In honor of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team kicking Japan’s ass in this summer’s World Cup, Sports Illustrated has taken the unprecedented step of giving each team member, as well as coach Jill Ellis, her own cover.
The magazine will often feature a few different covers for special issues, but 25 is basically unheard of. The fairly ambitious plan wasn’t finalized until July 7; they shot the covers just five days later, and they will begin to appear on newsstands on July 15.
“Each player deserves her own cover, that’s what we settled on,” said SI’s managing editor Chris Stone in a statement. “The USWNT has plenty of recognizable, even famous names, but we couldn’t think of a group so thoroughly identified with a team as this one. We could go two ways: a team shot, which seemed a little conventional here, or something different and fresh: honoring not just one or two players, but all 23 of them with their own cover.”
So, SI decided to go whole hog, featuring the players, coach, and one group shot.
Logistically, it would be nearly impossible to send out all 25 covers to subscribers, so the magazine chose six: Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston, Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach.
All the covers are featured in the video above, as well as in this gallery featured on SI.com.
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