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Fans cheer on US Women's National Soccer Team in final match before Rio

Posted: 10:33 PM, Jul 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-23 03:33:56Z

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team made a stop at Children's Mercy Park on Friday night to play one more match before the Rio games.

FC Kansas City star and USWNT Co-Captain Becky Sauerbrunn was excited to play her last match before the summer games in KC.

"It's so wonderful to be back in Kansas City," she said. "It's great my friends can watch me play, and my family is from St. Louis, so they can come."

Sauerbrunn has won it all. She won the gold with the USWNT in 2012 and is a World Cup winner. She's a role model to players everywhere, especially in the growing soccer town of KC.

Twelve-year-old Izzie Hackett attended Friday's game.

"It’s very inspiring because you see eventually what you can become to be," she said.

She's one of thousands of young soccer players in KC. The league she plays in, Heartland Soccer, is the largest tournament league in the country. Tournaments draw thousands of new players to KC every year and bring in millions of dollars.

"Just one of our tournaments, and we have over a dozen every year, is over $1.3, $1.4 million economic impact, just from those outside teams traveling in," said the league's executive director, Shane Hackett.

High-profile games, like the USWNT match, puts the spotlight on KC just before for Sauerbrunn and the rest of the women play on the world's stage.

"We always feel like teams bring their A-game when they come to play us, and that's great," Sauerbrunn said. "We love the challenge, we're really excited about that."

The summer games start on Friday, Aug. 5 on 41 Action News. 

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Lexi Sutter can be reached at  lexi.sutter@kshb.com.

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