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My Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions: The U-20 WNT Spends Turkey Day in Chile


The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team just spent Thanksgiving together in Chile, a place where Thanksgiving isn't usually celebrated. But the delegation made the most of it, with homemade turkey, stuffing and gravy... lots of dessert and lots of laughs.

The Americans took over the kitchen of the team hotel in Temuco and had a meal packed with "traditional" Thanksgiving festivities... eating too much, story telling, laughs, leftovers and everyone crowding around the television to watch the football game (first we watched futbol where Canada fell to Germany and then flipped on the Cowboys-Seahawks FOOTBALL game).

Before all the festivities began, ussoccer.com talked with some of the players about their favorite Thanksgiving tradition and memories:

Forward Alyssa Mautz – My family has a tradition that after dinner we do a talent show. I usually just do a dance. There’s singing and magic shows, but mostly we just do dances. We have a huge dinner with about 30 people. It’s a great time.

Goalkeeper Chantel Jones – I just love getting together with my family. We all live so far away from each other that it’s great to be able to all come together. This year it will be great to spend the holiday with my extended family. I also love turkey, and I love leftovers.

Midfielder Keelin Winters – My favorite food is canned cranberry sauce. The kind where it comes out shaped like a can and you slice it. I really like the jelly-ness of it. It’s so good. I usually have a whole can of it to myself.

Defender Nikki Marshall – I have two favorite things: green bean casserole and my family. Not in that order.

Defender Meghan Klingenberg – My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey and then falling asleep while eating pumpkin pie.

Defender Kaley Fountain – My family always goes up to our lake house in Texas. The food is really good and having leftovers for the rest of the week is awesome. Just getting together with my family that I don’t get to see very often. It’s great because at the lake there aren’t computers or cell phones or anything so we really just get to spend time together and hand out. We also have a tradition that my Grandfather gives us all little pieces of Indian corn and we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. It usually gets pretty emotional but it’s so great.

Forward Nikki Washington – I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in probably about eight years. I’m always playing soccer. But my favorite thing about Thanksgiving in Chapel Hill is that so many families come to see us and we all just have a great time. It’s definitely a family atmosphere.

Forward Alex Morgan – I really like to say grace, because we never really do that otherwise. My favorite food is a toss up between pumpkin pie with Cool Whip and green bean casserole.

Midfielder Becky Edwards – I haven’t really been home for Thanksgiving in a long time. So unfortunately, my family hasn’t been a part of Thanksgiving very much. The best thing is probably being around the food and my teammates and the other people I’ve been around. I really like sweet potatoes so I always made sure to have those with marshmallows.

Midfielder Ingrid Wells – I love apple pie. And I love the time of the year. We used to go apple picking with my brother and my parents in New Jersey.

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