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Tar Heels in the Women’s World Cup: Emily Fox

The Carolina product will be making her way to Australia/New Zealand for Team USA.

NWSL: Racing Louisville FC at North Carolina Courage Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Tar Heel women’s soccer star Emily Fox was one of the best players on the field during her time in Chapel Hill, and now she will take her talents to the biggest stage in the world. She will represent Team USA in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in her professional career.

Fox arrived in Chapel Hill in January of 2017 after graduating high school a semester early, and started 13 matches for UNC at the right midfield spot. During her freshman season she was named third-team All-ACC, and also made the ACC All-Freshman team. She unfortunately suffered a torn ACL during the win against Boston College, and had to sit out for the remainder of the season.

During her sophomore season, Fox trained with the full US national team in Europe, but returned to the team for the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Much like the previous season, she earned a number of accolades such as 2018 ACC All-Academic, first-team All-ACC, All-Tournament selection at the 2018 NCAA College Cup, and she was the 98th-ranked player in Top Drawer Soccer’s postseason Top 100 list.

Her junior season led to only more awards than the previous season, including being a Hermann Trophy semifinalist, first-team All-ACC, All-Tournament team during the 2019 ACC Tournament, preseason All-ACC, preseason Top Drawer Soccer Bext XI honoree, and more. It’s also worth noting that Fox was the only current collegiate player ever to earn caps for the US Women’s national team, and she also participated in the USWNT training camp that season. Much like her freshman season, things took a turn for the worst when she tore her ACL yet again during the match against USC in the 2019 College Cup. That would be the last time that we would see Fox in Carolina blue, but naturally she went on to continue her dominance in the pros.

Before we get into her professional career, here is what her former UNC soccer coach Anson Dorrance had to say about her spectacular career:

One of the elite players on our roster who competed for a spot on the summer roster for U.S. Soccer in 2019. Her chief quality is remarkable speed. Emily Fox, Mary Elliott McCabe and Hallie Klanke will all be competing as the fastest player on the 2019 team. Emily has a wonderful technical quality. She has a good tactical game. She also has the versatility to play in the back if we need her and in the flank midfield in a 3-4-3 formation if that’s the system we decide to go to. She can be a game changer for us on the right side the way Julia Ashley was for us at the right back position last fall.

From there, Fox was drafted to the Racing Louisville FC as the first overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft. She went on to play more minutes than any other NWSL rookie that season, and was also a finalist for the NWSL Rookie of the Year award. She would later get traded to the Carolina Courage, who play just 30 minutes from UNC in Cary, NC.

Fox will be representing Team USA alongside fellow Tar Heels Alessia Russo and Crystal Dunn. Best of luck to each of them as they embark on their quest to a World Cup championship!