It wasn’t pretty for a long time. Only in the 82nd minute was the final secured and the fans able to breath easier. Until then, the French dictated the game and had clear advantages. And again it was the same difference, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo. There is not much to say these days about Wambach. The best description, absolute World Class. Preparation, attitude, ability, intelligence and incredible will power took her and the team to where they are.
The second superstar in the team, Hope Solo, is following not far behind Wambach. On the “hit list” of some, for her unfortunate comments at the 2007 world cup, she demonstrated absolute focus on the task at hand. Fit, cool and no fuzzing around playing style helped her to become the best goalie in the world at this event. How important she is? If she would have been French today, the U.S. women would be packing their stuff to go home.
There is a third superstar in the team, much more quite and in a not so visible game deciding position, but she quietly is not only pulling the strings in defense. 240 caps and lots of incredible experiences give her the ability to lead the team on and off the field. The talk is about Christie Rampone. She already won a world cup and hopefully will win her second on Sunday. Her performance and leadership should not be forgotten in this successful campaign.
Besides the three with the well earned superstar status, there is a team of awesome players that could all reach the same status of their leaders. Maybe not necessarily on the level of leadership, yet, but clearly on ability, attitude and the willingness to leave everything on the field to win. They all demonstrated within two days what they can do and what we can expect on Sunday.
What’s coming up on Sunday is probably the hardest test for the U.S. women. Japan was certainly not everyone’s favorite to make the final, but that team is an awesome soccer team. Ability to play, discipline, tactical awareness, fitness and with incredible motivation, this team is hard to beat. After seeing what they did to the Germans and much more to the Swedish, the final will be harder to win then the game against Brazil. They clearly outplayed the Swedish and were able to hang on against the Germans and Swedish, despite their physical advantages in size. That alone should be warning enough for those that believe this final will be an easy game for the U.S. women. It will take everything and a topping to win this title. Good luck, girls.
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