We completely understand if you had to peel yourself away from your magazines this past Sunday. If you were viewing, you witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in United States soccer history, and quite possibly one of the most entertaining matches in any World Cup, men or women.
Remember Landon Donovan’s late heroics against Algeria this past summer? Shades of those same late-game antics followed up with an improbable extra-time goal and a nail-biting series of penalty kicks saw the U.S. women’s squad advance over powerhouse Brazil.
It will likely be years before a team shrugs off shoddy calls and the waning moments of extra time to score the latest goal ever at a World Cup, but that electric finish propelled women’s soccer to the national forefront this week. It was a game instantly worthy of being labeled a classic, and a case study in fortitude and perseverance of any sport in recent memory.
Fast forward to today, where the last seconds just ticked off the clock and the referees signaled to the pitch the end of a match that saw the United States outlasting a feisty, relentless French squad, 3-1.
Within the span of three minutes, the U.S. scored two goals and broke a tie, fueled by Abby Wambach’s header in the 79th minute. Alex Morgan zipped in the insurance goal and helped secure the United States’ first World Cup finals appearance since 1999.
It will be very interesting to review the media coverage — ESPN gambled big to offer extensive coverage from Germany across their cable and web platforms.
With three days remaining until the championship match, and a robust social media landscape, there is a possibility that the story lines of this Women’s World Cup could help provide a robust viewing audience. With Japan knocking Germany out, the U.S. is poised to become the first nation to win three Women’s World Cups.
The U.S. women’s championship victory over China in 1999 still remains the most-watched soccer game in American history. The U.S. awaits the winner of Japan and Sweden — the team that issued the women’s only loss of this tournament during group play.
Stay updated to the blog for updates and further reading about the U.S. girls of summer in our upcoming publications.
Soccer America – Summer 2011
Profile of Alex Morgan