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CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': U.S WOMEN'S WORLD CUP TEAM IN FINALS

          The U.S. defeated Brazil in the '99 Women's World Cup
     semifinals before 73,123 fans at Stanford Stadium on Sunday. 
     In DC, William Gildea wrote that, "A festive throng,
     including countless enthusiasts with red, white and blue
     attire and painted faces, drowned out the persistent samba
     beat of Brazil's vastly outnumbered rooters in the stadium"
     (WASHINGTON POST, 7/5).  In N.Y., Ursula Reel, on the U.S.:
     "The Americans are 90 minutes away from their second world
     championship and cashing in on their swelling, surprising
     popularity" (N.Y. POST, 7/5).  In Boston, John Powers: "Some
     people will tell you that whether the US actually wins the
     World Cup is almost irrelevant in the long run.  The team
     has already done everything else asked of it. ... It got
     more than respectable TV ratings.  It was terrific with the
     media" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/6).  In Sacramento, Mark Kreidler,
     on the fans: "Families piled into Stanford Stadium.  They
     biked onto the university campus in fours and fives.  They
     came belted into strollers, strapped into backpacks"
     (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/5).  In Seattle, Laura Vecsey: "[It's] a
     team that has given the summer and the sporting landscape
     such a feeling of freshness and beauty" (SEATTLE POST-
     INTELLIGENCER, 7/5).  In N.Y., George Vecsey, on the U.S.
     advancing to the finals: "This is the big time, and it may
     never come around again like this in their careers, and they
     are enjoying every roar, every ache" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/5).
          MORE REAX: In CA, Randy Youngman, on Saturday's
     championship match: "Will David Letterman show up to cheer
     on Destiny's Darlings?" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/5).  USA
     TODAY's Christine Brennan, on the U.S. players: "They're
     polite and they're bold.  They're kind and they're fearless.
     ... They were made to be on television" (USA TODAY, 7/6). 
     In San Diego, Tod Leonard, on MF Michelle Akers: "She was
     Mia Hamm before Mia Hamm" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/6).
          NEXT UP, CHINA: China defeated Norway on Sunday before
     a "vocal, boundlessly enthusiastic crowd of" 28,986 (BOSTON
     HERALD, 7/5).  In N.Y., Reel & Italiano report that all
     92,000 seats "are spoken for -- to the glee of the red-hot
     soccer mamas of the American team" (N.Y. POST, 7/6).  CNN's
     Charles Feldman: "Saturday's championship match clearly
     marks the beginning of a new and exciting phase for women's
     soccer.  It means it is here to stay and to borrow a line
     from Arthur Miller, `Attention must be paid'" (CNN, 7/5).

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