I've already told my story about playing on a boys' team. I don't want to make it seem that dramatic, though, because honestly, it happened partly because I went to a very small school.
Though I never had huge aspirations to play at a high level, I quit soccer varsity during my sophomore year of high school. I was out of all sports for a good while because I'd suffered a back injury. It didn't happen while playing soccer, but for a long time, it would swell up if I tried to play again.
Anyway, the story of Gracie is actually based on Elizabeth Shue's own experience. According to an LA Times feature on Shue, though, her story didn't have such a happy ending. She quit the game partly due to the pressure and lack of support for a girl competing side-by-side alongside boys.
Thanks to the magic of the movies, however, Gracie gets the happy ending.
For Galaxy fans, alum Andrew Shue also has a role in the film.
Some coaches, even ones for the national team system, question the dedication of females to the game.
"Most of them don't play after 22," said one. "They haven't cultivated a real love for the sport."
While I agree that some players get pushed so hard that they burn out, I don't think it's coincidental that there's really no place for good female players to go at 22, except for rec soccer.