Fun Times With the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team
On the field, they’re all business. Off the field, hilarity ensues.
Exhibit A: Sand castle competition in Albufeira, Portugal.
Scenario: As a team building exercise for the ‘09 Algarve Cup, the team is divided into four, grouped by position (poor goalkeepers).
Best moment: Angie Woznuk and Megan Rapinoe unintentionally making a kid cry.
Best line: “The mermaid wasn’t even original!”-Amy Rodriguez exclaims in the background while Head Coach Pia Sundhage tells the camera her favorite is the goalkeepers’ mermaid.
Runner-up: “A little overdressed.” Heather O'Reilly while Heather Mitts shows off her beach dress
Exhibit B: Stephanie Cox’s birthday party
Scenario: The team surprises Cox on her 22nd birthday in a hotel in Juarez, Mexico.
Best moment: Heather O'Reilly trying, unsuccessfully, to push Tobin Heath into the pool. Hope Solo sees an opportunity and pushes both of them to the pool (goalkeepers are powerful ninjas).
Runner-up: Natasha Kai hitting herself instead of the pinata.
Best line: “It’s my first...I didn’t know what was going on.” Swede fitness coach Helena Andersson on all the pinata madness
Exhibit C: Funnel game
Scenario: Heather Mitts and Natasha Kai team up to pull a prank on a few of their teammates
Best moment: Abby Wambach laughing at Heather O'Reilly (you gotta hear it to appreciate it).
Best line: “I knew you were gonna do something! It was against my better judgement!” Kacey White.
Exhibit D: Bus wave-back game
Scenario: Always competitive, even on a bus ride during the Olympics, the team starts a contest of which side of the bus will get the most waves.
Best moment: Picture this: Baby-faced Lori Chalupny, in a bus, with a lollipop, waving.
Best lines: “The back of the bus doesn’t count.” “Yes it does!” “Dude they’re gonna… they could get a lot.”
Exhibit E: The Great Wall
Scenario: The team visits the Great Wall of China during one of their days off.
Best moment: Amy Rodriguez telling the camera—in what could be a German accent—they went up to the Great Wall, then proceeded to drink from her water bottle...which still had its cap on.
Best line: “I’m a little rattled, I’m not gonna lie.” Lindsay Tarpley as she, Heather Mitts and Lori Chalupny hike up the Wall.
Exhibit F: Train time
Scenario: The team takes the train to travel to Qinhuangdao. Challenge: To get off the train in a span of one minute. All of them.
Best moment: Heather O'Reilly knitting while Lauren Cheney feeds her.
Best line: “I think people are gonna start shoving us.” Team captain Christie Rampone as they get ready to get off the train.
Runner-up: “O’Doyle rules!” Natasha Kai.
Exhibit G: Ping-pong tournament
Scenario: The team organizes their “first annual” doubles ping pong tournament while in China.
Best moment: Lindsay Tarpley's performance at the championship match.
Runner-up: Cat Whitehill interviewing the winners with a ping-pong paddle as her mic.
Best line: “It builds character, it really does.” Lauren Cheney after losing all of their games
Exhibit H: Bowling tournament
Scenario: The team organizes a bowling tournament at Bol Bol.
Best moments: Every time they jump and scream.
Best line: “Make it a foursome! Make it a foursome!” -Hope Solo’s grandma
Exhibit I: Rock-hard abs
Scenario: Buddies Heather O'Reilly and Lori Chalupny talk about how the former broke the latter’s hand.
Best moment: Chalupny high-fiving O'Reilly with her broken hand.
Best line: “I heard I had rock hard abs before. I didn’t know it, until an incident like this really demonstrates how cut I really am.” Heather O'Reilly
Exhibit J: Gym Time
Scenario: A few members of the team go to the gym to pump some iron.
Best moment: Lindsay Tarpley on an exercise ball talking about her workout regimen, then slides off and the ball makes a weird sound.
Best line: “These pipes of mine, little, need a little toning. So I’m just gonna hit up the arm curls, you know, a little… little… what are these things called, tricep… curls?” Heather O'Reilly.
Verdict: This team is pretty funny.
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