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Savannah DeMelo said the reality that she was playing for the United States in the Women’s World Cup finally hit her as the fans in the stadium counted down the final 10 seconds before her first match. She only started to get truly comfortable, though, once people starting kicking her.

The hair pulls and the shoves and the elbows? Those were just a bit of welcome familiarity for DeMelo, one of the most fouled players in the National Women’s Soccer League. “I’m used to getting kicked,” DeMelo said.

It is all the rest that is still new: the global stage; the sky-high expectations inside and outside the U.S. team; the constant pressure to not let down a squad that has won the last two World Cups. DeMelo, after all, had never played a game for the United States before she was named to the World Cup roster last month.

Her inclusion, as the least experienced of the 14 World Cup rookies on the U.S. roster, was one of the biggest surprises of the Americans’ run-up to the tournament. But it has been her presence in Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s starting lineup, and the role she has been asked to play as a midfield orchestrator and instigator, that could prove pivotal as the United States tries to navigate its way through the knockout rounds of the tournament.

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Credit…Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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DeMelo’s first start, against Vietnam, was only her second game for the U.S. team.Credit…Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Jackie Groenen and the Netherlands offered a sterner, more physical test.Credit…Marty Melville/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Named as a starter in the United States’ first two World Cup games, DeMelo, 25, has been a reliable fit for the position normally filled by Rose Lavelle, who arrived at the World Cup still working her way back to full fitness after an injury-marred spring.

While Andonovski manages Lavelle’s minutes — he has said he prefers to have her finish games than start them, for now — DeMelo took her place in the U.S. games against Vietnam and the Netherlands.

“Rose brings a creativity to the team, a fluidity,” said Andi Sullivan, who has started alongside both Lavelle and DeMelo for the national team. “And for me, having played with her for a long time, I know where she’s gonna be.”

But Sullivan added that DeMelo has been a seamless replacement, “and I think it’s been awesome have both Rose and Savannah play in that position, because they both bring such awesome qualities on the ball, on the dribble, interchanging positions.”

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DeMelo has started in the position normally occupied by Rose Lavelle, whose match fitness has rendered her a substitute in the first two games.Credit…Andrew Cornaga/Associated Press

Andonovski saw a place for DeMelo in his team months ago.

He first called her into camp last year, both to reward DeMelo’s performances for Racing Louisville, where she had been one of the league’s top players as a rookie, but also, perhaps, to see how she fit within the group of World Cup winners and eager rookies he was assembling to take to New Zealand and Australia.

Coach and player kept up a regular exchange of text messages and critiques through the winter, the first sign for DeMelo that she might have a shot to win a place on the World Cup team despite her relative inexperience. The problem, she knew, was that she might not have a lot of chances to show the national team coaching staff what she could do.

In January, she said last week, she realized there would only be one camp before the World Cup, and she remembered that Andonovski had told the team he would be closely watching their performances in club games. So she resolved to follow some advice her father, a soccer coach, had always repeated about “controlling the controllables.” She vowed to focus on her play for Louisville, and “make it almost like they couldn’t not take me.”

The goals followed, five in 12 games this season. But when DeMelo and the rest of the team got an email setting the day when Andonovski would call them individually to tell them if they had made the World Cup team, all her stresses came back. The news, though, was exactly what she wanted to hear.

Keeping her place in the lineup, though, is not a given. The U.S. has struggled to finish its chances in its first two games, and Andonovski spoke last week about “how can we help the players that are in a position to finish, giving them a little bit of service, whether it’s finding them on the right step or the proper foot, the final touch — the service before the finish.”

That creativity is what Lavelle has offered in her two relief appearances. She brought an urgency to the Americans’ attack in the opener against Vietnam, when she entered after the first hour. She did the same against the Netherlands, when she replaced DeMelo at halftime, restored some bite to a midfield that was being bullied and outplayed, and delivered the assist on Lindsey Horan’s tying goal.

Andonovski has been purposely vague about when Lavelle might be fit enough to go 90 minutes. Instead, he has preached the value of getting game-time minutes for his inexperienced starting lineup, a preference so strong that he only made one of his five available substitutions as his team pressed for a winning goal in its draw against the Netherlands on Saturday.

Lavelle had replaced DeMelo by then, and she may offer do the same on Tuesday against Portugal, perhaps even earlier. The team will find out the lineup on Monday night. But DeMelo said she won’t be looking over her shoulder.

“The reason I’m here is just to be myself,” DeMelo said, “so that’s what I kind of want to bring to the team.”

Andrew Das joined The Times in 2006. An assistant editor in Sports, he helps direct coverage of soccer, the Olympics and international sports. More about Andrew Das

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By: Andrew Das
Title: Savannah DeMelo’s World Cup Trial by Fire
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2023/07/29/sports/soccer/savannah-demelo-uswnt-world-cup.html
Published Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2023 08:21:47 +0000

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Isla Fisher enjoys getaway with fellow Aussies after split from husband Sacha Baron Cohen

Isla Fisher has joined stars in flocking to St Barts for a VIP event hosted by Australian fashion designer Zimmermann. 

Fisher shared moments of the trip on social media, having a fantastic time after recently splitting from her longtime husband, Sacha Baron Cohen. 

The Aussie actress enjoyed herself on the lavish getaway, reuniting with other A-listers, all dressed in Zimmermann’s finest. 

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Isla Fisher on Zimmermann brand trip.

Home and Away co-star Melissa George posed for photos with Fisher and fellow Aussies.

“How much I have missed you @islafisher,” George wrote over a photo of the pair.

Lifestyle brand owner Malcolm Carfrae was there with journalist Laura Brown and actors Hannah Dodd and Saffron Hocking. 

