Pack mentality: How the USWNT geared up for a month in France


A year of prep. Five tons of shipments to Europe. And gum -- so much gum. Here's how head equipment manager Ryan Dell got the USWNT geared up for a month in France.

400 jerseys

"The most important thing that we bring are jerseys," Dell says. "We brought over about 400 of them to Europe, to make sure we have that short sleeve, long sleeve, goalkeeper, everything."

120 pairs of cleats

That's about five per player, but Dell says an active player like Julie Ertz could go through eight pairs in France.

60 soccer balls

"It may sound ridiculous, but we need 60 balls to get through a training session," Dell says. "Sometimes it feels like we need more. And we pump all 60 every two days."

2 heat presses

"We print jerseys on site," Dell says. "We had one break on a trip to Spain, so now we take two."

1 vinyl cutter

"If you give me your last name, we could have it produced on my computer and on a jersey in five minutes," Dell says. "We can produce jerseys for any name in the world."

12 large bottles of shampoo, 12 large bottles of conditioner, 20 large bottles of body wash

"We kind of know how much shampoo and conditioner the team is going to use on a day-to-day basis and on a match basis," Dell says. "So, we kind of estimate that and then we bring more."

12 five-pound boxes of flavored gum

The USWNT goes through five packs a game. "I figured that would be enough," Dell says. "You'd rather have too much then too little, to be honest."

7 massage tables

Four will be used for athletic training and three for full-body massages. "Massage tables take up an incredible amount of space. They are just an awkward shape," Dell says. "It's like a big thing of Tetris."

48 women's parka jackets, 24 men's parka jackets

"We have a massive staff. So, [the parkas are] for everyone. Whatever we need so that every player and staff member is accounted for," Dell says. "Parka jackets are a weird choice, but we literally had a request for them right when we got to Europe."

1 American flag

One thing the USWNT never leaves him without: its American flag, which is hung up in the locker room before every game.

"The flag was presented to us by four WWII veterans from the cemetery in Normandy in France back in January. We wanted something special to carry with us on this journey and we were fortunate to meet these four incredible veterans," Dell says. "And we walked through the cemetery with them as they were telling us their stories. the flag came down at 4 p.m. and the veterans presented it to the team. So, it's very dear to our heart. and I think it's a really cool culmination is starting in France, flying over American piece of land in France, us traveling with it on our journey and leading us to this tournament and then to a degree the flag coming home to carry us through this world cup. It's very near to our hearts and means a lot to us."