U.S. Women's World Cup Team Inspires Metroplex Girls

SportsFIFA Women's World CupBrandi ChastainAbby WambachMia HammHope SoloFIFA World Cup

The U.S. Women's National Team is one win away from winning the 2011 FIFA World Cup.  While the game is taking place half a world away in Germany, the play of the team is having a major impact on the lives of girls in Metroplex.

"Seeing them play is just kind of cool because one day I want to be there," said Aces Futbol Club Midfielder, 11-year-old Cameryn Covington.

The Aces Futbol Club is a select group of 11- and 12-year-old girl soccer players who have new athletic superstars to look up to, and all of them are women.

"They're girls and girls are better, and it's soccer, so I like watching soccer," Covington told The 33 News.

Aces goalie Stephanie Starr said she has learned so much from U.S. star Hope Solo.

"I just like watching it because I learn from Solo, what she does and I just do that in the game and everything," said Starr.

Covington said she is learning from her favorite, Abby Wambach.

"It's kind of exciting to look at the positions they play and how we play so I can compare it and see what I do wrong and what they do right so I can just make myself better," said Covington.

Aces coach Amy Koenig-Cloutier said she saw a spark in her players because of what the U.S. women have done.

"The girls come to practice, they talk about the games, they talk about who scored, it's a lot of good stuff," said Koenig-Cloutier.

Koenig has played professionally against Brandi Chastain and Mia Hamm, two of the stars of the 1999 team that won the Women's World Cup, and motivated girls everywhere to pick up a soccer ball and play.

"It's inspiration to them," she said.  "They're like, 'I want to do this, I'm looking up to the Mia Hamms and the Brandi Chastains and they're seeing what they could do in the world of soccer.'"

Just as Chastain and Hamm inspired a generation ago of girls to become soccer stars, now that inspiration is being passed on from new stars Solo and Wambach, to the next generation of girls.

"If I could be the goalie on the U.S., that would be really cool, and I would like to be famous and everything," said Starr.

The FIFA Women's World Cup Final is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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