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Zimmermann shared some moments of the star-studded tip to Instagram alongside the caption: “St Barth Soirée: Last night celebrating with friends. #ZimxStBarth #Summer24 #zimmermann”. 

The brand also wrote: “Party Party: A sun-drenched long lunch filled with ocean dips and seaside lounging. Celebrating the opening of our new store in St. Barth.”

Isla Fisher on Zimmermann brand trip with Melissa George

Fisher has been enjoying single life, recently visiting Mexico for Naomi Watts’s luxurious wedding ceremony. 

After over 20 years together, Fisher and Baron Cohen parted ways and announced the news via Instagram. 

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The two actors each shared a photo showing them together, dressed in their tennis whites, with a short statement over the top of the photo. 

“After a long tennis match lasting over twenty years, we are finally putting our racquets down,” they wrote.

Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen announce their split after more than 20 years together

The couple explained that they had “jointly filed to end our marriage” in 2023 but had kept the news quiet until now.

“We have always prioritised our privacy, and have been quietly working through this change,” they said.

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‘We forever share in our devotion and love for our children. We sincerely appreciate your respecting our family’s wish for privacy.”

The pair has three children together: daughters Olive, 16, and Elula, 13, and son Montgomery, 9.

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Title: Isla Fisher enjoys getaway with fellow Aussies after split from husband Sacha Baron Cohen
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/isla-fisher-enjoys-her-single-life-in-st-barts-with-zimmermann/4cf31a19-c9d5-4445-b6c6-9594ba430b8d
Published Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2024 00:06:00 GMT

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Margot Robbie’s husband, Tom Ackerley, has revealed a surprising truth about their relationship

While some couples who work together like to separate their home and office life, that couldn’t be further from the truth for Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, the couple have shared that between their careers and their marriage, they spend “24 hours a day” together.

Ackerley described their relationship as “seamless,” saying, “we don’t have a toggle on, toggle off. It’s all become one thing.”

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Tom Ackerley and Margot Robbie

The film producer went on to describe his near perfect relationship with his wife, saying the only arguments they have revolve around their England vs. Australia rivalry.

They often tussle over which country’s chocolate treats are better – Tim Tams or Penguins – with Ackerley adding he wishes there were “more of a sporting rivalry” between the two nations.

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The Aussie actress first met her British beau in 2013 on the set of her 2014 film Suite Française where he was working as third AD.

They began dating in 2014 when they moved in together with a few other friends, including Sophia Kerr who cofounded their production company LuckyChap.

”We kept it a secret. Because we weren’t really taking it seriously. ‘Oh, whatever, we’re just mates, we’re just mates.’ And then… everyone found out,” Robbie told The Guardian in 2018, adding that “s— hit the fan” when their roommates found out.

“Everyone was, like, ‘No! This is going to ruin our group!’ And then it didn’t. It was fine.”

Robbie told Vogue in 2016 that she was “always in love” with Ackerley, but never thought the feelings were reciprocated.

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“I thought, oh, he would never love me back. Don’t make it weird, Margot. Don’t be stupid and tell him that you like him,” she shared.

“And then it happened, and I was like, of course we’re together. This makes so much sense, the way nothing has ever made sense before.”

The couple were married on the Gold Coast in 2016. 

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Title: Margot Robbie’s husband, Tom Ackerley, has revealed a surprising truth about their relationship
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/margot-robbie-tom-ackerley-says-they-spend-24-hours-a-day-together/66294521-8172-42d3-bc18-20d2dde811b5
Published Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2024 02:06:00 GMT

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Naomi Watts and ex Liev Schreiber reunite during dinner with teenage son eight years after split

Naomi Watts has set a co-parenting example by reuniting with her ex, Liev Schreiber, for dinner with their 16-year-old son, Sasha.

The former couple started dating in 2005 before breaking up in 2016 and share a 15-year-old, Kai, and a 16-year-old, Sasha.

Both Watts, 55, and Schreiber, 56, have gone on to re-marry, with Watts marrying Billy Crdup last month and Schreiber tying the knot with Taylor Niesen in July 2023.

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Naomi Watts with Liev Schreiber and their son Sasha

“So proud of you @sashapeteschreibe,” Watts wrote of a photo of the trio outside a restaurant. 

The actress also shared a snap of herself, Schreiber, and Sasha inside the restaurant, using a love heart emoji. 

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Later, Watts revealed she was enjoying her time in Paris, sharing snaps of her trip to the city of love. 

The pair remain amicable, both taking care to keep a good relationship for the sake of their children. 

Naomi Watts with Liev Schreiber and their son Sasha

I’m pretty proud of us, corny as that may sound,” Watts told Net-A-Porter in 2019.

“We’ve made it our absolute priority to be good and kind to each other, and we’re absolutely committed to that.”

Watts and Schreiber announced their split in September 2016 in a joint statement. 

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“Over the past few months, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple,” they said 

Naomi Watts shares photo of her and husband Billy Crudup celebrating her daughter's graduation from primary school with ex Liev Schrieber and his partner Taylor Niesen

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“It is with great love, respect, and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship.

“While we appreciate your curiosity and support, we ask the press to be mindful of our children and respect their right to privacy.”

FOLLOW US ON WHATSAPP HERE: Stay across all the latest in celebrity, lifestyle and opinion via our WhatsApp channel. No comments, no algorithm and nobody can see your private details.

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Title: Naomi Watts and ex Liev Schreiber reunite during dinner with teenage son eight years after split
Sourced From: celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/naomi-watts-liev-shreiber-reunite-for-dinner-with-son-sasha/5c9c80af-79a5-497c-9a8b-3925cafb8fee
Published Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2024 01:06:00 GMT

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