Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brazil/U.S Olympic final running blog

This is it, people. For country, for glory, for gold.
The U.S. versus Brazil.
Anthems. All the U.S. players are singing along.
Solo, Mitts, Rampone, Markgraf, Chalupny, Tarpley, Boxx, O'Reilly, Lloyd, Hucles, Rodriguez.
Brazil
Barbara, Simone, Tania, Renata Costa, Erika, Maycon, Daniela, Formiga, Ester, Cristiane, Marta,

Kickoff!
1- THe ball slips off ARod's foot as she tries to cross. It's raining.
6 - Marta gets the ball forward, but Rampone puts it out for a throw.
7 - The U.S. is hustling well in midfield, breaking up Brazil's linking play. Brazil is slowly, but steadily working the ball into U.S. territory, though.
8 - Marta is offside.
9 - Solo gets to a cross before Cristiane can. Then she cuts off a pass over the top to Marta.
12 - Brazil gets a corner. There's a foul on the play even before it's taken and the U.S. gets the ball.
13 - Chastain opines that trust issues still linger for the U.S. team after the Solo incident. Oh, get over it, players. It's the gold medal match.
15 - The U.S. has a corner. All tournament long, they haven't really taken advantage of these. Hucles hits it close to goal, actually lands it on top of the net. Somehow, Chastain thinks this is the right thing. Ok, she means right idea, but it has to be said that was poor execution. It give the corner kick no chance.
18 - Rampone knocks a ball too far.
19 - ARod with a shot from distance. It's wide.
20 - Daniella tries to do the same, but her shot is blocked. Lloys backpass nearly gets picked off, but Chalupny's quick feet saves the ball for the U.S.
22 - Chalupny just beats Marta to a ball, the foul means the U.S. get the ball back.
23 - Chastain rightly points out the U.S. is playing perhaps the best soccer they have yet. I think that's the problem. If this this the U.S. at their best, and they're not generating chances, the U.S. is doomed. They're not playing badly, but they have to kick it up a notch and score.
24 - Right there, ARod's quickness gets a pass off in close, but it's just a bit too far for Tarpley.
27 - Cristiane runs onto a pass, but the U.S. defense gets back in time.
28 - Lloyd goes down near the box. She doesn't get the call and I wish she would have just tried to shoot it. I don't think the U.S. has a shot on goal, yet.
30 - The long-ball style could work for Brazil if they use it to advance to a close, quick play. Right now they have a corner. But the U.S. clear it - good header by Lloyd.
31 - Cristiane gets the ball in the box, rides a bump from Chalupny and continues, but somehow doesn't shoot and Solo gets to the ball in time. Cristiane goes down.
32 - Chastain goes on a little tirade against gamesmanship as Cristiane stays down, probably furious at herself for not shooting.
34 - Marta with an acrobatic dribble beats two defenders and then gets squirrely with her shot, putting it way wide. Awesome talent and nerves both on display there.
37 - Mitts cuts down Formiga on the break, gets a yellow. The tackle took a toll on Mitts as well, she's limping a bit. Brazil attacks that side, but Solo catches the cross.
39 - FK for Brazil, and their players flood the box. Solo is out for the catch. She falls, but hangs on.
40 - Marta with another amazing play beats two defender and gets a cross off, Solo is stuck on her line, but Chalupny puts the ball out for a corner.
41 - Solo punches out the corner kick. The ball works it's way to Hucles near the arc and she shoots - high.
42 - Maybe it's contagious - Cristiane shoots high.
44 - Chastain calls O'Reilly's pass "optimistic". It was actually a bad pass right to the Brazil defense.
45 - Solo scoops up a pass in the box.
The U.S. then stops another Brazilian attack. They've been putting out fires fairly well, but can't seem to start any of their own.
Halftime
Well, the U.S. has been feisty in their defense, not so much on the attack. Still, the strategy by Sundhage might be perfect, because it does seem to be frustrating Brazil. They're an emotional team, and if they get flustered about not scoring, it could provoke a mistake that the U.S. can exploit.
The cheerleaders at the stadium have the crowd going to HSM's "We're all in this together." It's cute. Very innocent compared to the U.S. halftime routines I've seen. Not that I was really expecting China to get raunchy.

