Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Example of Why Soccer is a Great Sport

OK, I admit it. I haven't been to an MLS game in a few years, even though the defending champions play here in Colorado. Mostly that is because they seem to play their home games when I am busy, but it is pretty tough to get too excited about an MLS regular season game.

But, I will continue to proudly admit to being one of America's only soccer fans over 50. And if you watched yesterday's US-Brazil Women's World Cup game you should be joining me.

This was just a great game from start to finish. Two very good and evenly matched teams trying to overcome a horrible officiating job, matching each other's moments of brilliance. The amazing Marta, who is probably good enough to play in MLS, scores minutes into overtime, and tough and skilled Amy Wambach heads in a perfect cross as the game is about to expire. If you are a sports fan and missed this.....well, this is the reason we are sports fans. It also demonstrated what makes soccer exciting, the fact that it only takes one miracle play to change a game. This game had several.

Kudos to the American girls for never giving up, even after they had tripply screwed by the ref in what looked like a disaster. They kept working, kept their composure, and seemed to wear down the Brazilians, as there is no way that Megan Rapinoe should have been given the time she had to play that heavenly ball right onto the head of the Wambach. Great stuff girls. You are now America's Sweethearts, which makes me happy that we are celebrating women who play a real sport (yes, I am talking about YOU, gymnasts and figure skaters!).

Can't wait until Wednesday's game!


another fair weather banana fan said...

And, just today, the US women beat France 3-1!!! Advance to the World Cup Final!!! Woo hoo!!

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany—The United States is in the World Cup final for the first time since it last won the title in 1999, and once again, it was Abby Wambach coming up big in a 3-1 victory over France.

Wambach broke a tense tie in the 79th minute Wednesday with a monstrous header—what else?—off of a Lauren Cheney corner kick. Cheney delivered the ball perfectly to the far post, and the 5-foot-11 forward soared over the scrum and pushed the ball past French goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz. Wambach let out a scream and did a sliding sprint into the corner, where she was mobbed by her teammates.

It was Wambach's third goal of the tournament and 12th of her career, tying fellow American Michelle Akers for third on the all-time World Cup scoring list. (Kudo's to Michelle from Seattle).

Alex Morgan added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute, the first for the World Cup rookie. When the final whistle sounded, the Americans rushed onto the field. Wambach found U.S. coach Pia Sundhage and gave her a bearhug as the pro-American crowd of 25,676 serenaded the team with chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

The French didn't stick around to watch the Americans celebrate—and the party is sure to be even bigger back home. A thrilling win over Brazil in the quarterfinals captivated fans back home, with Hollywood celebs, other pro athletes and folks who'd never watched a soccer game before jumping on the U.S. bandwagon. Ellen DeGeneres wished the team good luck on Twitter before the game, dozens in the Phoenix airport were glued to TVs and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers tagged one of his Tweets with "worldcupfinalherewecome."

Though the Americans are two-time World Cup champions, they haven't made the final since Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain won it all in 1999. This American team will now play either Japan or Sweden in Sunday's final in Frankfurt.

from The Denver Post online 7/13/2011

Kerry Lightenburger said...

Hey Glenn, I'm in Berlin at the moment and getting ready to watch the US play Japan in the World Cup final. My German friend Eckehard, said much the same as you regarding our women's play against Brazil and was thrilled by their will to win and their never give up mentality. U-S-A!! U-S-A!! I'll be home for long, tall Marcia Ball, Kerry