Four days after causing a stir by taking a knee during the national anthem, USWNT star and Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe was in Maryland on Wednesday to take on the Washington Spirit. It was expected that Rapinoe would once again show solidarity toward 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his silent protest.
But instead of playing the anthem with all the players on the field, as is typically the case, the Washington Spirit did not wait for Rapinoe to make her protest. The organization played the anthem as the teams were in the locker room getting ready.
[RELATED: Rapinoe proves Kaepernick's message of equality for all]
The organization then released a statement defend its actions.
"We understand this may be seen as an extraordinary step, but believe it was the best option to avoid taking focus away from the game on such an important night for our franchise," the team said in an official statement.
"To willingly allow anyone to hijack this tradition that means so much to million of Americans and so many of our own fans for any cause would effectively be just as disrespectful as doing it ourselves."
The Spirit, owned by Bill Lynch — a veteran — expressed concern over disrespecting those who also served. "Professional athletes have incredible numbers of followers, to which we believe they have the ability to articulate a conversation with objectives and plans and begin a serious conversation directly, or through traditional media appearances, without insulting our military and our fans."
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SAN JOSE -- Jahmir Hyka scored in the closing minutes to help the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
Hyka, in his first MLS action of the season, came on in the 67th minute and first-timed a feed from Quincy Amarikwa to make it 2-2 in the 85th. Florian Jungwirth's cross from the right flank floated through the box to Amarikwa, who tapped it to Hyka for the finish - which deflected off defender Adolfo Machado.
Marcus Eriksson scored his second goal in two games to give San Jose (1-2-2) a 1-0 lead in the 26th, one-timing Jackson Yueill's pass into the bottom-left corner of the net from the top of the box.
Tomas Martinez scored in the opening minutes of the second half and Mauro Manotas tapped in a sliding finish of Alberth Elis' cross from point-blank range to give Houston a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute.
The Dynamo (1-2-2) have just one win in their last 20 MLS road games.
The San Jose Earthquakes will get a stiff test this summer when they host English Premier League power Manchester United.
The match will be played on July 22nd at Levi's Stadium.
“Having an opportunity to face a renowned club such as Manchester United is both a great source of entertainment for our fans and an exciting challenge for our team,” said Earthquakes President Tom Fox said in a press release issued by the team.
It will be the second-ever meeting between the two teams. Back in 2015, Manchester United defeated the Earthquakes 3-1 at Avaya Stadium as part of the International Champions Cup.
The upcoming match will be part of Manchester United's tour through the US. In addition to the match at Levi's, the EPL stallworth will play in Phoenix on July 19.