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January 13, 2009
U.S. women get award from FIFA president Blatter, representing women's game

The U.S. Womenís National Team was presented with the FIFA Presidential Award in recognition of its outstanding performances and its contribution to increasing the popularity of the women's game at the FIFA World Player Gala in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday.

The Americans captured their second Olympic gold medal in China last August, after winning in Athens in 2004. They also won the gold in 1996 in Atlanta and the silver in Sydney in 2000.

The U.S. team was presented the award on behalf of the women's game. U.S. National Team forward Heather O'Reilly accepted the award on behalf of women's international soccer.

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter paid tribute to the strides that have been made. "We are delighted with the progress which has been made so far in the women's game," he said. "Whether in terms of technique, physical fitness or tactics, women's football is experiencing continuous development around the world. We are also thrilled by the growing popularity of the sport. Today, some 26 million girls and women play the beautiful game in all of FIFA's 208 member associations and the sport is continuously attracting more and more young female athletes."

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