47 - Coach is right, this is s a very tactical match. Both teams are almost too careful with the ball. Someon will have to take a chance.
48 - Brazil is pushing the pace early on.
49 - ARod faces and attacks the Brazil defense. She earns a corner. Hucles knocks it to the far side of the box - too far for anyone to reach.
51 - Mitts foul on Cristiane and Chastain, a former defender, questions the intelligence of that move, because Cristiane wasn't in a threatening spot and Mitts already has a yellow.
52 - ARod trying to break through two defenders. Who does she think she is - Marta?
53 - Mitts loses the ball in a deep defensive position versus Cristiane. It leads to a Brazil corner. It's taken short, then Marta runs behind, picks up the ball and runs the endline with a quick dribble and gets a cross off that Solo cuts off quickly.
55 - Tackle on Hucles leads to U.S. FK. Lloyd practices a bit of gamesmanship as well - when Cristiane won't back up far enough, Lloyd keeps moving the ball forward, as in, "If you don't back up, I'm placing this ten feet forward, then."
57 - Mitts tackles Marta. She gets ball, but another yellow would see her gone.
59 - ARod is bleeding, apparently, so the U.S. is a man down at this point. I'm getting my blondes mixed up - Rodriguez is the one bleeding.
60 - Brazil attacks in force now. Chalupny puts the ball out for a throw with a desperate lunge.
61 - Renata Costa nutmegs the U.S. defense, earns a corner. Who does she think she is - Marta?
62 - Corner leads to another corner. On this one, ARod tries to break, so the U.S. is even on numbers.
63 - Marta shoots high.
64 - Mitts is playing with fire, fouling on a header and Brazil wants that second yellow. They don't get it, but a very dangerous FK, just outside the box.
65 - Or not. Daniella hits the wall.
68 - Play has settled down in the midfield a bit. The U.S. is outclassed a bit there, but they are breaking up Brazil's play, at least.
70 - I promised myself I wouldn't start talking about a scoreless draw until the 70th. I don't think it favors the U.S. They're already tired. They've already played extra time.
71 - Tarp goes out, Lauren Cheney comes in.
72 - SAVE! In yo face, Greg Ryan! Solo can make the reaction saves. She keeps her team in this by stoning Marta point-blank.
73 - Foul by Mitts again sets up another deep FK for Brazil. It's cleared.
75 - Tired passes from both sides leading to a lot of giveaways.
76 - Lloyd from distance. No. Wide.
78 - Daniela is out for Brazil. Fabiana comes in. Who? That's what I thought, too. If she scores, though, we'll never forget the name.
79 - Fabiana with a nice attack knocks the ball to Simone. The U.S. puts the ball out for a corner. Solo is struggling to reach the ball - she gets a punch off and the U.S. finally clear.
81 - Even though I picked Brazil to win, I think this match clearly puts the lie to all those who said last year that "It didn't matter who was in goal, or the red card on Boxx - Brazil was so clearly superior that they would have won no matter what." No, no, no.
82 - Marta from distance. She wants a foul call on the shot, which Solo catches.
83 - Fabiana caught offside.
84 - Tired defending from the U.S. leads to an extended run of Brazil possession.
86 - Tanya dribbles too long, and the U.S. takes the ball away, ARod in the box and Barbara is out scrambling. She kicks the ball out for a corner.
87 - The corner is cleared. Hucles gets another chance when the ball comes to her on the play after a throw and she puts the ball on frame. Barbara saves it, but finally the U.S. put a ball on frame.
88 - Fabiana tries to reach a long ball, but Mitts cuts it off. I really don't like how Mitts plays up the sideline so often. It gives Brazil too much of a chance to cut the ball off.
89 - Marta draws a foul from Boxx, just at the corner of the box. Dangerous. Cristiane heads the ball - up and out.
90 - ARod on the break! Why, oh why the chip? Barbara gets her hands up to it and makes the save.
90 + Fabiana earns Brazil a corner. The U.S. clear it and regulation time is done.
Chastain takes ARod to task over the chip. It's true - a golden opportunity wasted.
The U.S. look like their spirits are high. They're smiling and nodding as Sundhage talks to them. It's helps a lot to have a coach who instills confidence and believes in the youth of the team. That's going to go a long way to helping ARod shake off her chipped shot.
Extra time
2 - Brazil trying to be more cagey, build up their opportunities. It's not a bad move, but it's not taking advantage of the weariness of the U.S.
4 - Cheney and ARod hook up on a play. Pass, pass to Lauren - but ARod shoots instead and Barbara has it.
5 - Both sides are so wary right now they're downright tentative.
7 - GOAL! Cheney helps build the play up, getting a tricky little pass in to ARod, who holds the ball up for a bit, then pops it out to Lloyd, who unleashes with venom. Barbara dives, but it's too late. 1-0. U.S.
8 - Marta into the box - a touch too far.
10 - Brazil came back from a goal down versus Germany, and there's still lots of time left. Corner for Brazil. It's cleared.
11 - Natasha Kai is hippetty-hopping on the sideline. She's in for O'Reilly.
12 - Boxx goes down on a foul. She's been a rock for the U.S. Ooh, and
Ooh, Brail in in the box! Marta's shot gets blocked again, and again as the U.S. defenders scramble. Wow. So close.
14 - Speaking of close, Fabiana is called offside in the box. It looked even.
15 - Rosana comes in for Simone.
Brazil has a corner. It bounces around in the box a bit, but Brazil finally clear.
First period of extra time ends.
Well, Solo kept the team in it, ARod shook off her miss to make the right pass, and Lloyd didn't miss.
17 - Yello card for Rosana, taking down ARod.
18 - Kai tackled by Erika. FK for the U.S. in a dangerous spot.
ARod can't quite get a cross off, though.
19 - Solo slips. But the defense holds.
20 - For a while at least. Brazil corner. It's cleared for another corner. on the other side.
21 - This corner crosses the face of the goal as Solo misses, but Cheney holds off her player and puts the ball out for yet another corner.
This one lands on top of the goal.
21 - Marta beats three defenders and lets loose with a shot! High by a few feet.
23 - Brazil in the box, attacking furiously, while the U.S. clear like mad. Marta gets another shot off, but it's blocked.
24 - Brazil FK - close in. Marta takes it, and the ball bends toward the far post - it nearly goes in! Solo was pegged to her line, trying to cover the deflection. Very close.
26 - Kai gets fouled on the outlet. The U.S. just hoofs the ball far.
27 - But now the U.S. actually builds up a play. ARod to Kai, to Cheney, to Lloyd, who breaks into the box and shoots, off the post! Game ender was on her foot. Still good to see.
29 - The U.S. is actually stretching the field a bit, playing in Brazil's half. But Brazil get the ball back and earn a corner through Fabiana.
30 - The U.S. burns a bit of time with a sub. ARod comes off for Stephanie Cox. Chastain questions the move.
Solo punches the corner, but not far and the follow shot - is into the outside side netting!
31 - Marta with a daring run crosses in front of goal, Solo misses on the dive, but the u.S. just barely clear.
Last chance for Brazil. Corner whips in to the box, Cristiane heads the ball - just wide.
Final whistle.
GOLD, GOLD for the USA! They did it. They lost versus Norway, they were behind versus Japan, they went to extra time twice. They didn't have Wambach. They hung tough and they did it.
To me, the best part is that Sundhage keeps her job and she can continue to make this team even better. Make it happen, Sunil.
The stadium is playing techno to celebrate the win. It might not be Kai's style, but she's dancing around anyway. Of course. Brazil's players are weeping. Again they're the bridesmaids.
The U.S. may have been outplayed by Brazil at times, but they were never outworked and they finally outfought the South Americans.
Now the stadium is blaring the Queen classic. You know the one.

