One of the greatest compliments Christina Unkel received in her long career as a soccer official came the time a player addressed her as “sir.”
“It’s weird thing,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ I’m like, ‘No, it’s great. I’m glad you forgot that I’m a girl. That’s helpful. That means you’re not focused on that.’”
Unkel has stood out most of her adult life, pursuing a double major in college, earning a law degree and learning a second language.
But on the soccer field, she’s spent much of her time trying to blend in, mainly working games in the National Women’s Soccer League and numerous age-group tournaments. Because while women can run major corporations,...