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Megan Rapinoe happy to play Tournament of Nations opener in front of Seattle fans

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The USWNT and Reign star lamented the result, but praised her city and the fans that supported her.

Soccer: Tournament of Nations Women's Soccer-Australia at USA Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The USWNT’s opening match of the Tournament of Nations might not have gone as planned, as they lost 1-0 to Australia on Thursday at CenturyLink Field. Seattle Reign’s Megan Rapinoe was probably one of the lone bright spots for the USA, especially in the first half. If it weren’t for a bit of bad luck and a solid defensive performance by the Aussies, Rapinoe probably could have snagged a goal or two.

Regardless of the result, Rapinoe said it was a pleasure to play in front of friends and family. “It’s nice that I didn’t have to go anywhere, it was basically like a home trip for me, kind of cuts the trip in half which is nice,” Rapinoe said, noting the rest of the tournament will be elsewhere. “Obviously being in our season we’re doing a ton of traveling.”

Not that it’s a surprise, but Rapinoe was full of praise for Seattle and the fans that come see her play for the Reign every week. “I love playing here, I love the fans here. It’s a good soccer city, so it’s nice to be home.”

Even though the result didn’t go the USWNT’s way, Rapinoe was quick to praise some of the younger players that came into the lineup, like debutant defender Taylor Smith. “I thought Taylor did pretty well, I think she’s been in with us one time before for a brief camp. To be able to come in and just hop into the team is pretty impressive. She showed a lot of energy and heart out there.” Rapinoe thinks it was good to get players like that in the team, and that the loss shouldn’t be blamed on them or any individual player. “Collectively, it’s not for lack of effort,” Rapinoe said. “We’re trying to figure it out, but it needs to be better.”