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world

Now some plaintive Chinese song is playing. I'm sure it's about persevering, never giving up. The female singer is hitting some astounding high notes.
Chastian 'fesses up to criticizing Lloyd sometimes for her outside shot, but gives her props for composure on the goal.
JP points out how no U.S. vets were there. If I were Rampone or Markgraf, I'd be offended.
JP also points out how much the win means for U.S. Soccer and the new women's pro league. That gets to start off with a golden sheen.
Out comes Germany, skipping and jumping, looking cheery as bronze medals winners. THe U.S. team is holding hands - nice show of solidarity. Brazil marches out, looking glum. A lot of people have stayed in the stadium for the ceremony, which is a bit unusual.
Solo is standing next to Lloyd. Why does that not surprise me? The two friends stuck together through everything, and now they have gold to show for it.
Germany gets their medals. They're gracious and pleased. Wonder how many of them will join the WPS. Prinz - this is likely her last Olympics. It's Germany's third consecutive bronze medal. Can't say they're not consistent.
JP lauds Brazil's play, calls them "most entertaining". I think they could have won, though, if they hadn't tightened up in crucial moments. The players still are somber and teary-eyed, especially Barbara, who looks heartbroken. Marta is crying as well. The silver medal is no consolation.
The U.S. team is holding hands still, ready to step up to the podium. Chastain reminisces about how special the moment is.
It's a smiling contest for the U.S. team as they receive their medals. They're grinning like crazy. Kai adds a fist pump. Chastain points out that Pia taught the players to enjoy the game again. The players have to untangle their arms from each other's shoulders to receive their bouquets.
The U.S. anthem plays. Like they did hours ago, all the U.S. players sing along.
Hee - the camera catches Solo taking time to smell the roses on her Olympic bouquet. As well she should. Enjoy it, Hope.
The U.S. team shakes hands with Germany, and then with Brazil. They pose for the winning team shot. We'll see that on U.S. Soccer's website soon, I'm sure. Rylie Rampone runs out to her mom. Keegan gets to Markgraf as well.
The camera fades out on the happy scene.





