U. S. team does learn of mar­riage rul­ing

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Kevin Bax­ter

OT­TAWA — U. S. Coach Jill El­lis says she’s kept her play­ers in a pro­tec­tive “bub­ble” dur­ing this World Cup, rarely al­low­ing news from the out­side world to seep in.

But the team was well aware the U. S. Supreme Court ruled Fri­day in fa­vor of same- sex mar­riage, with many play­ers re­act­ing hap­pily on so­cial media be­fore the team’s 1- 0 win over China in the tour­na­ment quar­ter­fi­nals.

Abby Wam­bach, who mar­ried long­time girl­friend Sarah Huffman in 2013, said the team even had a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion planned if it scored again against China.

“We were go­ing to give a shout- out to the Supreme Court,” said Wam­bach, one of a few openly gay play­ers on the U. S. team. “Ob­vi­ously it im­pacts my life per­son­ally. And to cap it off with a win, mov­ing on to the semis in a World Cup, for me it doesn’t get bet­ter.”

El­lis, a nat­u­ral­ized U. S. citizen, also wel­comed the court’s rul­ing — for her­self and her play­ers.

“Our play­ers, they’re great role mod­els,” said El­lis, who lives with her part­ner, Betsy Stephen­son, in Florida, a state that only re­cently rec­og­nized same- sex mar­riage. “And to have it now be some­thing that all of us can em­brace, no mat­ter where we live in the coun­try, it’s a tremen­dous step for our coun­try.

“And cer­tainly as some­body who ben­e­fits from that, I’m ex­tremely pleased for ev­ery­body in our na­tion.”

Es­cap­ing penalty

Mid­field­ers Lau­ren Hol­i­day and Me­gan Rapi­noe were miss­ing from the game with China af­ter pick­ing up their sec­ond yel­low cards of the tour­na­ment in Mon­day’s win over Colom­bia.

And Wam­bach was in dan­ger of join­ing them for crit­i­ciz­ing the of­fi­ci­at­ing of French ref­eree Stephanie Frap­part in that game. But she apol­o­gized for her re­marks a day later and FIFA ruled late Thurs­day she would re­ceive only a warn­ing, clear­ing her to play. The apol­ogy, FIFA said, fac­tored into the de­ci­sion not to sus­pend Wam­bach.

Trav­el­ing band

By mak­ing it to Mon­treal for the semi­fi­nals, the U. S. will wind up play­ing in f ive of the six World Cup venues, trav­el­ing more than 3,800 miles dur­ing the tour­na­ment. Add another 2,300 miles if the Amer­i­cans make it back to Van­cou­ver for the fi­nal, or 1,800 if they wind up in the third- place game in Ed­mon­ton.

No other team in the tour­na­ment has trav­eled as much. Ger­many, for ex­am­ple, played four of its f ive games in Ot­tawa and Mon­treal, which are sep­a­rated by less than 100 miles. And it will stay in Mon­treal for its semi­fi­nal.

The U. S. played in Win­nipeg and Van­cou­ver dur­ing the group stage and Ed­mon­ton and Ot­tawa in the knock­out rounds.

Eng­land, which has al­ready played in four cities, could add a fifth if it gets past Canada in Satur­day’s semi­fi­nal in Van­cou­ver.

No team will play in all six cities.

True gamer

China midfielder Han Peng played 74 min­utes Fri­day de­spite re­ceiv­ing six stitches in her head fol­low­ing her team’s round of 16 win over Cameroon.

Peng bumped heads with a Cameroon player dur­ing the game and, af­ter hav­ing the wound wrapped in a ban­dage, was forced to re­turn to the f ield dur­ing in­jury time be­cause China had al­ready used its three sub­sti­tu­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.