In recent years, as the LBTQIA+ community has come more and more onto the world stage, their presence has been felt in all walks of life, up to and including the world of professional sports. In the Women’s Soccer World Cup of 2023, several players came out openly as members of the community, along with their partners.
While many of the lesbian World Cup players are on the same team as their partner, or else have partners unaffiliated with a national team, some players and their partners have faced, or will face, each other on the World Cup stage.
Here are 10 reported lesbian soccer player couples who, according to recent internet information, are playing on different national teams for the 2023 World Cup,
10 Lesbian Soccer Couples Who Are On Different National Teams in 2023:
Here’s 10 couples who wound up on different National Teams – some of the countries are near neighbors, but others are thousands of miles apart.
- Sam Kerr (Australia) and Kristie Mewis (United States)
- Danielle van de Donk (Netherlands) and Ellie Carpenter (Australia)
- Jessica Fishlock (Welsh) and Tziarra King (United States)
- Lisa Boattin (Italy) and Linda Sembrant (Sweden)
- Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands) and Beth Mead (England)
- Mackenzie Arnold (Australia) and Kirsty Smith (Scotland)
- Shelina Zadorsky (Canada) and Rosella Ayane (Morocco)
- Leicy Santos (Columbia) and Maitane Lopez Millan (Spain)
- Janni Thomsen (Denmark) and Elise Torsnes (Norway)
- Magdalena Eriksson (Sweden) and Pernille Harder (Denmark)
Sam Kerr and Kristie Mewis:
Arguably, this is the best known couple of the partnerships between lesbian World Cup Soccer Players. They’re also playing for two different national teams, and two different teams outside of the World Cup arena.
Sam Kerr (29 year-old forward born in East Fremantle, Australia) is listed as being on the roster for the Australian National Team, and otherwise plays for the Australian team, ‘The Matildas’.
Kristie Mewis (32 year-old midfielder born in Weymouth, Massachutes) is listed as being on the Roster for the United States National Team, and otherwise plays for Gotham FC, out of New Jersey/New York.
They may be on different teams, but all reports have these two in a steady and strong relationship since the pandemic, and Instagram pictures have them very much in love. It’s hoped that they’ll be together for some time to come, regardless of any rivalry on the field of Women’s National Soccer.
Danielle van de Donk and Ellie Carpenter:
These two players met when Danielle van de Donk joined the Olympique Lyonnais team in 2021, and they officially declared their relationship in 2022 on social media.
Prior to their meeting, Danielle van de Donk played for UEFA, and Ellie Carpenter played for the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Portland Thorns FC. They currently both remain with the Olympique Lyonnais team.
Danielle van de Donk (32 year-old midfielder born in Valkenswaard, Netherlands) is currently listed as a player for the French Division and the Netherlands International Team,
Ellie Carpenter (23 year-old defender born in Cowra, Australia) is listed as being a member of the French club Lyon and the Australian International Soccer Team.
The two players have not only different international teams, but a 10 year age gap. However, they still seem to be doing well as a couple off the field, and their considered a power couple in the world of Women’s National Soccer, both on and off the field
Jessica Fishlock and Tziarra King:
As midfielder and forward, these two make a powerful team as part of OL Reign, an American soccer team out of Seattle, Washington. The two have been working together as a team on the field ever since Tziarra King joined OL Reign in 2021. They remain teammates for the league, however, they wound up on different international teams for the the World Cup.
Jessica Fishlock (36 year-old midfielder born in Cardiff, United Kingdom) is listed as a member of the Welsh National Team.
Tziarra King (24 year-old attacker/forward born in Sicklerville New Jersey, United States), on the other hand is listed as a member of the American National Team.
In October 2022, these two announced they are happily engaged, and so far, neither the 12 year age gap nor being on different national teams has changed that. The 2023 World Cup didn’t have Wales on the final 16 roster, but their national teams may play against each other at some point in the future, and it will be interesting how they match up against each other.
Lisa Boattin and Linda Sembrant:
Lisa Boattin hails from Italy, and Linda Sembrant is from Sweden, but they met in the Italian Serie A Juventus FC. They’ve been team mates for four years, but in the 2023 World Cup, these two played on different teams, as both returned to play for their home teams.
Lisa Boattin (26 year-old defender born in Portogruaro, Italy) is listed as a member of the Italian National Team.
Linda Sembrant (36 year-old center back born in Uppsala, Sweden) is listed as a member of Sweden’s national team.
There’s some debate about whether these two were together at the beginning of the year. They’re still listed on the WOSO Couples Chart as dating, and time will tell if these two are drifting apart or drifting together in both the professional and personal sense. Either way, representing their home countries means they’ll be competing against each other in the World Cup.
Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead:
A pair of powerful forwards on the FA Women’s Super Club League Arsenal since they joined in 2017, these two have been called a pair of Lionesses and an example of couple goals for the LGBTQIA+ community. However, for the World Cup, they – like many others who returned home to play on their homeland national teams – were set to play in opposition to each other, instead of in their usual partnership.
