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2019 Women's World Cup

Healthy and happy: Kelley O’Hara’s emotional World Cup opener

Photo Copyright Daniela Porcelli

REIMS, France — In the maze of tunnels and hallways beneath Stade Auguste-Delaune, Kelley O’Hara is speaking with the media about the United States’ World Cup opener. Her responses come as quickly as anyone would expect from a seasoned veteran who’s been through this perfunctory post-match routine between players and reporters on so many occasions.

However, following a question about what it meant to step on the field against Thailand after her recent battles with a recurring ankle injury, O’Hara reacts differently.

First, a pause — a small moment taken to herself. Then a nod, followed by a smile.

“Yeah, yeah,” said O’Hara. “Today felt good. It was nice. There was a lot of emotion associated with stepping on the field and being able to be here.”

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