It is 2:01pm EST and the US women’s soccer team has just qualified to the World Cup Final. With a misleading 3-1 win over France the French had controlled the ball most of the game. With some bad shots on goal and Hope Solo’s goal play backed by a solid defense the U.S. won.
The U.S. women are ranking number 1 in the world and want to grab the world cup with a vengeance. The 2007 World Cup semi-finals found Brazil hammer the U.S. team 4-0; that wasn’t the story Hope Solo was the story benched for Brianna Scurry. After the lose Hope Solo made some unwanted comments; even if there was some truth in the statements. What was said Hope-It was the wrong decision…there is no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves.
It was exactly how any person would act in private, this however was public. Solo had plenty of reason for her statement she allowed only 2 goals in the 2007 World Cup and had 3 shutouts. So could the benching of Hope Solo given rise to her now intimating stature; her own bar that is set only with champions, the drive to prove she is the best in occupation class: solo. I know that saying a benching could help especially when the result is a 4-0 loss. Still think about this, Solo gives up four goal to Brazil in 2007 and then has to face the Brazil on Sunday in the 2011 quarter-finals they are biting at bit to take her out again. What does Solo think is she scared has the media hammered away at her like LeBron James, waiting for potential to be met. Do the U.S. team coaches approach the game different? It doesn’t matter because Hope was spared from all of that because she was benched.
There is unfortunately the other side of that coin the won where Hope Solo doesn’t allow a goal and the U.S. team won a World Cup in 2007. That thought is part of the fire the drive and the person that now owns the goal for the U.S. team. After Solo’s comments I heard her called everything for loudmouth, showoff, and much worst. Even before the game some of these people had agreed with the post-game comments. Hope Solo would not want us to look at the past for too long she wants to live in the now and future.
Olympics and the World Cup for the next ten years; Solo already has a Gold medal form the 2008 Olympics and right now a chance to win a world cup. Now to look at the present at least the last two games Vs. Brazil the U.S. won in a shootout after an amazing goal in the 122 minute by Abby Wombach with an amazing cross from Megan Rapinoe. I would like to mention that the girls playing may have been the only ones that knew the game wasn’t over. I was at a bar and all of us had are head low thinking Brazil would move on. We were revitalized by that play and now expected the unthinkable moments ago the U.S. team would win.
The first shot in the shootout blocked, the thought no. Now destiny was on their side or the goal keeper moved early; yup that is what happen. Then finally in a bitter sweet moment when Daiane Menezes kick is blocked by Hope Solo; Menezes scored on her own goal giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead. For Menezes and Solo to pretty much capped an amazing game.
Then there was the semi-final against France this up and coming female squad gave the U.S. all they could take. France had 13 shots on goal while the U.S. had only managed 3; the sun was on their side of the street 1 of their shots was a goal. The whole first half was gut wrenching as the U.S. was on the defensive side of things. Solo was seeing shot after shot save after near miss it did not look good. In the 55 minute by Sonia Bompastor equalized the game with a goal for France. After that the world looked different and all the ball hogging was getting a little nervous; fear was settling in and for about 20 minutes it would remain. Thoughts of breakdown in extra time ran wild, only to be put to rest with Abby Wambach goal in the 79 minute. That was quickly followed by the Alex Morgan goal in the 82 minute. The game was now firmly in the hands of the U.S., the fat lady was singing.
Japan and Sweden were now set to play for the right to play for the cup. The Swedes undefeated had handed out a loss to the U.S. in the World Cup; finding out Japan rolled to a 3-1 victory. This made me wonder does Japan have more to gain by winning the World Cup then the U.S. will Hope Solo stand taller than the opponent she faces. Will the U.S. strikers find lighten for one more game or will the Japan rise up and win for the people of Japan. Even with my personal feeling of want the U.S. to show up and crush Japan.
I can’t help but remember New Orleans Saints winning a Super Bowl bringing a city back to seeing rays of hope. Japan is by far much more tragic and I believe the whole world will be behind Japan’s team to win. What Japan is trying to do at home rebuilding lives and contain the nuclear issues is way more important than the World Cup; yet with a win on Sunday the women of Japan can give more to their people than U.S. can imagine.
So I will stand on the island with the rest of my American brothers and sisters; routing for an U.S. victory on the shoulders of Hope Solo. The legs of Abby Wambach as she strikes for goal, the imagination of Megan Rapinoe and the will of the rest of the team. So Americans stand up and support the women of U.S. Soccer to bring home the World Cup one more time.