Color them patriotic, this U.S. Women's World Cup soccer team that plays China for the world championship on Saturday at the Rose Bowl and that has captured the nation's imagination over the last three weeks.
Defender Kate Sobrero, for example, has dyed her hair red. Goalkeeper Tracy Ducar has colored hers white. Midfielder Julie Foudy sports blue toenails. Saskia Webber, another goalkeeper, has gone all out with a stars-and-stripes hairdo. Other American players have red nails on one hand and blue on the other.
"We all do our nails and stuff and try to have fun," said defender Sara Whalen. "We're just trying to get into it. We're just trying to get the feeling that this is the United States and we're in the World Cup and we're here to win it."
Sobrero had a bet with teammate Joy Fawcett that she would color her hair red and blue if Fawcett scored a goal in the tournament. Fawcett obliged by netting the game-winner in a quarterfinal victory over Germany.
"Everyone got their hair highlighted," Sobrero said. "It was like beauty parlor shop time at the hotel.
"There are blue highlights, actually--you can see them when I put it up in a ponytail. It's just pure ugly, but that's all right. You've got to do something for the World Cup. It's the only time I can dye my hair and get away with it."