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U.S. Soccer Leads Its Group Despite A Draw With Sweden


The U.S. faced off against Sweden in the marquee match in the group stage of the women's World Cup last night in Winnipeg, Canada. NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji was there.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: Winnipeg Stadium was filled with red, white and blue and a smattering of Sweden's bright yellow. But those few Swedish fans were cheering proudly throughout the entire game.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Cheering in foreign language).

MERAJI: Sweden played well, had possession of the ball more than the U.S. did and had some strong shots on goal. One got past star goalkeeper Hope Solo, but defender Meghan Klingenberg made a dramatic save, heading it out of the box. The other Megan - Rapinoe - who scored twice in the last match, was double-teamed and blocked time and time again by the Swedes.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Cheering in foreign language).

MERAJI: Final score - 0-0.

Are you happy?


SIMONE SHALEV: We're very happy. It was a really good game.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It was a really, really cool game.

MERAJI: And who are you all rooting for since this is radio?

SHALEV: Sweden.

MERAJI: Simone Shalev came with her two daughters, and they were all smiles - not so for Jen Kelly and Tony Eldemire, who drove 13-and-a-half hours from Chicago.

TONY ELDEMIRE: It was frustrating. I think we could've done better.

JEN KELLY: Sweden didn't have to beat us. They just had to hold us to zero and they did, unfortunately.

MERAJI: Even with a tie, the U.S. still leads the group and plays Nigeria Tuesday. Shereen Marisol Meraji, NPR News, Winnipeg. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Shereen Marisol Meraji is the co-host and senior producer of NPR's Code Switch podcast. She didn't grow up listening to public radio in the back seat of her parent's car. She grew up in a Puerto Rican and Iranian home where no one spoke in hushed tones, and where the rhythms and cadences of life inspired her story pitches and storytelling style. She's an award-winning journalist and founding member of the pre-eminent podcast about race and identity in America, NPR's Code Switch. When she's not telling stories that help us better understand the people we share this planet with, she's dancing salsa, baking brownies or kicking around a soccer ball.
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