CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Arsenal and Fiorentina brought the International Champions Cup back to Bank of America Stadium over the weekend, but it was U.S. Women's National Team World Cup hero Megan Rapinoe who stole the show. Along the way, buffeted by searing temperatures and a ho-hum match-up, Charlotte had its smallest turnout of any of the five matches played here since 2014.
Tournament promoter Relevent Sports Group brought in Rapinoe to build excitement for the game as well as a companion fan festival earlier in the day at Romare Bearden Park. Rapinoe came on stage at the fan festival and struck her signature, arms-open after-goal celebratory pose — a pose that became iconic as Rapinoe scored the most goals in the World Cup this summer while leading Team USA to its second straight championship.
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"Stuff like this is incredible," she said. "To be able to bring some of the best teams in the world here, to see the interest that we have in a city like this, that doesn't have an MLS team." Rapinoe paused, then said, "yet," eliciting roars, before adding, "But I hear it's in the works …"
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