At watch party, Team USA fans delight in 2nd match win at Women’s World Cup

Soccer fans gathered at the Wheaton Sports Pavilion in Montgomery County to cheer as Team USA took on Chile in another Women’s World Cup soccer match.

There was no question who two members of the Washington Spirit wanted to win: Team USA.

Sammy Jo Prudhomme and Tiffany McCarty of the Washington Spirit were on hand signing autographs, greeting fans and celebrating two of their teammates, Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, who are part of the U.S. Women’s World Cup team.

Prudhomme tells WTOP they want to set a tone for women’s sports, “where it’s approachable,” she said.

They also want local folks to get to know the team.

“We also want to get recognition building for the [National Women’s Soccer League],” Prudhomme said. That’s the highest level of play for soccer in the country.

Fans stream into the Wheaton Sports Center in Montgomery County, Maryland, to watch the U.S. Women's National Soccer team play Chile. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Fans stream into the Wheaton Sports Center in Montgomery County, Maryland, to watch the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team play Chile. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
People of all ages crowded around a Jumbotron to watch the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team defend their title at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson))
Members of the Washington Spirit attended the watch party. Two players for the Spirit are competing with the U.S. Women's Team at the 2019 Women's World Cup. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Members of the Washington Spirit attended the watch party. Two players for the Spirit are competing with the U.S. Women’s Team at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (WTOP/Liz Anderson) (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
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Fans stream into the Wheaton Sports Center in Montgomery County, Maryland, to watch the U.S. Women's National Soccer team play Chile. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Members of the Washington Spirit attended the watch party. Two players for the Spirit are competing with the U.S. Women's Team at the 2019 Women's World Cup. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)

McCarty tells WTOP representation is everything for the next generation of women’s soccer players.

“Growing up, I certainly didn’t get to encounter a woman’s professional soccer player. Just to see that something is possible, having someone there and seeing that there’s a goal that can be reached is something that’s really important.”

At Sunday’s event, there were lots of children enjoying the atmosphere, including Lauren Shern’s daughter.

“It was really fun to see a bunch of kids coming out, and there were a bunch of kids playing in the back, kicking soccer balls around. Yeah, it was great,” Shern said.

The indoor field at the Wheaton Sports Pavilion was speckled with blankets, coolers and mostly adult eyes fixed on the Jumbotron, with intermittent cheers when Team USA scored goals.

“Last year we did an event for the men’s World Cup … so we definitely wanted to do something for the Women’s World Cup,” said Jordan Gray of Montgomery Parks.

In the end, people on the pitch were elated when the Team USA defeated Chile 3-0.

Next, they’ll meet Sweden on Thursday, June 20.

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