U.S. Women's 2015 World Cup Win: Amazing

I watched the U.S. women win the 2015 World Cup last night against Japan.  I had barely sat down for the Sunday evening match when the Americans had already scored a goal.  Barely a minute later the U.S. had scored another goal.  It was an amazing opening salvo that eventually carried them to the victory over the Japanese women.  The final 5 - 2 score exorcised the demons from the 2011 loss to the Japanese women.  That game was decided on penalty kicks and the women on this team used this loss as extreme motivation to get a win in this instance.

The star of the story was Carly Lloyd.  This morning she has already received tweets from the POTUS and numerous other celebrities here and worldwide.  She is the first woman to register a hat trick in a World Cup game.  She had scored in at least four straight games and has been instant offense in a game that sometimes features long bouts of passing with no scoring.  She received the Golden Ball recognizing her as the Most Outstanding player in the tournament.  She scored a goal from at least 75 yards away when the Japanese goaltender left the secure area to defend.  It was a fatal mistake. 

I was entranced with the U.S. team when they won their first World Cup in 1999.  Brandi Chastain shocked the world when she removed her jersey after the winning goal.  It was the sports bra that started the marketing machine for U.S. women.  Mia Hamm was the first major name woman star who merited national attention.  She played on the 1999 team and probably inspired some of the stars on the team today.  It was a workwoman like win for the U.S. team.  They got the early lead and then played withering defense for the remainder of the game.

Image result for women's world cup

The Japanese players were to be feared because they play a brand of possession soccer that has befuddled their opponents.  The English team, which was much bigger physically, lost on an own goal in the five minute over time period.  It was an excruciating loss.  Both the English and Japanese teams had scored on penalty kicks and played evenly in regulation.  It was amazing how small the Japanese players looked in comparison but the game of football, as it is known worldwide, is not based on height.  Teams must work together to score precious goals.  The Japanese never lost their composure last night and played tough the whole game.

It is hard for me to watch soccer when the stakes are not high.  Sometimes it just takes too long to score.  The Philadelphia Union do not peak my interest because they have been mediocre since their inception.  They work all game to score 1 to 2 goals.  Most of their games end in a tie or loss.  One thought that came to me last night was how much work is involved in winning the biggest tournament in the world.  Most of the players on the U.S. team had been the best players in little league, college and on their pro teams.  Translating local success to the national stage has been a major challenge for the best players.  The U.S. men lost to Germany in the last world cup semifinals in a brutal test of efficiency and endurance.  The U.S. women are to be commended and celebrated for establishing what amounts to a dynasty on the world stage.  Congratulations.  

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