U.S. Women’s National Team

Megan Rapinoe
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Megan Rapinoe’s goal to return for Olympics from ACL tear

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Megan Rapinoe said her goal is to return to the Rio Olympics on Saturday, six weeks after surgery to repair a torn ACL.

“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, often times,” Rapinoe, 30 and a 2012 Olympic champion midfielder, said on Fox Sports. “Before that, though, I want to be healthy. When I step on the field, I want to be me. And the team needs that player, and not someone who’s hesitant. So, when I’m ready to do that, I’ll be back out there, and I certainly hope it’s for Rio.”

The midfielder tore her right ACL in training Dec. 4, after tearing an ACL twice in college.

“I want everyone to know that I’ll be fine, and that I’m currently accepting any recommendations for TV shows to binge watch and great restaurants that deliver in Seattle,” Rapinoe, who was one of 10 finalists for the FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year, said in a press release Dec. 5. “I’m also going to get really good at FIFA 16.”

The U.S. women will try to qualify for the Olympics in a CONCACAF tournament in February without Rapinoe and the retired quartet of forward Abby Wambach, midfielders Lauren Holiday and Shannon Boxx and defender Lori Chalupny.

The other 2015 World Cup midfielders were Carli LloydMorgan BrianTobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly.

World Cup roster sizes were 23 players, while it’s down to 18 for the Olympics. The Rio Games women’s soccer tournament begins Aug. 3.

MORE SOCCER: Abby Wambach retires, no Rio Olympics

Carol Heiss Jenkins writes letter to U.S. women’s soccer team

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Carol Heiss Jenkins couldn’t make it to the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s ticker-tape parade in New York on Friday, but the 1960 Olympic figure skating champion sent her regards before the World Cup winners followed in her path up Broadway.

“Enjoy the moment. Look up at the buildings and the people above,” Heiss Jenkins wrote. “The cheering fans should make you realize your accomplishment transcends just a score in a soccer game. Take it all in, as it goes by fast. This moment in time is very well-deserved, and I hope your day is as magical as the one I enjoyed back in 1960.”

The last time a New York ticker-tape parade was held for female athletes only was singularly for Heiss Jenkins in 1960, after she won Olympic and World titles that year. (more on Heiss Jenkins’ parade here)

Heiss Jenkins, now 75, underwent hip surgery in June, heeded doctors’ advice not to travel and said she would watch the parade on TV.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 55 years since I was riding in a convertible down the Canyon of Heroes, the same parade route all of you will be riding along on Friday,” she wrote. “I was 20 years old, having just won an Olympic gold medal in figure skating, and like yours, my life was a whirlwind, flying by like the ticker tape in the sky. It was a magical day, and I remember looking up at all of these people and all of these tall buildings. It was a marvelous scene that I have never forgotten.”

Fourteen players out of the 23-woman U.S. World Cup roster won Olympic gold medals in 2012. The U.S. team must be trimmed to 18 for the 2016 Olympics, should it qualify next year.

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