Lauren Holiday

USWNT Best XI of the decade (2010s)
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USWNT Best XI of the decade (2010s)

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Back-to-back World Cup winners don’t grow on trees, but how many of the 2015 and 2019 champs should comprise the USWNT’s Best XI of the 2010s?

Choosing a men’s Best XI was difficult enough. Claiming the women’s top team is darn near impossible.

That won’t stop us from trying, especially given there are more hours in the year than there are posts to write in earnest.

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The challenge in putting together an XI given this decade’s accolades is how many shiny attacking toys produced by this fine country.

Start rattling off the big names and you’ll see the struggle: Wambach, Morgan, Lloyd, Heath, Rapinoe, O’Reilly.

Shoot: Amy Rodriguez and Christen Press would be the best attackers of the decade if their nationality was any of about 125 other options (FIFA only ranks 141 women’s teams).

So we are going to cheat a little bit.

Our Best XI will play three at the back despite the fact that the Yanks rarely if ever operated that way. The reason is the Yanks have one no-doubter fullback who played left back in one World Cup win and right back in another.

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Ali Krieger is a fit enough choice for right back, but can the newlywed star justify her place over one of the attacking heroes we’d like to swing into the fold? Meh.

Plus Julie Ertz at center mid gives us a bonus center back, and we’re willing to bet that either Becky Sauerbrunn or she would make for one heck of a full back in a pinch.

Lauren Holiday slides into the midfield alongside Ertz. The superstar retired near the peak of her powers to start a family with NBA husband Jrue Holiday, and we can hope that she wins the soccer or hoop debate if her children are sport-inclined.

That all brings us to the attackers.

Tobin Heath may be the flashiest and most fun attackers in the world, but she’s just missing out. It was either her or Abby Wambach, and the latter is the current (though not for long) leading scorer in the history of the game.

Solo

O’Hara — Rampone — Sauerbrunn

Ertz — Holiday

 Rapinoe — Lloyd — O’Reilly

Wambach — Morgan

Report: USWNT star Holiday has brain tumor removed

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World Cup champion Lauren Holiday has had a brain tumor removed, one month after giving birth.

Holiday’s husband, Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans, announced that his pregnant wife was diagnosed with an operable tumor in September, and Lauren Holiday has publicly thanked fans for support while requesting prayers.

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The Holidays welcomed their first child earlier this month, and Jrue left the Pelicans preseason to help his wife.

The BBC added this tidbit:

Unbelievably as a three-year-old, she had open-heart surgery to repair a defect and went on to become one of the world’s most respected football players.

Get well soon, Lauren.

Report: Lauren Holiday gives birth; USWNT star faces tumor surgery

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Lauren Holiday broke her social media silence on Monday, thanking fans for their support.

The pregnant former USWNT star was diagnosed with an operable brain tumor, she revealed in September.

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According to reports from New Orleans Pelicans practice, Holiday gave birth on Friday. Holiday is the wife of Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who is taking time away from the NBA to be a new father and help prepare Lauren for surgery.

Holiday will reportedly undergo surgery on her brain tumor in six weeks.

USWNT’s Holiday responds to support after tumor revelation

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Ex-USWNT star Lauren Holiday took to Twitter on Monday to thank the legions of people who wished her well as she prepares to give birth and then undergo surgery for a brain tumor.

NOLA.com reported the news of Holiday’s illness on Sunday, and that Holiday would wait until after her pregnancy to have surgery.

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Her husband, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, spoke of her dealing with massive headaches, but said she’s battling well.

On Monday, Holiday responded to the many who reached out to her with messages of hope and prayer.

Lauren Holiday diagnosed with operable brain tumor during pregnancy

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USWNT hero champion Lauren Holiday and her husband Jrue had a nightmare in the middle of their pregnancy

Lauren, 28, was diagnosed with an operable brain tumor after suffering massive headaches midway through her pregnancy. The 133-times capped midfielder retired from soccer in 2015 to start her family.

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She’s going to wait until after giving birth to have surgery, and husband Jrue is taking time off from his day job — point guard for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans — to help his wife and child.

From NOLA.com:

“Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others,” Jrue said. “She’s obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That’s the reason why I married her.”

Jrue said Lauren has numbness on the right side of her face because the tumor is pressing on a nerve. Their baby, he said, is healthy.

Meantime, the Pelicans’ leading assist man is asking fans for one this time around.

“We just ask for your prayers, really pray for my family,” Jrue said. “We can take all the prayers that we can get.”

Surely they’ll have them from much of the soccer and basketball world. Lauren Holiday (nee Cheney) is one of the classiest players you’ll meet, and her husband has a similar reputation in basketball.

All our best from PST.