Philly Area Soccer Stars Shine at World Cup

Local soccer stars take the field Wednesday for the U.S. Women's Team

There was a Philly flair Wednesday as the United States beat France 3-1 in the Women's World Cup semifinals.

A handful of soccer stars with local ties are playing for the U.S.

Before the game Wednesday U.S. midfielder, Carli Lloyd, a former standout in Delran, Burlington County, took to Twitter to support her team.

"Big day today... usa vs france. Semi final. Last game against brazil won't mean anything unless we take care of today! Believe! #USWNT."

After the comeback extra-time, overtime thriller against Brazil in the quarters and a late 3-1 win over France, just about every American has to be believing.

On Sunday, one day after Lloyd's 29th birthday, the U.S. will face Japan, trying to win their first World Cup since 1999.

In the semis Lloyd played solid but failed to find the net before being substituted for in the 65th minute.

Besides Lloyd there are plenty of other women the Delaware Valley can be extra proud of -- nine members of the U.S. squad with local ties, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ali Krieger, who booted the winning penalty kick in the U.S. team’s victory Sunday over Brazil, played at Penn State. In addition, teammates Lori Lindsay, Amy Rodriguez, Nicole Barnhart all currently play for the Philadelphia Independence. Megan Rapinoe and Heather Mitts (wife of former Eagles Quarterback A.J. Feeley) are former Independence players, according to the Inky.

Back up goalie Jill Loyden played soccer at Villanova and is a Vineland native.

Head coach Pia Sundhage spent two years (2001-2002) as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Charge and assistant coach Erica Walsh is the Penn State women’s head coach and an alumni of Lower Moreland High School.

The U.S.'s success to this point in the tournament could be a massive boon to the future of American soccer, and with so many of the teams stars connected to the area, one can only hope that the Keystone and Garden states can continue to lead the charge towards a brighter future on the pitch.

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