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Young soccer players meet, get wisdom from Women's World Cup champs


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More than a hundred young soccer players had a chance to meet professional soccer stars Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Andi Sullivan, Mal Pugh and Allie Long.

The panel discussion, moderated by Claire Shipman, was held at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center.

Each player shared advice on coping with obstacles in life.

“I want to encourage you guys, that failure is never final....and that actually, failing kind of teaches you so much,” Long said.

“I learned early on to never compare yourself to other people,” Rapinoe said. “In turn, no one can ever be you.”

“If you’re ever told you’re not good enough and you’re never going to make it, do everything in your power to prove them wrong,” Long said.

The players say they have encountered obstacles, like equal pay.

“I know that it will happen and it may not be in my playing career, but I’ll spend my dying breath doing this always,” Rapinoe said.

A gender discrimination lawsuit, filed by members of the U.S. Women’s soccer team, is scheduled for a May trial.

“We’re just asking if we play the same exact game as the men, that we have the same potential to earn the same amount of money,” Rapinoe said.

The young girls say they walked away with more confidence.

“It’s an honor to just get advice from them,” Marley Hillman said.

“It’s really cool to just see our idols in person, hear what they have to say,” Mackenzie Hillman said.

“They all inspire me to continue with soccer and how to be a good person,” Jessica Berger said.

Reign FC is scheduled to take on Washington Spirit on Saturday at 7:30 PM at Audi Field.

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