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U.S. women’s soccer brings victory tour to St. Paul

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U.S. women’s national soccer team winger Megan Rapinoe waves at a fan.
U.S. women’s national soccer team winger Megan Rapinoe waves at a fan at Allianz Field on Monday Sept. 2, 2019.
Peter Cox | MPR News

The U.S. women's national soccer team is in St. Paul to take on Portugal, as part of the team's World Cup victory tour.

The team won the 2019 World Cup in France in July.

They are now in the middle of a victory tour that has already played in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The team takes on Portugal Tuesday night at Allianz Field.

Coach Jill Ellis, who plans to retire in early October, said the tour has helped she and the team get a sense of the support it had in the U.S. while the team was playing in France.

"You don't really feel it until you're here, you're back here. I think the other night was amazing. We had a big crowd in L.A.," she said. "So I think that's when it kind of hits home. And I think that's what, as fatigued as these players are right now, that's why I love these crowds because the energy that you get from that is helpful at this point where they are in the season. So it's been great. It's been wonderful."

The team will play without some star players in St. Paul, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. Coach Ellis said the two are unavailable to play, though both made the trip with the team and Rapinoe practiced on Monday.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team winger Megan Rapinoe
U.S. women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe speaks with the press at Allianz Field on Monday.
Peter Cox | MPR News

Morgan said that the tour is wonderful, but has a bittersweet element.

"It's pretty amazing to just continue that ride, that incredible high of the world cup win - something that only comes around every four years," she said. "And this team that we have that steps on the field will be very different than the team that steps on the field for the World Cup in 2023. It's just fun to be able to enjoy this ride with my teammates."

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star Alex Morgan
U.S. women’s national soccer team star Alex Morgan speaks with the press at Allianz Field on Monday.
Peter Cox | MPR News

Hundreds of fans sat in the stands at Allianz Field Monday afternoon to watch the team's 60-minute practice.

The team plays Portugal Tuesday at 7 p.m.