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Tar Heels in the Women’s World Cup: Satara Murray

The Brooklyn native will represent Jamaica in this year’s World Cup.

NWSL: NWSL Challenge Cup-Kansas City Current at Racing Louisville FC EM Dash-USA TODAY Sports

We are just weeks away from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and there are a number of Tar Heels that will be represented. Among those that will be participating is Tar Heel Alum Satara Murray, who will be representing the country of Jamaica. Her ties to the country exists via her paternal family, though Murray herself was born in Brooklyn, NY.

Murray was a top 20 recruit coming out of high school, and had quite a remarkable career at UNC as a defender. She made 85 appearances for the Tar Heels in her time in Chapel Hill, and played a big part in their 2012 national championship. She was named the most outstanding defensive player at the 2012 NCAA College Cup.

Her professional career began in Liverpool, where she played four seasons and made 66 appearances. From there, Murray bounced around a bit before landing on Bristol City FC, where she helped the club finish third in the league, and reached the final of the FA Women’s League Cup. Her most recent stop has been Racing Louisville FC in the NWSL, where she has played since 2022.

Satara had multiple countries that she could represent at the national level with her London-born mother, her Jamaican father, and her Guyanese grandmother, but she will be making her World Cup debut with the Jamaican national team. In October 2021, she made her debut for the Jamaican national team after previously playing on the England U23 team. She has made four appearances representing Jamaica, including making the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, which qualified them for the World Cup.

NWSL: Racing Louisville FC at Portland Thorns FC Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Jamaica, who are known as the Reggae Girlz, are making their third World Cup appearance in 2023. They’ve never made it out of the Group stage, so they will be looking to improve on that this time around. Even getting there is commendable considering the fact that the program has been cut and disbanded by the country in the early 2010s. Jamaica was the first country from the Caribbean to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.

Their first game of the World Cup will be July 23rd when they take on the French national team. Their Group also contains Brazil and Panama. With France being one of the favorites to win the whole tournament, it will definitely be an uphill climb for Murray and Jamaica, but crazy things can happen.

It’s interesting to note that three of the former Tar Heels in the Women’s World Cup are all defenders. Anson Dorrance obviously knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting on that side of the field, and his 21 national championships during his tenure are proof of that. Dorrance knows how to develop winners on the field, and Murray is one of many that serve as proof of that fact.

Best of luck to Murray and the other Tar Heel women representing their respective countries in the Women’s World Cup. We will all be following along and rooting for you!