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49ers' Jordan Matthews heads to France to see wife in World Cup

Cam Inman, The Mercury News on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is heading for a storybook destination now that 49ers minicamp is complete. He's off to France, where his wife, Cheyna, is playing for Jamaica in its first Women's World Cup.

"We're in this crazy phase right now," Matthews said after Wednesday's practice. "She's watched me play on this (NFL) stage, and now she's playing on the biggest soccer stage in the world."

It's a fabulous phase that Matthews' former Philadelphia Eagles teammate, Zach Ertz, knows quite well. Ertz's wife, Julie, is a star defender on the favored U.S. Women's National Team.

"Julie and Zach have been really close to us ever since we got to Philly," Jordan said. "Once Jamaica (qualified), Zach knew Cheyna was Jamaican, and so he was one of the first to text me, 'Is she going to go?' Julie was, 'Tell Cheyna I'm so happy for her. It's going to be awesome they're coming out too.' "

Cheyna started at forward as Jamaica's so-called Raggae Girlz made Sunday's Women's World Cup debut, a 3-0 loss to Brazil.

"She had a great game against Brazil," her husband said. "They have a young team. They were jittery early on but then got settled in."

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After completing his first offseason program on the 49ers receiving corps, Jordan Matthews won't make it in time for Jamaica's next game, on Friday against Italy. But once he lands in Paris on Saturday, he'll head for Grenoble near the French Alps for Tuesday's game against Australia.

"Once the World Cup ends, my wife is still playing pro soccer in D.C. (for the Washington Spirit), so I literally fly to France with the luggage I'm going to fly to D.C. with and train with the whole offseason," Matthews said.

"This is my life now for the offseason. I used to go to Nashville and train at Vanderbilt. The father and husband life is a lot different. It's so fun, though."

How Cheyna Matthews made it to France is quite a tale, especially so in that it's been less than a year since she spent 27 hours in labor delivering the couple's first child.

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