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a triumphant career in victory lane.Th

 
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MessagePosté le: Ven 14 Sep - 09:20 (2018)    Sujet du message: a triumphant career in victory lane.Th Répondre en citant

The scowl became part of American soccer. Fixed across Heather OReillys face each time she sped toward the end line and curled her foot around a cross, it seemed to neither age nor change.As OReilly grew from a teenage phenomenon into a veteran who this week will retire from the national team after 231 appearances, the scowl was so familiar it was almost comforting.So it was that as the national team escaped its own adolescence this century, OReilly was a constant.Aging because we all do. Changing because a player must. Somehow always comfortably familiar.And if it is no longer difficult to imagine what the national team will be on the field without her, it will be forever difficult to picture the events of the past decade and a half unfolding sans scowl.Except that, when you get right down to it, labeling hers a scowl seems barely sufficient.University of North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance -- the architect of the most prolific dynasty in college sports who watched so many former Tar Heels first debut for and eventually retire from the U.S. womens national team -- offered a better appraisal.What sort of made her fierce was this angry chicken face that she had when she competed, Dorrance said.Beyond the field, though, there was a smile with a hint of native New Jersey wryness.Theres no arrogance to her, Dorrance continued. She would not call a team that defeated her a collection of cowards. There are so many things about her that are genuinely good and nice. Shes just a very old-school athlete that loves her family, loves her teams and her coaches, and isnt this incredibly irritating social media presence. Its almost like she is from a different era.Mind you, irritating or not, she does have a social media presence. OReillys combined Twitter and Instagram followings are more than half a million strong. She is of this time. But the coachs point is taken. It never has been easy to pin down the era to which she belongs. Perhaps it is her own.OReilly will retire from international competition after Thursdays match against Thailand (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET) having played more games for the United States than all but six women. At 31, she is 2? years younger than one U.S. captain, Carli Lloyd, and only six months older than the other, Becky Sauerbrunn. And while OReilly was an Olympic alternate this summer in Brazil, she still plays with the skill of someone who has a lot of soccer left in her story.Dorrance said he turned on an NWSL game last week just in time to see OReilly, of FC Kansas City, carve Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Johnston, a U.S. teammate and rising star, and deliver a cross that Kansas Citys Shea Groom finished for the opening goal in a K.C. win.In other words, the kind of play OReilly has been making ever since she made her international debut against Sweden on March 1, 2002 -- three days before Grooms ninth birthday.But with last years World Cup championship medal sitting alongside three Olympic gold medals, and with three long years until the next major tournament -- not to mention the national teams undisguised youth movement, to which OReilly fell victim this year -- she makes her exit.As much as I would like to play in the national team until Im 80 years old, thats just not realistic, OReilly said. There are other amazing things Im looking forward to as well. Im genuine about this -- Im looking forward to being a fan and being behind this team forever and ever because its part of me and always will be.And she is a part of it. Not just because of 52 assists. Not just because of 46 goals, including a memorable winner in overtime of an Olympic semifinal against Germany in 2004. Not merely for the gold medal that followed or any of the other medals added later. She played her first game alongside Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly, all of whom played in the first World Cup in 1991. She will play her final game alongside some combination of Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh, some of whom might still be playing when the 2031 World Cup rolls around.That is a whole lot of history connected through one person.Most of OReillys career took place in that most difficult of historical settings, when the glow of something momentous -- in this case, the national teams culture-changing success in the 1996 Olympics and 1999 World Cup -- gives way to the arduous task of making a new reality stick. That is why it matters when she says she feels that she leaves the national team in better shape than she found it.I think being a professional soccer player is the coolest gig in the world; I love playing, OReilly said. I think sometimes when you look at our male counterparts and what they are able to do in a domestic league and certain international players, we certainly have a ways to go. So yeah, thats frustrating. And Im proud to be part of certain initiatives to level that playing field because were not there yet. Hopefully I will continue to be a positive person in that charge to make things more equal, in terms of conditions, in terms of pay, in terms of visibility of the sport.Although she has been one of the most thoughtful speakers on rosters that rarely lacked candidates in that category, OReilly isnt the first name that comes to mind when it comes to using the platform. That is our fault, not