First Player With Limb Difference Makes Debut For US National Team

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Defender Carson Pickett became the first player with a limb difference to ever make an appearance for the U.S. women’s national team Tuesday, according to U.S. Soccer. 

Pickett played her first game with the USWNT in a friendly match Tuesday against Colombia, according to U.S. SoccerThe USWNT won the soccer match 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and Pickett played the entire 90 minutes at left-back, ESPN reported.

“Carson did very well in training for us in last week and with the management of minutes for Emily Fox that we had, we felt like Carson would be a good replacement, and I’m happy that she was able to perform well for 90 minutes,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said, according to the outlet.

Born without her left forearm and hand, Pickett has served as an inspiration for those with limb differences who want to pursue sports, USA Today reported.

Since 2021, the 28-old-defender has played for the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage. Prior to joining the Courage, Pickett played for two other NWSL teams, the Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign FC, as well as for two overseas teams as a loan.

In 2019, an exchange between Pickett and a young fan with a similar limb difference went viral on social media. The photo shows the soccer star and 2-year-old Joseph Tidd bumping elbows.

“Literally within five minutes of me meeting him, we had an instant bond,” Pickett told USA Today Sports back in 2019. “It’s interesting, though, because for a kid that young, I didn’t expect him to connect the way he did. Even though we both have the same arm (birth defect), it was amazing to me that it felt like he realized why we were bonded.”

Pickett represented the U.S. on the under-17 and under-23 national teams before her debut Tuesday with the USWNT, according to the North Carolina Courage website. (RELATED: Tickets To The World Cup Game Between France And The United States Cost Up To $21,000)

The USWNT, which has a 69-game unbeaten streak on home soil, plays its next match July 4 against Haiti.