US feels right at home in Paris

Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Soccer

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

"The fans that have traveled, and what they create for us in terms of support for our players, it's magnificent," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. "They had to travel a long way and I'm sure at a lot of expense."



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