USWNT star Christen Press honors Kobe Bryant by wearing No. 24 with Manchester United

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2 mins read

Christen Press is sorry for anyone who snatched up her standard No. 23 jersey when she joined Manchester United earlier this month. The number was already taken. But the number she switched to to also holds immense value.

“I picked 24,” she said in a video call with the Associated Press. “It was a best of the bunch and obviously has a history to that number as well.”

The USWNT forward said she picked it to honor the late Kobe Bryant.

Press picks Kobe’s No. 24

At the Olympics, Press switched from No. 23 to No. 12 because only Nos. 1-18 are used. She had more of a range of options for Manchester United and said her Los Angeles roots are why she took No. 24.

Press, 31, told the Associated Press:

“I definitely chose this with a little nod to Kobe because I’m an LA girl. I grew up and everyone, everywhere we went, they were crazy for Kobe, and the amount of inspiration and joy that he gave people by the way he played with his passion is amazing. And it’s something that as athletes we all strive to do.”

Press and fellow USWNT star Tobin Heath each signed one-year contracts with Manchester United in the Women’s Super League. Press has played the last two seasons with the Utah Royals; she has 58 goals in 138 appearances for the U.S. national team.

She’s played overseas for Swedish clubs Göteborg FC and Tyresö FF. The two U.S. stars are heading overseas for playing time while the NWSL plays a series of friendlies this fall.

Christen Press in a black Manchester United kit sits on a chair.
Christen Press will wear No. 24 for Manchester United to honor Kobe Bryant. (Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

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