Vivianne Miedema (27 year-old forward who was born in Hoogeveen, Netherlands) was signed to the Netherlands National Team.
Beth Mead (28 year-old forward born in Whitby, United Kingdom) was signed to the England National Team .
Unfortunately, Vivianne was unable to play the World Cup due to an injury, so it remains to be seen what will happen, when and if these two meet on the field in the future when playing for their home countries. Whatever happens, however, we can hope that their relationship on the Arsenal, and off the field, remains strong and healthy for many years to come.
Mackenzie Arnold and Kirsty Smith:
The two women met in the England team of West Ham in 2022, but their careers have taken fairly different paths. Mackenzie Arnold is currently a player for the Matildas in Australia, while Kirsty Smith is still playing for West Ham United. Their differing paths have extended to the national teams each of them plays on as well.
Mackenzie Arnold (29 year-old goalkeeper born in Gold Coast, Australia) is currently playing for the Australian National Team.
Kirsty Smith (29 year-old born in Dalkeith, United Kingdom) is currently playing for the Scotland National Team.
The Scotland National Team didn’t make the World Cup in the end, meaning Kirsty Smith is back in training with West Ham. However, reports say she cheers on her partner’s performance on the World Cup stage. The two went public with their relationship this year, and they seem to be doing well together. There’s a good chance they’ll be a couple for a while, giving them both plenty of chances to play together and against each other on the field.
Shelina Zadorsky and Rosella Ayane:
Shelina and Rosella became teammates on the Tottenham Hotspurs in 2020, and are reportedly dating, though details are unknown and uncertain. What is known, however, is that these two FA Super League teammates, who’ve worked together well for the past 4 years, play on different teams internationally in the World Cup.
Shelina Zadorsky (30 year-old center back born in London, Canada) is currently on the roster for the Canadian National Team.
Rosella Ayane (27 year-old forward born in Reading, United Kingdom) is currently on the roster for the Moroccan National Team.
Their connection as more than teammates is still somewhat under debate, with differing accounts between sources such as Twitter and the WOSO Couples Chart, and only time will tell whether they get closer together or further apart in both career and relationship status. In the future, they may wind up officially together, or they may not.
Leicy Santos and Maitane Lopez Millan:
These two met as midfielders in Atletico Madrid, but their careers have led them to two different league teams, as Santos still plays for Atletico Madrid, and Maitane Lopez currently plays for Gotham NJ/NY FC. Returning to their home countries for the World Cup also led them to play on two different Latin/Hispanic national teams.
Leicy Santos (27 year-old midfielder born in Santa Cruz de Lorica, Columbia) is listed as a player for the Colombian National Team.
Maitane Lopez Millan (28 year-old midfielder born in Mallorca, Spain) is listed as a player for the Spanish National Team.
Some sources claim that these two are no longer dating, but others are saying that these two have been together for a long time, and have the potential to be together for longer still. Supporters of the community will be wishing them well either way, and we’ll see what the future holds. The same can be said for their future meetings on the soccer field, as they’re likely to play against each other at some point.
Janni Thomsen and Elise Thorsnes:
Janni Thomsen and Elise Thorsnes are both players for the Norwegian Top-Division team Valerenga. They’ve been team mates for about 2 years, but when it comes to national teams for the World Cup, the two are fighting for their homelands on different teams. Though the countries are close neighbors, it may make for a fierce rivalry on the soccer field.
Janni Thomsen (23 year-old midfielder born in Kjellerup, Denmark) is currently playing for the Denmark national Team.
Elise Thorsnes (34 year-old attacker/forward born in Leikanger, Norway) is currently playing for the Norwegian National team.
These two are not widely listed as being in a relationship, their status being primarily marked with a place on the infamous WOSO Couples Chart, leaving it unclear if the connection is one of rumor, uncertainty, or newness. However, it’s also possible that the couple is merely extremely private. Time will tell, and it remains to be seen what will come for these two professionally and personally.
Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder:
Magdelena Eriksson and Pernille Harder are teammates on Frauen-Bundesliga Bayern Munich, as of this year, and previously played for Chelsea together for three years before changing teams. However, when it comes to national teams, the two play for different teams and potentially face off against each other in the World Cup.
Magdelena Eriksson (29 year-old defender born in Stockholm, Sweden) serves as a player for the Swedish National Team.
Pernille Harder (30 year-old attacking midfielder born in Ikast, Denmark) serves as a player for the Denmark National Team.
Teams aside, these two are known to be a long standing power couple in the world of International Women’s Soccer, and the LGBTQIA+ community and it’s assumed they’re in it for the long haul, whether they’re playing together on the field, apart, or against each other.
Long-term or short-term, still together or recently separated, long-time couples or new ones, these aren’t all the relationships among the LGBTQIA+ members of the Women’s International Soccer community. And probably not the only partners playing on different International teams in the World Cup.
Future soccer fans and members of the LGBTQIA+ may be surprised to see what partners, lovers and spouses wind up playing together in the World Cup in future…and which will play against each other. But one thing’s for sure – these are relationships that show that love is truly a global gift that anyone can find, in any circumstances.