hers. We digest and discuss Megan Rapinoe kneeling during the national anthem because it is, by intent, visible and provocative. We hung on Abby Wambachs every spoken thought for the same reason.How many fewer words, as absent here as anywhere, have been devoted to the work OReilly quietly does with America Scores, among others? The nonprofit organization works with children in 13 major cities who almost exclusively live below the poverty line. Through soccer, but also community service and even poetry, it attempts to provide opportunities that might not otherwise exist in a sport still very white, suburban and expensive.I think that soccer is a powerful game, said OReilly, who graduated from North Carolina with a degree in education. Its changed my life, and I know that it has the power to change the lives of a lot of people. And I dont know if everybody across our country is getting the same access to this amazing game.She was among those heard on the subject of artificial surfaces in the most recent World Cup. She believes in the ongoing fight for wage equality. But her career is also a study in the idea that it is not always the loudest and the brashest who make the biggest difference.For 15 years and more than 200 appearances, she didnt try to be anything but herself. The angry chicken face is just the photographic proof.At first I was sort of embarrassed by when Id see pictures, OReilly said. Over the years Ive just embraced it because its who I am. I play with passion. I live with passion. Im proud of that. I feel like thats what made me successful in my career. And I dont know another way. Cheap Basketball Jerseys From China . It was Kerbers third final of the year after losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in Monterrey in April and to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in Tokyo two weeks ago. The 10th-ranked German improved her record in finals to 3-5. Cheap Basketball Jerseys 2019 . However, he did make them miss him a little less. Cundiff, who had the unenviable job of replacing Dawson last season, agreed Thursday to a one-year, $1. http://www.wholesalenbachinajerseys.com/ .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Wholesale NBA Hoodies . Burris threw two TD passes, including a key 15-yard fourth-quarter strike to Bakari Grant that effectively countered a Toronto comeback bid and led Hamilton to a 33-19 victory. Wholesale NBA Autographed Jerseys . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. Bernier stopped 42 of 43 shots on Monday night, including all 22 in a hectic middle frame, his heroic performance propelling the Leafs toward an undue point in their final game before the Christmas break. HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Joey Logano leaned in toward Jimmie Johnson and offered a few words of comfort.At least we all sucked, Logano said.The four NASCAR Sprint Cup championship drivers all failed to get that one final boost they needed to better position themselves to win it all Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.Logano, Carl Edwards, 2015 Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch and Johnson all will start outside the top five. Busch will start ninth, Edwards 10th, Logano 13th and Johnson 14th. Johnson would match Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty for the NASCAR record with his seventh career Cup championship.I dont think any of us want to start that far back, Edwards said.But they are bunched close enough that one TV camera can probably catch them all as they head into the first turn on the 1.5-mile track. Busch started third in the finale last season, won the race and his first career Cup title.The foursome likely wont lag behind the front of the field for long.This is a place you can pass, Logano said.The highest-finishing driver among the four is the 2016 champion. Under the revamped Chase format, the Homestead winner the last two years won the championship.Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, eliminated from title contention in earlier rounds of NASCARs playoffs, played spoiler and swept the front row.I think weve been the two best cars all year, Keselowski said.Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Ryan Blaney all wiill start ahead of the championship drivers.ddddddddddddThe drivers out of the championship picture traditionally part to let the contenders race each other hard in the meat of the race.You get a little more respect from those guys, Busch said.Amid a heap of tributes, Tony Stewart starts 11th in the final race of his NASCAR career. Stewart is trying to race to his 50th career Cup victory and end a triumphant career in victory lane.There hasnt been any part of my career that I didnt enjoy, Stewart said. There are things about everything that Ive done that Ive liked more than others and disliked more than others. But as a whole, Ive enjoyed everything Ive done and the road that Ive taken to get here.Edwards and Busch are each vying to win a second straight championship for Joe Gibbs Racing. Johnson could bring a 12th title to Hendrick Motorsports. Logano wants to reward Roger Penskes 50th season in racing with another championship.Asked what keeps him going after all these years, Penske quipped, Trying to beat these guys.Harvick, the 2014 Homestead winner and Cup champion, won his second pole of the season. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver could also deliver a victory celebration for Stewart.Johnson was antsy to chase history.Qualifying isnt my strong suit, Im much better at racing, he said. So lets line them up and go racing. 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