53 comments:

Coach said...

Yes, this is it!

GO USWNT GO!

Japan beat the softball team - we beat Brazil - it's in the cards! ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the opposite, coach.

The US losing to Japan in softball sets a bad tone for the USWMNT and the USW Basketball team, which is currently losing to Russia 38-35 in the third quarter of their semifinal match.

Coach said...

Yeah, positive spin - as usual!

All will be good - I like the start.

;)

CapeCodFutbol said...

Any commentary on the MEX - HON game last night? Was a good game, picked it up in the second half.

Coach said...

YEAH ROCKY!! lol

Anonymous said...

"The greatness of Marta is on display!" ... is that ever the truth.

This is how I equate it:

Marta is th Michael Jordan of women's soccer and Cristiane is Scottie Pipen.

Coach said...

It's a chess match so far!

I was very worried about Mitt's knee on that card she got!

A.C. said...

Well, the U.S. b-ball team pulled it out versus Russia, so there's hope, no. The Japanese win in softball is a shocker, though. It's actually an argument for keeping the sport in the Games, though, because it's more competitive than many believed.

A.C. said...

Pele is at the game! That will probably give Brazil an emotional lift. Marta calls him her "cousin".

Coach said...

OMG what a save Hope!

See - I woulda made those saves!

;)

Coach said...

A-ROD! How do you miss that! Just smash it along the ground with the side of your foot girl!

DANG!

Coach said...

YESSSSSSSSSSs

Coach said...

This is going to be the LONGEST 20 minutes ever!

Anonymous said...

You could see that goal by Lloyd coming. Brazil is tired, was playing sloppy defense and was playing for penalty kicks.

The US knows how to win and that's been the difference so far.

Greg Ryan said...

I should have started Hope Solo in the WC last year. Sigh.

Coach said...

YAAAAAY!

Never a doubt! lol

I am soo proud of Hope et all!

Anonymous said...

Abby who?

FC Uptown said...

Did anybody hug Solo at the end? Why did the cameras not go to her?

Coach said...

A.C. - you gotta believe!

ghostwriter said...

AWESOMMMMEEE!!!!

John said...

Congrats to the US women, what heart, toughness and bravery.

That's what wins at the highest levels of international soccer.

So-So Soccer Fanatic said...

Who should interview Hope Solo: Julie Foudy or Kristine Lilly?

Take that LOSERS!

Anonymous said...

AC - I guess you can't take credit for calling this one. Ye of little faith!

Coach said...

Those "We Are the Champion" lyrics were written for Hope!

;)

What a HIGH!

A.C. said...

I was wrong in calling for Brazil again. They tease by being so dominating in semifinal games.

ghostwriter said...

Without Marta, Cristiane, and Daniela...or with them, the US just beats Brazil 1-0 this year.

What an astonishing turn of events. So remakably like WC in a way. Brazil play a team off their feed in the Semi and HAMMER them but can't seem to get their chances on frame or past the keeper in the Final, get frustrated, and lose by 1.

US D was absolutely impeccable and Solo was ON her game today... her ghosts are finally at rest. Beautiful.

Coach said...

Oh yes, the Soccer Gods!

Medal Ceremony on right now!

Coach said...

OMG - Hope looks like a kid in a candy store & I LOVE it!

Coach said...

The weight of the world is finally OFF her shoulders!

A.C. said...

I think Brazil is making progress, though. They folded worse against Germany at the World Cup, losing 2-0. Marta's weak PK was especially poor. She didn't have such an obvious chance in this match.

MC said...

Well, Hope made the saves she needed to make. I thought that first shot was in. My heart sank, but Hope made an amazing save. She's clearly the best goalkeeper in the world. I wish A-Rod had slotted it home in the last minute or Lloyd had put that second one in, but a win is a win and gold is gold.

