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Friday, July 15, 2011
U.S. women source of great pride

By Lizzie Haldane

Don't we all wish we were in Germany, among the face-painted fanatics, waving, cheering and experiencing the 2011 Women's World Cup fanfare firsthand? For those not in Deutschland, espnW will provide the full fan experience. Every Monday and Friday throughout the three-week tournament, The Kick will give you a multimedia overview of the tournament so you can feel like you're a part of history in the making.

It comes as no surprise that the U.S. women's soccer team has received a lot of attention in recent days. From TV appearances on "Good Morning America", to winning the ESPY for Best Play of the Year for Abby Wambach's late equalizer against Brazil, to New York Times front-page coverage, to USA Today's hometown appreciation video and continual shout-outs on the TV and radio -- if you weren't a fan before, you are now. It's safe to say Americans are aware of Sunday's final.

Hairs to you, Pinoe

Another thing Americans are aware of now more than ever is Megan Rapinoe's platinum 'do. Fans created a Facebook page to show their love for the U.S. midfielder's hair. Locks of love, Pinoe.

Straight from the team's mouth

The U.S. women's national team blogs throughout the tournament, providing fans with a first-person view of the team's experiences while in Germany.

Proud to be an American

Just last week, the United States trained in Heidelberg, Germany, with an audience of more than 500 U.S. servicemen and women. Players were thrilled to speak with the military media about what a humbling experience and an honor it has been to play in front of the troops. The American military has inspired the U.S. team throughout the Women's World Cup journey, and the team wants to make them proud to be American, on a different level.

Fans from the stands

• American fans cheer on Wambach's equalizer.

• Japanese fans chant in support of Nadeshiko Japan.

• Famous newspaper L'Equipe lauds Les Bleus: "They are magic".

• Fans at the France-Germany match.

• Performance at Fan Mile in Frankfurt gives onlookers WWC fever.

Best of both worlds

A French designer combined two cult classics -- Barbie dolls and football -- to create Barbie Foot, a foosball game with the iconic dolls as players. Now everyone can have the best of both worlds.

Fantastic footie

Check out these jugglers around Germany showcasing their ball skills. Regardless of what they're wearing or where they are located, they manage to make that ball dance.

Looking ahead

FIFA kicked off its fifth Women's Football Symposium in Frankfurt Friday morning. More than 550 representatives of FIFA's member associations are meeting at the Steigenberger Airport Hotel to discuss the development, promotion and future of the women's game. The three-day conference is chock-full of big keynote speakers from around the globe, all with a common goal in mind: the elevation of women's soccer.

For instant updates, check out http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23wfs2011.

Essential presidential

President Barack Obama announced Friday morning that Dr. Jill Biden and Chelsea Clinton will be members of the presidential delegation to attend the Women's World Cup final in Germany on Sunday.

Viewing party in Times Square: WWC final

espnW will host a FIFA Women's World Cup Final viewing party Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to support the U.S. women's national team on its quest to win its third World Cup title. The match against Japan will be shown live on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square. With activities and giveaways on top of a thrilling matchup, why wouldn't you want to watch with the rest of the die-hard Stars and Stripes fans? Let's hope there isn't another guy hanging on a light pole this time.