Column Rapinoe, women’s soccer team get by with a little help from their friends

Column Rapinoe, women’s soccer team get by with a little help from their friends

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“Ben Dragavon has been many things to many people.

He was a goalkeeper for the Seattle Sounders in their first Major League Soccer season. He’s been an assistant coach in the team’s academy system, the strength and goalkeeper coach for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League and a personal trainer to athletes ranging from weekend warriors to world champions.

However, the women’s national team knows him simply as a savior after he and physical therapist Brent George brought midfielder Megan Rapinoe back to health from a torn ligament in her right knee last December that left her career and Olympic dreams in doubt.

“I’ve seen players come back in five months. And I’ve seen players take 18 months,” U.S. Coach Jill Ellis said.

Some never come back at all after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

But Dragavon, a Bellevue, Wash.-based specialist in MAT, or muscle activation techniques, had Rapinoe sprinting and cutting well ahead of schedule. And that was enough to convince Ellis she deserved a spot on the roster for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which begin Wednesday with the U.S. playing New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, Brazil…”

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