ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Fans got a chance to see the U.S. Women's National Team practice Monday at Allianz Field, drawing crowds to St. Paul - even if just for an hour.
“We all look up to them, so it’s really cool to watch them even if it was an hour-long practice," one young fan said.
“It’s good to see how they practice, and it inspires everyone else here that plays soccer - like us - to push forward and be like them one day,” another fan said.
Pushing forward is something the team has done on and off the field, particularly to get the pay that they deserve. Talks about pay equality have pushed these stars even further into the spotlight.
“I’ve been a huge supporter of them throughout the years, and I think it’s really important for them to get the pay that they deserve," a fan said.
The team’s gender discrimination lawsuit is set to go to court in May.
“We’re trying to [get] after it from all angles. I know it will increase dramatically…I think it will take a lot longer than four years from now, but the whole idea is that we continue to close the gap,” player Alex Morgan said.
“Dream the biggest that you can. I think we’ve raised the ceiling on what it even means to dream for them and what’s possible for them and what they can hope for and dream for and hopefully dream past in their lifetime. I would say don’t try to reach the level that we’re at, but go beyond that,” player Megan Rapinoe said.
Despite the excitement, fans were disappointed to learn that six players will not be at Allianz Field Tuesday when the U.S. Women's National Team takes on Portugal in a friendly match.
Team officials cited injuries, saying players Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Kelley O’Hara are recovering.
Officials also said Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris will not be at the match due to other commitments.
The team will have 19 players eligible to play Tuesday - 17 from the World Cup and two additional players who were called in. Teams are allowed six substitutes.
The USA last faced Portugal on Nov. 8, 2018, a 1-0 victory in Lisbon on a goal from Jessica McDonald that marked the historic 500th victory in U.S. WNT history.