The good news for us here at Sports Illustrated is that it’s been a slow week in the office. Our July 6 edition, released seven days ago, was our annual summer double issue, our "Where Are They Now?" celebration. That means today is one of just four Tuesdays during the year that we don’t publish a magazine. We still spent the week following the Women’s World Cup and Wimbledon and MLB All-Star voting and NBA free agency. But for a few days we got to do it the way our readers do—in living rooms, at barbecues and on beaches, not in an office.
The downside is that it wasn’t exactly a slow news week—the U.S. women's national team made sure of that when it routed Japan 5-2 in the World Cup final on Sunday, scoring four goals in an unforgettable opening 16 minutes. It was one of those moments that makes our job easy: a championship moment for a team with talent, personality and grit, the kind of group that’s easy to root for. When a team like that conquers the world’s biggest stage, it’s a no-brainer SI cover… except this week we don’t have a cover.
Stay tuned, because we’ll give the U.S. women full coverage when we return with next week’s issue. But we couldn’t resist the chance to commemorate this moment while it’s still so fresh—so we put together the cover we would have run if there were a magazine this week.
This special digital cover is a beautiful shot by SI photographer Simon Bruty, one that perfectly captures what the U.S. women's national team is all about: a dedicated and seamless group of 23 that worked as one to bring home the World Cup trophy, the third in the program's history—notice those three stars on the cover—and one that was a long time coming. We’ve been waiting 16 years for this cover. We weren't going to wait another week to make one.
SI was also on hand Monday when the team gathered, and Bruty got an exclusive shot of the whole team sporting their medals. We’ll go deeper into the story of the World Cup champs next week. In the meantime you can find and purchase previous covers featuring the U.S. women as well as this special digital edition at SICovers.com.
SI's World Cup Covers
One of 25 covers honoring the USWNT's 2015 World Cup triumph
SI's five Women's World Cup Preview covers
Argentina's Daniel Passarella, 1978
Argentina's Diego Maradona, 1986
USA's Ernie Stewart, 1994
Brazil's Marcio Santos, 1994
USA's Brandi Chastain, 1999
US Women's National Soccer Team, 1999
USA's Clint Mathis, 2002
USA Landon Donovan, 2002
USA's Mia Hamm, 2003
2006 USA team
2010 USA team
USA's Hope Solo, 2011
SI's four World Cup Preview covers
The three best soccer players in the world (Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez) and the captain of the U.S. national team (Clint Dempsey) on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in 2014.