Yewande Balogun received a call she never expected in June 2021, two months after she relaunched her playing career. She’d been outside the white lines for a decade, getting knee surgery, working in finance, earning her MBA and coaching at multiple NCAA Division I women’s soccer programs. And yet, in the beginning of summer, Nigeria’s national team head coach, Randy Waldrum, was on the other end of the line, extending an invitation to try out for the squad because the team needed a goalkeeper during a U.S. tour that saw some of its players unable to compete due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
Yewande Balogun gave up on her playing dreams a decade ago. Then, a stint in Baltimore helped propel her to the World Cup.
July 20, 2023