In 1973, decades before the first professional soccer women’s league (the USL W-Leage) was established and the US had its own women’s national team, soccer fan Bill Kinder and U.S. soccer legend Lamar Hunt founded the Dallas Sting, the first all-girls soccer club in the country.
Production of the movie adaptation starts this fall and will star Matthew McConaughey as coach Bill Kinder.
From the script by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch (GLOW and Roar), Kari Skogland (The Falcon and The Winter Soldier) will direct the drama following Oklahoma native Kinder as he fights to get the 19-and-under team to represent the US in FIFA’s first world women’s tournament in China.
In 1973, when the team was founded, sports were believed to be unhealthy for women and were modified to limit the “strenuous exercise”. According to Deadline, Kinder had to get a note from a gynecologist saying that soccer was no danger to a woman’s reproductive organs in order to form the team. “At that time, girls sports really in a way were verboten,” Kinder said to The Dallas Morning News in 2015. “For the most part, people just didn’t think girls should be doing athletics at all.”
But ten years later things would take a turn. In 1984 the US under President Reagan’s administration intended to open relations with China, who in turn, invited America to participate in the first world championship they were holding for women’s soccer. Which would’ve been great if the US had a national women’s soccer team. Luckily a pioneer team of girls based in Richardson and coached by amateur BIll Kinder was ready to step up.
In October 1984, the Sting won the first FIFA-sanctioned world women’s tournament beating powerhouses like Italy and Australia, making them the first American team, male or female, to win a major international tournament.
“To see what The Sting did with little support and no money, intertwined with how these very different young girls meshed for the love of the sport and country, is something beautiful that deserves not to be lost to history,” Dallas Sting producer Sarah Schechter said in 2020.
Today the Sting Soccer Club is proud of its underdog beginnings and now has eight divisions across the country.
In case you missed it, here’s more soccer news in North Texas.