World Cup memories

first_imgAs nearly 25 million people tuned in to watch Team USA play Portugal in the World Cup, Mallory Stonier stood on the field.The 9-year-old Vancouver resident was one of 27 kids around the country who won a contest through McDonald’s that sent them on a five-day trip to Brazil. Just before Sunday’s match in Manaus, Brazil, Mallory and 10 other kids walked onto the field hand-in-hand with Team USA’s starting lineup. She was paired with midfielder Graham Zusi, whom she says is now her favorite player. He didn’t say anything to her, but “right before we walked out, he squeezed my hand twice,” Mallory said. Looking around the field before the roaring crowd, she said, it seemed like she was watching from afar. “I felt like it couldn’t be happening,” she said. The kids, who were called player escorts, stayed on the field till the end of the national anthems. “Then, we just ran off the field,” she said. They were trying to get off the field before Portugal came around to high-five the USA team. Not sure how fast to get off the field, they sprinted.“I enjoyed watching that,” said her dad, Brandon Stonier, who was waiting in the stands. “They ran fast.” About five minutes into the game, Mallory joined her dad to watch it. The crowd erupted into cheers when Team USA scored goal No. 2. Although Portugal scored at the last minute, resulting in a 2-2 draw, Mallory could not stop smiling.last_img read more