REIMS, France — Thailand forward Suchawadee Nildhamrong, better known as Miranda Nild, spoke with tears rimming her eyes after the match. Her team had just lost — not only defeated, but completely destroyed 13-0 by the United States — and she felt overwhelmed by the moment of playing in her first World Cup match.
The 22-year-old University of California, Berkeley graduate received words of support from the one person who caused the most heartache to her team on the field: fellow Golden Bear Alex Morgan.
“She said to keep my head up and that this is only the first game,” Nild said, both crying and smiling at the same time during postgame interviews. “I think that Thailand did the best they knew how to do. We’re a developing program. It was an amazing experience to be able to play against the States. They’re the reigning champs for a reason. I think it’s all hitting me at once. The experience was incredibly emotional.”
Nild also said she had an “insane” amount of family and friends in the stands watching her play and that she’s trying to take the positive out of the night.
“I told her that it’s a dream of all of ours to play in a World Cup,” Morgan said. “And she has at least three games, and this is Game 1. And she still has at least two games to showcase herself, to get some goals, she’s a quality player, and to stay encouraged through this tournament.
“Because she’s living out a dream that most girls and women don’t get to.”