DRESDEN, Germany – The new-found celebrity status of Hope Solo and her United States teammates was confirmed Monday as America's new favorite team was bombarded with messages of support on Twitter from stars of the sports world and Hollywood.
Luminaries such as Tom Hanks, LeBron James, Seth Meyers of "Saturday Night Live," Aaron Rodgers and rapper Lil Wayne all revealed their admiration for the U.S. women following their enthralling penalty shootout victory over Brazil on Sunday.
"I love these women," Hanks tweeted while posting a link to a photograph of the team celebrating on the Rudolf Harbig Stadion field.
Meyers described the USA performance as "awesome" and insisted he would be petitioning the ESPY awards committee to add a fifth nominee for "Best Play" of the year following Abby Wambach's last-minute equalizing goal.
Solo has emerged as an iconic figure thanks to her good looks, never-say-die personality and spectacular goalkeeping skills that have taken the USA to the Women's World Cup semifinals. NBA star Kevin Durant even went as far to vow that he would be "naming my daughter Hope Solo Durant" before clarifying to his nearly 800,000 followers "I'm not having a daughter."
Solo admitted that the high-profile support, including millions of new fans who have been won over in the past week, was inspiring the team.
"Go ahead, jump on the bandwagon and let's do this together," she said. "Thank you for standing behind us. Never has a team come back to win from a man down, a goal down and in such dramatic fashion.
"It is a feeling you work your whole life for. To break free. To write your own destiny. That is what we, this 2011 USA team, have set out to do, to write our own story."
With football on hiatus, baseball on its All-Star break and basketball and hockey out of season, the exploits of the U.S. women have provided a story line for the public to latch on to at a time when the sports world is otherwise somewhat quiet.
Many sports stars themselves have used their rest period to take in the games, with King James offering a message of "congrats ladies" on his Twitter account.
"Amazing game," tweeted Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers star. "Now let's get the Cup."
One NBA player has even made the trip to Germany. Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday has attended each game so far in support of his girlfriend Lauren Cheney, a forward on the U.S. team.
The pair both attended UCLA before Holiday jumped to the pros after only one collegiate season and they exchanged romantic Tweets following the drama of the Brazil game. Cheney pronounced Holiday the "best boyfriend ever" and thanked him for his support, while Holiday tweeted, "I love you too, I wouldn't miss it for the world."
On Wednesday, the USA hopes to give its fresh legion of fans more reason to continue its love affair with the public.
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