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USWNT World Cup victory tour begins in August

The first game of the tour will be played Aug. 3 at the Rose Bowl in California, according to the LA Times.

United States' Alex Morgan, center, looks up as her teammates hold the trophy celebrating at the end of the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. The US defeated the Netherlands 2-0. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

LYON, France — The United States women’s national team will embark on a multi-match victory tour when it returns from the World Cup.

The first game of the tour will be played Aug. 3 at the Rose Bowl in California, according to the L.A. Times, and the opponent tentatively will be Ireland. 

All of the U.S. players will return to the National Women’s Soccer League now that the World Cup is over. The national team players have missed nearly two months of league play already and a victory tour will cut into their club time as well.

There are two NWSL games schedule for Aug. 3: Chicago Red Stars vs. Utah Royals and Portland Thorns vs. Sky Blue FC. Combined, those four teams have 12 U.S. national team players on their rosters. The NWSL regular season ends Oct. 12.

Injury update

Kelley O’Hara left the World Cup final at halftime after knocking heads with a Netherlands player. She was having concussion symptoms when she went to the locker room and has entered concussion protocol, according to a spokesman for U.S. Soccer. 

During postgame interviews, O’Hara seemed fine and expressed joy and a bit of disbelief that she is again a World Cup champion.

“This is crazy. It’s absolutely crazy. I feel like we’ve done the impossible today after these last couple years,” O’Hara said. “Myself, personally, it’s been a long, rocky road up to this point. If you were to talk to me even two months ago, I wouldn’t have expected this for myself, especially. So, I’m just really thankful.

“Winning a World Cup is probably the hardest thing you can do in football — maybe in life. It’s like a mental gymnastics for the last 44 days or something like that. It’s so hard.”

Becky Sauerbrunn went down twice during the match, taking a hit the second time that caused blood to rush down her face. She jogged to the side of the pitch while medical staff tended to the wound and stopped the bleeding before she returned to the game. 

After the match, a deep cut could be seen above her right eye. She said it was “a little sore” and she may need a few stitches.

“But I will take this no problem, as long as we won the World Cup,” Sauerbrunn said.

Concession issue

Much to the chagrin of fans in attendance, at least some World Cup concession and merchandise stands at Stade de Lyon closed at halftime.

FIFA has drawn extensive criticism throughout this tournament because of a lack of merchandise purchasing options, long lines at stands that do exist and concession stands running out of food.

Sunday – the biggest stage in the world for women’s soccer – was no different. Fans complained of hour-long wait times to purchase merchandise, lack of staffing and early closing of stands.

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