Rudy said...

Congrats to our ladies!

Asiankp said...

Congratulations to the US team. They played with a lot of heart BUT Marta and the rest of the Brazilian forwards seem to slice through our defensive line like a hot knife through butter. Even when double and triple teamed, Marta finds a way through. The U.S. got lucky a few times and will need to fix a few things. Props to the US team though...Congrats and enjoy.

And A.C., I believe Markgraf's son is named Keegan and not Connor.

truth said...

MOTM: Rampone was an absolute rock at the back. She cleaned up all Mitt's giveaways and a few by Markgraf. She was our best player at the WC last year, too. Congratulations Captain Christie for a hard-earned gold medal!

And congratulations to Hope Solo, who proved once and for all that if you play her against Brazil, she makes the big saves.

Coach said...

Sweet - sooo sweet!!

Hope was amazing & Carli scored the only goal!

WOTM - THE ENTIRE TEAM!

Sooo sweet indeed!!

A.C. said...

Keegan, Conner, what's with these normal names? Apple, that's a standout.

Coach said...

More sweetness for the USWNT - # 1000!:

"The U.S. win over Brazil earned the United States its 1,000th gold medal in the history in the Olympic Games. The medal count does not include the 1906 Games that are not recognized by the IOC."

WOW!

Coach said...

What is that cliche again?

DEFENCE wins championships but GOALS win games!

Never a better example of this than today! Lovin it!

Well done Pia & the entire USWNT!

Coach said...

The Sierra Mist Player of the Match is none other than - drum roll please -

HOPE SOLO!!

A superb effort by Hope & the ENTIRE TEAM! They left it all out there - just like MY team always does!

;)

ghostwriter said...

My Sierra Mist WOTM choice, albeit a close call, would be Carli Lloyd...big time players play big in big time games. In that vein I also take account of her first goal of the tournament v. Japan that righted the ship, set the US on its comeback trail after that disasterous Norway opener, and was as big a goal as was scored for the US team until her Gold Medal winner today, and she played a pretty tenacious holding midfield as part of a US team defense that bent as they say, but did not break.

Apple? AC? Apple? PHFFFFT! Right over my head. (And no, that's not a William Tell pun.)

Coach said...

Ghost - it took USSOCCER forever to post it but they just did - Hope it is but Carli was great too - they all were!

Gwyneth named her first born Apple - lol - maybe others too?

Coach said...

BTW A.C. - I thought your Apple comment was funny sh@t! lol

Coach said...

From Beijing Beat:

Nobody will ever know if Solo would have made a difference against Brazil in the World Cup a year ago. And maybe her decidedly unsisterly comments were bad form. But in old-fashioned parlance, if she talked the talk back then, tonight she certainly walked the walk. Solo was all the difference. And thanks above all to her heroic efforts, the United States women’s soccer team has added another gold medal—probably the most surprising in its storied history--to its vast treasure trove.

My sentiments exactly - almost - regular readers of this blog know that I do not think the USWNT winning Gold was in any way "surprising"!

An unwavering faith for over 10 months now & predictions that came true every step of the way - right Ghost! lol

;)

Coach said...

Maybe not "Karma" - but a team of DESTINY indeed as noted by Martin Rogers in Yahoo Sports!

Just can't get enough of this stuff - it's been such a long 10 months!

I will "try" to STHU now, but no promises! lol

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

It's more than ironic that Hope Solo, whom that idiot Greg Ryan brazenly sat on the bench against Brazil in the WWC semifinals last year, kept the U.S. in the game for 85 minutes.

It's more than ironic that Carli Lloyd, perhaps the only player on the WNT who supported and befriended Solo during her "exile," scored the winning goal.

This is called divine payback.

What makes this even more gratifying is that the victory came without the lead troublemakers who persecuted Solo (Lilly, Wambach, Whitehill) and the person who could have ended the whole controversy with some public comments (Scurry) but didn't.

All four of those "persons" need to come out right now and apologize publicly for the cruel way they treated Solo.

And none of them should ever wear the national uniform again in international competition. Ever.

Coach said...

O.K. - one more - quote from Hope:

"It's like a storybook ending you see in Hollywood or fairy tales, yet it's really playing out," she said. "It almost too perfect an ending. Nothing ever goes right with my family and my life. This is too perfect. I can't really swallow it right now."

I feel sooo darn good for her right now but at the same time sooo sad for the Canadian WNT! :(

ghostwriter said...

