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'I could be her mom - and not a teen mom!' - Rapinoe lauds USWNT starlet Thompson after debut against England at Wembley

00:12 WAT 08/10/2022
Alyssa Thompson Megan Rapinoe split
U.S. women's national team star Megan Rapinoe was full of praise for teenager Alyssa Thompson after her senior debut against England on Friday night.
  • Teenager replaced Rapinoe at Wembley
  • Made a huge impression in first USWNT camp
  • England beat world champions 2-1

WHAT HAPPENED? Thompson, 17 years old, replaced the player she describes as an idol at Wembley as the USWNT lost 2-1 to the European champions and the 37-year-old Rapinoe praised her heavily afterwards.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I could like literally be her mom and like, not her teen mom - so that's wild!" Rapinoe said, laughing. "I think she did great coming in. I mean, it's just a ridiculous experience. I ask her like a couple times a day, 'Are you just like, "What the f*ck is going on?" You're playing in this massive game at such a young age'.

"She doesn't have to be a fully-formed player right now, so [it's] just being patient with her and continuing to show her even just how to be in the environment. She's been great."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: "It's been amazing and it's just an honour to be able to sub in for her," Thompson said after her debut. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was so excited and speechless that I got this opportunity."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Thompson has a sister, Gisele, who is a year younger than her and will represent the U.S. in the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup later this month. Alyssa hopes that the pair can play together at the 2025 Olympics, hosted in their native Los Angeles.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE USWNT? As they continue to prepare for next summer's World Cup, Vlatko Andonovski's side will now travel to face Spain, who are facing a player protest situation that sees 15 star names unavailable for the high-profile friendly.