What to know about USWNT Olympian surrounded in controversy

The 2024 Olympic roster for the U.S. Women’s National Team has been decided by Emma Hayes, and while there is much discourse surrounding the omission of Alex Morgan, there is another roster decision that is causing controversy.

Midfielder Korbin Albert was named to the roster for her first Olympic Games. The 20-year-old has had a sensational start to her career since she her time at Notre Dame, playing internationally and signing with Nike before she got her first call up to the national team in November. While she’s been stellar on the pitch, there’s off-the-field news that has made her time with USWNT controversial, and the selection to the Olympic roster has further escalated it.

Here’s what to know about Albert:

Korbin Albert controversy

Albert became the center of controversy in March when she reposted a TikTok video of a sermon that talked how being gay and “feeling transgender” is wrong, according to The Athletic. It was also discovered Albert liked a meme celebrating Megan Rapinoe’s injury in her final professional match.

Rapinoe publicly called out Albert for the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and she later issued an apology for liking and sharing several ‘offensive, insensitive and hurtful’ social media posts. Albert was not disciplined for the incident even though several current and former players like Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan and Christine Press expressed disappointment with the midfielder. When Albert entered a match vs. South Korea in June, she received boos from the crowd. Fans also expressed disappointment when Albert was announced as part of the Olympic roster on Wednesday.

What did USWNT head coach Emma Hayes say about Korbin Albert?

Hayes said Korbin made the Olympic team on merit and her versatility in the midfield, and also addressed the controversy surrounding her.

‘There’s no denying there’s been a lot of work that’s been going on in the background, to work with Korbin,’ Hayes said. ‘As I’ve expressed on a couple of occasions, it’s really important that everybody on this team understands the importance of not just being tolerant and respectful and understanding the things that are going to matter to us all.

‘Korbin has had to learn, and my experiences with her has been someone who, she’s a young person who’s understood fully the implications of her social media activity. I’m not going to go into that in great detail because that’s between Korbin and I. But the conversations we have had have been to talk about the importance of what we have to be mindful of and how we’re all part of environment that’s one that appreciates and understands the damage that that can do.’

Hayes added Albert had had a ‘really, really tough time’ during the controversy and the boos she has received has affected her. But Hayes spoke highly of her character.

‘I can say, firsthand, having spent a limited time with Korbin, she really is a lovely person and someone who really values the most important things,’ Hayes said. ‘She’s spending time working on herself, as we all do. I look forward to building on that with her. I want everybody to know that my job is to make sure I keep doing that and I want the fans to really embrace Korbin. I do think she’s a tremendous human being.’

Where is Korbin Albert from?

Albert is from Grayslake, Illinois, a far northwestern suburb of Chicago.

Where did Korbin Albert go to college? Where does she play?

Albert spent two seasons at Notre Dame before she began to play professionally for Paris Saint-Germain.

Korbin Albert USWNT experience

The midfielder was called up to the national team in November and made her first cap in December. She’s made 11 appearances for the team ahead of the Olympics.

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