World Cup: USWNT draws South Korea in final send-off match at sold-out Red Bull Arena
Special to MLSsoccer.com
American fans stole the show at Red Bull Arena Saturday afternoon. With a Women's National Team record setting crowd of 26,467 at the arena (and its third consecutive sellout this year), the supporters showed up in full force, outfitting the already Red, White & Blue stadium with an overwhelming presence. During the national anthem, Sammers S.C., The American Outlaws, New York Red Bull's Southward and Sky Blue's Cloud 9 rose a custom tifo with a resounding demand - "Bring It Home" - in reference to the 2015 Women's World Cup title and trophy. The fans then began to chant "We Love Ya" and "I Believe" giving the stadium an undeniable energy.
BRING IT HOME tifo
The U.S. carried that electric vibe, as it donned volt socks for the first time. The neon also outlined the black lettering on the back of the jersey, making it appear green. (This is the second time the U.S. has had difficulty with name and number visibility - back in 2012, Nike had to reissue the adhesive because the silver did not show well on TV.)
USWNT white kit unveiled
Despite the Unites States storied dominance in the women's game, one may be shocked that it did not put the game away early. Korea Republic proved a formidable competitor, in what was believed to be a handed win. The international friendly ended in a 0-0 draw. The most riveting part of the game was a final attempt from Korea Republic's as the seconds wound down - a blast from outside the box forced Hope Solo to make an impressive dive to the upper right 90. Had the ball gone through her finger tips, the U.S. would have ended its home winning streak.
Hope Solo's last minute save to preserve tie
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe suffered a quad injury in training on Friday so she sat out as a precaution. She plans to be back in action for the team's Women's World Cup debut against Australia on June 8.
Meanwhile, New Jersey native and USWNT veteran Christie Rampone made only her second appearance of the year, this time in front of her hometown crowd, after battling a nagging back injury since January.
Despite these alterations to the roster, the team anticipates all 23 members of the squad will be healthy for the tournament.
U.S. hopes that Saturday was the last time on American soil that it would wear two stars above the crest, aiming for its third Cup - the previous two were in 1991 and 1999.