Rudee, a Briard, gets groomed in the staging area during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden. Dogs are getting ready for their closeups tonight at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.
The Annual Emerald City ComiCon brings our favorite characters to life on the streets of Seattle March 27-29! Along with excellent costume viewing opportunities, many celebrity guests will be in town from our favorite shows including Finn Jones Game of Thrones, Steven Yeun and Scott Wilson The Walking Dead. Held at the Washington State Convention Center, pass holders can enjoy a wide variety of exhibitor booths, meet artists and writers, experience new games and programming, and cheer on fellow pop culture fans in the costume contest! Unfortunately all passes are sold out this year, but you can still enjoy the atmosphere that Emerald City ComiCon brings to Downtown. The World Cup champs were at the Clink Wednesday to play a friendly against Brazil, but the event was more about saying farewell to veteran stars and welcoming newcomers for the Olympic team. Defender Julie Johnston, one of the biggest stars of the USWNT’s summer heroics at the World Cup and a player on the Chicago Red Stars, said that the victory tour can help generate more exposure for the NWSL.
The tour is also a chance to say goodbye to several players who have elected to hang up their cleats. Johnston said that the older players, even as they moved toward life after soccer, had as big an effect on the locker room as they did on the public. As the applause fades on one batch of stellar careers, the national team is using the tail end of its series of high-profile friendlies to rejuvenate a roster for the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, where they will pursue a fifth gold medal.

NWSL Golden Boot winner league MVP Crystal Dunn from the Washington Spirit started against Brazil on Wednesday, putting in a solid 71 minutes at forward before making way for Samantha Mewis, another young player with the Western NY Flash.
Carli Lloyd smashed in the equalizer in the 85th minute off a cross from Meghan Klingenberg.
Holiday said that the goodbyes were hard but that she, Boxx, and Chalupny could leave confident that the values that had been passed to them would be passed on. Holiday said that passing on the same passion that she felt as a girl in 1999 was her motivation as a player. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. It was a chance to say hello to new players and goodbye to old ones; a chance to reminisce and a chance to plan for what comes next for the most successful organization in women’s soccer history.
Since the inaugural women’s World Cup, the USWNT has claimed titles in 1991, 1999, and 2015, the latest coming from dismantling Japan 5-2 in the final July 5 in Vancouver, B.C.
For Lauren Holiday, who will retire after Sunday’s rematch against Brazil in Orlando, her career as an athlete is defined by two World Cups; one she watched as an 11-year-old girl, and one where she lifted the trophy herself.
The final against Japan was the most-viewed soccer game ever for the women’s or men’s game by a wide margin, with 25.4 million tuning in to see the victory.
The national team last played in the Emerald City in 2002, when they had two World Cup qualifiers at Safeco Field.
The National Women’s Soccer League recently concluded its third season with the Seattle Reign as regular-season champs and FC Kansas City claiming the postseason crown. The NWSL is attempting to remedy that, announcing Tuesday the addition of an expansion franchise in Orlando for next season.

In addition to Holiday, Sunday’s contest in Orlando will be the final match for defender Lori Chalupny, while Wednesday’s contest was the send-off for Shannon Boxx, a 13-year veteran of the national side.
Neither player had more than 16 caps with the national team prior to the start of the tour. Ellis said these last few matches offer her a chance to assess which youngsters will make the cut ahead of the Olympics.
As it had during the World Cup, the crowd roared its approval, but the real highlight of the match occurred in the 41st minute.
While the NWSL seeks to establish a sense of permanence in the American sports landscape, the national team rolls on, ready to inspire with a third star shining proudly over its crest.
While the men’s squad is still reeling from a 3-2 loss to Mexico, the women’s team is swinging through the country on a 10-game tour to celebrate its World Cup title.
Added to that trophy case are four Olympic gold medals and one silver out of five tournaments since the women’s game was recognized an Olympic sport in 1996. The women’s team also benefited from huge crowds in Canada, averaging 37,732 fans per tourney game. Boxx received a roar all of her own when she walked off the pitch for the last time, hugging her teammates as she went; an icon of an era entering a pantheon of idols. Wednesday at the Clink was Team USA’s first visit to Seattle in more than a decade, and produced a 1-1 draw in a friendly against Brazil.

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