Albert available for USWNT despite social media likes – Kilgore

United States women’s national team interim manager Twila Kilgore said that midfielder Korbin Albert, who is facing a backlash from fans and teammates over some of her social media activity, “is available” for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup.

Among Albert’s social media activities that drew the ire of fans and teammates was the sharing of a video from a Christian sermon with someone expressing shame about being gay and “feeling transgender.” Purported screengrabs also surfaced showing Albert liking a post that appeared to celebrate Megan Rapinoe‘s Achilles injury in the 2023 NWSL championship in November, which was her final game before retirement.

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Speaking to reporters on Friday ahead of Saturday’s tournament opener against Japan in Atlanta, Kilgore began with a statement regarding Albert’s actions, similar to that of midfielder Lindsey Horan and forward Alex Morgan earlier this week.

“It is disappointing when somebody falls short of the very high standards that we set within this team,” Kilgore said. “This team has always been a beacon of respect, inclusion and demonstrated great allyship through actions for underrepresented and marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. And we will continue to do so.

“As [Horan] and [Morgan] mentioned, this team has never shied away from hard conversations and today we’re here continuing to work on getting better, continuing to work on preparing ourselves to make ourselves proud, make our fans proud and put ourselves in the best position to continue to look towards success as we start this tournament.”

When pressed further about the nature of those conversations, and whether any consideration had been given to removing Albert from the roster, Kilgore stated that there have been “several internal conversations about this that will remain internal,” while also saying that Albert is available to play against Japan.

In response to Albert’s social activity, Rapinoe posted a message to her Instagram story last Thursday: “For people who want to hide behind ‘my beliefs,’ I would just ask one question, are you making any type of space safer, more inclusive, more whole, any semblance of better, bringing the best out of anyone?”

The incidents and backlash come as Albert begins to play a more prominent role in the U.S. team. She started all three knockout games for the U.S. as it claimed the Concacaf W Gold Cup last month.

Last week, Albert issued an apology for her actions.

“Liking and sharing posts that are offensive, insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful which was never my intent,” Albert said in a prepared statement. “I’m really disappointed in myself and am deeply sorry for the hurt that I have caused to my teammates, other players, fans, friends and anyone who was offended.”