Tuesday, July 12, 2011

World Cup 2011

If you know me at all, you know that I love soccer. However, I've always been more interested in playing than watching. I don't follow MLS soccer, or the woman's league. And I don't follow and soccer in Europe or anywhere for that matter. Lance and I went to the MLS All-Stars game that was in Salt Lake last summer, but that's the only game we've been to since they built the Rio Tinto stadium. It's sad, really, that we have a professional team (and a good one at that) so close, yet we never go and support them.

Anyway, the purpose of that whole spiele was to say that I don't really follow soccer. A few weeks ago I heard that the woman's World Cup was about to start and there was a bit of hype going in about the US team. I decided I needed something else to occupy my time besides my many tv shows, so I set my DVR to record all of the games.
Now I am 100% hooked to this tournament and very emotionally invested in team USA. If you've watched the news at all in the past few days you'll likely have heard about our incredible comeback win against Brazil, who was one of the best in the tournament. The game started off amazing with Brazil scoring on themselves in the first two minutes. Then everything seemed to crumble and the United States could not catch a break. The refs would call it offsides when we were on. Then they would let Brazil play on when it should've been offsides. They called a foul in the box against a US defender, but it looked to me like Marta jumped to get the ball and just fell down herself. The defender got a red card and the US had to play down the rest of the game. Talk about exhausting! Then one on my new heroes, Hope Solo, makes an incredible save on the penalty kick just to have the ref take it back, give her a yellow card, and let them take the kick again.
The game went into extra time, where Marta scored in the first few minutes. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I was honestly trying hard not to break down and cry. Then Brazil spend the rest of the game trying to hold us off and wasting time. There was one player on Brazil who went down and was "injured" for quite some time. She ate up about four minutes of the clock. They carried her off the field in a stretcher. Once they were to the sideline, she gets off and is absolutely fine. The crowd went nuts and thought it was pretty low. But I guess we can thank her now because there was 3 minutes of added stoppage time. And Abby Wambach (who has been my favorite player for years) had an AMAZING goal 2 minutes into stoppage time. She scored when the clock was after the 122 minute.
This was incredible in so many ways. First of all, because it was a great pass and a great finish by Abby. Secondly because it was in stoppage time, of extra time. And third, because they had been playing a player down for a good chunk of time and they had to be exhausted. Absolutely insane. I completely lost it. I was in shock and almost couldn't believe it. Then Lance looks at me and asks if I was crying. And sure enough, there were tears starting to run down my face. I guess I should be a little embarrassed, but I'm not. I've become invested in this team and would like to see them win the whole tournament. We play France in the semi-finals tomorrow and I am anxiously waiting to see what happens. I am so proud of team USA and wish them the best of luck in the rest of the tournament.
That picture pretty much sums it up. Best game EVER! Now continue with this momentum and lets come out strong against France. USA! USA! USA!

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