Whenever a team, regardless of the sport or even the sex of the athletes, puts on the Red, White and Blue colors and represents America, I get excited. Sports that usually get an immediate skip on the tv get my full, undivided attention. Today this was the case at the Women’s World Cup in Germany and the quarterfinal matchup between USA and Brazil. The Americans played an inspired brand of soccer and outlasted a talented Brazilian team in penalty kicks after each team scored one goal in the two fifteen minute periods of overtime.
The Women seemed destined for a loss after superstar Marta scored her second goal of the game early in overtime. But in the final seconds, Abby Wambach scored on a header from a miraculous cross from Megan Rapinoe to force a decisive penalty kick shootout. Rapinoe has been fantastic in the entire tournament and embodies the attitude of the squad with her brash, exlosive play on the field and comments off it.
[youtube width=”550″ height=”333″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOAJn8h6VAI[/youtube]
“I just took a touch and friggin’ smacked it with my left foot,” Rapinoe said. “I don’t think I’ve ever hit a ball like that with my left foot. I got it to the back post and that beast in the air just got a hold of it.”
The women never gave up and even showed their coach something that the import had never experienced. That American thing. “I come from Sweden,” said U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, “and this American attitude, pulling everything together and bringing out the best performance in each other, that is contagious.”
Goalie Hope Solo has been my personal favorite on the field in the tournament thus far. The absolute knockout goalie is a monster in the net. Her footwork is so good that she even fooled the referee into calling a penalty when she stopped a PK in the second half. I have never been so excited watching a soccer performance as I was watching her fire up the troops from the back. She and captain Abby Wambach set the tone and the rest of the team followed suit, providing play after play of all out hustle.
This was as epic an international performance that I have seen in a long time and im not afraid to say it. I will be continuing to tune in AS SHOULD ALL OF YOU for the rest of the cup. The semifinals are at 12 noon on Wednesday vs. France.
I got goosebumps today, I was pumped, I “CAN’T WAIT” to see more because these girls have made a stand and have a chance to be great champions. Finally, if anyone knows Hope Solo, email@example.com, thanks!