U.S. feels right at home in Paris af­ter start­ing with two vic­to­ries

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Kevin Bax­ter

PARIS — The game was in France. But the crowd? Well, it felt a lot like Kansas City.

Parc des Princes sta­dium, on the edge of Paris, was sold out Sun­day for the sec­ond time in 10 days for the Women’s World Cup. The first time, the crowd came to see France in the opener. This time, it came to see the Amer­i­cans.

With Sun­day’s at­ten­dance an­nounced at 45,594, the Amer­i­cans drew about 330 more peo­ple than the host team did.

“It was amaz­ing,” said cap­tain Carli Lloyd, whose two goals lifted the U.S. to a 3-0 win over Chile. “For me, be­ing part of four World Cups, just to see the growth, it’s un­be­liev­able. We’re in France, and we feel like we had a home game.”

The U.S. had a near-sell­out for its first game — a 13-0 rout of Thai­land on Tues­day at tiny Stade Au­guste-De­laune in Reims. But Sun­day’s crowd, in a larger sta­dium, was more than twice as big — and more than twice as loud.

“It’s so fun to be able to come to a dif­fer­ent coun­try and just see how broad our fan base is,” said de­fender Tierna David­son, who as­sisted on two goals. “You go out there and you hear a cou­ple of U.S. chants and you see all the flags wav­ing around. And it does make you feel at home, which I think make us feel more com­fort­able.”

The trend is likely to con­tinue. FIFA said ear­lier in the tour­na­ment that it had al­lo­cated the ma­jor­ity of tick­ets dis­trib­uted — 460,748 — to French fans. Af­ter that, more tick­ets were al­lo­cated to Amer­i­cans — 130,905 — than the rest of the world com­bined.

Eng­land ranked rank third with 29,307 tick­ets

Chilean goalie stars — It isn’t of­ten a goal­keeper gives up three goals and is named the player of the match. But Chile’s Chris­tiane Endler was a pop­u­lar choice for the prize Sun­day.

Endler, a Paris Saint-Ger­main keeper who was voted the best goalie in France last sea­son, put on a re­mark­able per­for­mance in the sec­ond

half. She fin­ished with six saves, most com­ing on spec­tac­u­lar plays.

“Endler was fan­tas­tic,” El­lis said. “She’s a world-class goal­keeper and one of the best shot­block­ers I’ve ever seen.”

U.S. mid­fielder Mor­gan Brian agreed, say­ing Endler “had a great game.”

Endler didn’t even think it was her best per­for­mance of the last week. In Chile’s opener Tues­day against Swe­den, she kept the game score­less un­til the 83rd minute in a 2-0 loss.

Com­ing of age — Lloyd’s two goals against Chile not only made her the first player to score in six con­sec­u­tive World Cup games, break­ing a record set in 2003, but it also made her, at 36 years and 11 months, the old­est player to have a mul­ti­ple­goal game in a World Cup.

Brazil’s Cris­tiane (34 years, 25 days) set the pre­vi­ous record last week with a hat trick against Ja­maica.

Lloyd has scored nine times in her last six World Cup games, which in­cludes her hat trick in the first 16 min­utes of the 2015 World Cup fi­nal, in which the U.S. beat Ja­pan 5-2.

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GETTY IM­AGES/TNS

Chile de­fender Camila Saez (18) vies with United States mid­fielder Al­lie Long dur­ing Sun­day's match between USA and Chile in Paris.

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