Thanks, Coach.

East Coast, no tinseltown & celebrity savvy. Even took me a minute or two to figure out you meant Paltrow. I don't suppose they nicknamed the kid Mac, eh?

This one is just so SWEET, I'm giddy as a 6 year old with a new toy...still, 5 hours later. I can't imagine how the team feel...

Coach said...

lol Ghost - I meant to put Paltrow but I'm still giddy as h@ll as well! lol

Knickname Mac! That's funny sh@t too! :)

I don't think the USWNT will be getting any sleep tonight - that would be right now - party time!

Coach said...

"That's not a William Tell pun either" lmao too! ha

O.K. - must go spend some time with "my" girl! ;)

papa bear said...

Man I bet anyone who picked Brazil to win feels pretty silly right now. ;)

Brazil played well but they are still Brazil (the ladies version) they choke in big games (when they actually make it that far) and I wouldn't never pick them over a well established team until they win a major title...any major title.

GREAT game by Solo. Vindication is sweet. Everyone on that team should be carrying her bags to the bus and shining her boots for the next week.

Awesome for the USWNT to take yet ANOTHER major title! Great job, girls!

Coach said...

Truth - does "MOTM" stand for "Mother" in your comment? ;)

haha - yes, still giddy as h@ll & Christie was indeed a rock!

Also Hope, Kate, Mittsy, Chalups, HAO, Boxxy, Tarpster, Carli, A-Rod, Ang, Tash, Cheny, Cox-Lopez, all were rock solid in the Gold Medal game - and let's not forget Aly, Tobin, Rachel, Nicol and of course Pia & all the Asst Coaches, Trainers & staff - all an integral part of this AMAZING TEAM!

We must also not forget Abby, Cat, Ozzy, Bri & of course India, Kacey & Ali Kreiger - all in the background for various reasons - still part of this effort & incredible team!

Congratulations USWNT! You deserved this! Well done!

ghostwriter said...

OK, it's a day later and I'm willing (at least obliquely) to tackle Joe's comments above.

Leaving aside "ought" I think Kristine and Briana are, in fact, done as players with USWNT. They are both past prime by quite a bit now and US have multiple better options.

Cat Whithill, I don't know. I'm sure of neither why Joe includes her in his hit list (unless just for supposedly being Hope's friend and completely failing in that role) nor whether she's got a future with the squad. She didn't exactly distinguish herself in the Pia "system" when she did get to play and would not only have the major rehab to get past but need to make adjustments to her style. So all things considered, I'll leave her aside as well.

That leaves Abby. As opposed to Joe, I hope Abby can (that was a bad break and with a rod in her leg I think there are questions about that) and does come back. I believe in second chances and redemption and forgiveness. Just think where the team would be now if Hope had quit instead of toughing it out and both learning and allowing others to learn important lessons in the process. (Although it's true that Pia gets considerable credit for all that as well...bless her troubadour soul.)

Speaking of learning, this new squad has made something essentially steely of its "teamness", forged in the heat of adversity and tempered in cold necessity. I think what they have now will require Abby to fit in. I don't think she'll change it, I think it'll change her (some, I mean the tiger does not morph into the lamb... to adopt a couple of Blakeian images).

Abby could perhaps fit in to that "withdrawn forward" spot occupied by Angela Hucles eventually. If A-Rod learns some patience in the box and improves her finishing skills she and Wambaugh could make a lethal combination. Although forward options have muliplied now to include, I think, Lauren Cheney (first off the bench v. Brazil) as well.

I think the WNT now have a more realistic and quite effective mesh as teammates. They are, in my view, no longer a sorority based on somebody else's legacy but a team based on mutual respect. I think Abby can learn that, fit in, and be part of the larger group (and just a part). If she does, everyone will be better off both personally and professionally and that makes it worth the attempt.

One man's view.

truth said...

Coach -- just Man; as a player I was always annoyed by having to say "player marking" or in bball, "woman to woman defense". It always kind of reminded me of adding "ette" to all things female.

I'm just a hardcore jock who throws like a girl, an old-school Title IX baby. I was a freshMAN in high school when Title IX passed and suddenly I had a uniform! a league! buses! referees! But not much respect for a long time, though. My team had bake sales in college to buy our own uniforms because the school wouldn't make us a varsity sport. I mean, how could you blame them, only 90 women came out for soccer in 1978!)

But I'm not here to talk about the past. Go USA and congratulations on a well-earned gold medal!