include blocks, tackles, aerial duels won, and recoveries.

 

Lynn Williams is on display at PayPal Park in San Jose during a game versus Wales on July 9, 2023. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Williams Keeps Fresno in Her Heart

GV Wire caught up with her in San Jose. The interview has been edited for clarity.

GV Wire: What does being named to the World Cup team mean to you?

Lynn Williams: It means everything to me. Obviously, my career has had its ups and downs and everything. But it just means all my hard work has been paying off. I think that I’m proud of myself for the times I’m able to pick myself up when I haven’t always got the news that I’ve wanted. And also just means that my family gets to watch me do the thing that I love to do because they’ve sacrificed so much for me to be able to do this anyways.

How has being born and raised in Fresno affected your career?

I feel like Fresno is definitely in my roots. It runs in my roots and it runs deep within my blood and my heart. My family’s still there. Fresno is known for being like a small town, but it’s really not. And I feel like there’s kind of a small-town feel when you go back. I don’t know how to describe it. I feel like it’s just always home to me. So when I go away, I know that I can always come back to Fresno and feel a sense of home and belonging.

Do you still make it back?

I do, yeah. I make it back at least once a year. I try to come back.

What are your favorite spots in Fresno? Hangouts? Restaurants?

Well, Dog House (Grill), I think everybody loves Dog House. I go there a lot. Edo-ya. I love sushi. I would say those are my two. Like, anytime I go back home, I have to get those two things.

When you chose to play college at Pepperdine (over Fresno State), you said your father told you to “go see the world.” 

Definitely. I think the best advice I got when trying to pick what college to go to was from my dad. And he said, “Go out and see the world. You can always come back home.” So I really took that to heart. I went and I saw the world. I have been able to see the world through soccer. I’ve been feeling very blessed by that. But like you said, you can always come home. So when I’m feeling down, I feel like overwhelmed, I come home and I get grounded and I can be around my family.

Will your family go to the World Cup?

My family will be here at this sendoff game (July 9). And then they will also make it down to New Zealand and Australia. My fiancée (Marley Biyendolo, who played basketball at Pepperdine, where they met) is Australian, so that side of my family will be there as well. So yeah, a huge group of family coming down. I’m very excited for (them) to be there.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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