ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright painted himself patriotic Sunday in support of the U.S. men's national soccer team, which will face Portugal in a first-round World Cup match later in the day.
"Besides our game, it's the biggest game of the day, biggest game of the year," Wainwright said Sunday morning. "All these other people from all these other countries are getting fired up, painting their face and wearing flags and all that. It's time for the United States to stand up and be patriotic, too."
And so he did. Actually, it was Wainwright's wife, Jenny, who painted the American flag across Wainwright's face Sunday morning, before the Cardinals' ace reported to Busch Stadium. He also came clad with a USA soccer scarf, as well as several washable USA tattoos that he plans to pass out to teammates for their charter flight to Denver.
Wainwright is not a bandwagon soccer fan, either. He played competitive soccer as a child, where he starred at several different positions. In 1994, he traveled to Orlando to watch a World Cup game between the Netherlands and Ireland.
"I almost," he admitted, "quit baseball for soccer."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.