Wow, wow, wow. Even the Phillies’ loss has not dampened my amazement and feeling of great good fortune. The USWNT is through to the quarterfinals (not too surprising) and has won their group (pretty darn surprising) and is starting to score some goals (excellent news). To date, five different people have scored, and I’m hoping that Natasha Kai will join that group soon, and the goals will keep coming right through the gold medal match.
The USWNT will face Canada on Friday morning (6AM ET). The Canadians, in their first Olympics, finished third in their group and were fully expecting to face Norway. So much has changed. The winner of the Canada-USWNT match-up will face the winner of China-Japan en-route to the final. On the other side, the winner of Norway-Brazil faces the winner of Germany-Sweden.
As we have seen, anything can happen! BUT if I were a betting woman (which happily, I am not – as I am way-too-often wrong) my money would be on the following scenario running up to the gold medal match: USWNT-Japan, Germany-Brazil in the semi-finals and then USWNT-Brazil in the final … with a miraculous USWNT win in OT (just like the 2000 Olympics – but with the US winning – and with no controversy about a handball … Dagny!)
Sweden is through, with their 2-1 win over the Canadians. As noted on the Damallsvenskan Newsblog, injuries continue to plague them … and we wish them great luck (and a goal-scoring explosion) when they face the Germans (and their stingy defense). Jennifer Doyle has put up this profligate (yet parsimonious) post celebrating the Super Falcons … who played some dazzling soccer but were sadly eliminated yesterday.
On the USWNT commentary front, I first note (with pleasure and surprise) that Jamie Trecker actually had some good things to say about this showing by Pia’s prodigy’s. Beulah is on a business trip, so won’t be writing up the NZ match. Here’s the write-up and the quote sheet from US Soccer … and the blog post.
Final thoughts? It was great to see Chalupa back … and good to see Rachel Buehler step up in Kate’s place. (Kate – feel better, okay?!) And it was just awesome to see more possession … and to see the scoring spread amongst so many players … AND to see Pia so exuberant on the sidelines! Even factoring in that NZ was not the strongest opponent, I do think the USWNT is improving with each game … just what they need to be doing as they move deeper and (hopefully) deeper still … into this tournament!