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U.S. Women Appear on Letterman

July 21, 1999 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and the rest of the women’s World Cup team continued their victory tour Tuesday, appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.

The team postponed an appearance on Jay Leno’s competing show because it felt obligated to appear on Letterman’s program first. Letterman has given the women plenty of attention since the World Cup tournament began, constantly referring to them as ``soccer mamas″ and ``babe city″.

Hamm and Chastain were the only two players to be interviewed by the New York host. They were asked a variety of questions ranging from why there is extra time in soccer to the reasons for their absence on a Wheaties box.

The segment, which was filmed at 5:30 p.m. EDT, lasted about 15 minutes. It began with a standing ovation from the crowd and concluded with the rest of the team bringing out the World Cup trophy and joining their teammates.

Letterman gave each player and coach Tony DiCicco a voucher for a free dinner for two at the ``21″ restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

Hamm and Chastain, wearing yellow World Cup T-shirts and blue shorts, appeared at ease in front of Letterman, who has a reputation for making guests act uneasy.

The host didn’t pull many surprises during the segment, although an exchange about goalkeeper Briana Scurry did entertain the crowd.

``The spirit of the rule is that the goalkeeper can move laterally,″ Chastain said about Scurry moving before a penalty kick.

``And sometimes, I think in this case, our goalkeeper maybe indicated she maybe had a little too much spirit with that rule.″

It was the team’s second appearance in New York since its shootout victory over China in the title match. There was a midtown parade last week in its honor.