January 27, 2002

What Number Are You?

Jan. 27, 2002

Of all the "first cap" stories that the U.S. players swap about their nervousness and excitement the first time they pull on the uniform of the country, defender Kylie Bivens might have the best, as she had a bit of trouble with that uniform part. Bivens, a second round draft choice of the Atlanta Beat, was one of 24 players in a training camp in Charleston, S.C. and performed well enough to make the 18-player roster for the Four Nations Tournament as the only uncapped player. Against Norway, in the first match of the tournament, Bivens was told to warm up by U.S. head coach April Heinrichs with 30 minutes left in the match. More shocked than nervous, Bivens warmed up behind the U.S. bench and was sent to the 4th officials table in the 65th minute. She peeled off her warm-ups to check in and the fourth official asked her, "What number are you?" Bivens had forgotten to put on her game jersey and instead, still had on her warm-up jersey, which is very similar to the game shirt, but without her name and number. Bivens sprinted back to the locker room, pulled on her number-21 jersey and checked into the match, performing well in her first-ever game for the full national team. Said Bivens: "It's such an honor to wear the national team jersey, you think I would have remembered to put it on. I took a few pictures of it before the game, just to remember the day, but I guess I was just so excited about the whole experience that I just forgot. I guess it is better than forgetting my shorts."