The news wires are now full of player profiles, match reports, you name it, as the US women’s soccer team gears up for its gold medal match versus Brazil on Thursday morning. This team is living up to the Nike Women’s World Cup hype of several months ago … the greatest team you’ve never heard of. This is all to the good. Good for US Soccer, good for the launch of the WPS. Just damn good!
So – a compendium of what’s out there (ever-so-slightly annotated):
- Lindsey Dolich on ESPN Soccernet is liking what she sees and even, picking up for a too-busy Beulah, rating the players on a scale of 1-10. I’d have given HAO a higher mark … but I’m pretty much with Lindsey on everything else.
- Janny Hu of the San Francisco Chronicle hearkens back to the WWC debacle and writes: “The star-less U.S. women’s soccer team has made it back to the land of their superstar predecessors, back to Olympic finals and another match against Brazil.” There’s more, too …
- Mark Ziegler has a wonderful piece in the San Diego Union Tribune, charting the evolution of this team from the fractured mess it was after the Women’s World Cup … to the cohesive and committed group that it is today. As HAO says, “Bring it on!”
- Gayle Bryan, on her Fair Game Blog, has posted an interview with Angela Hucles. (Another, with Carli Lloyd, is on its way …)
- In the Fifth Corner, UNC weighs in with a recap and a nice argument debunking the idea that the USWNT is riding on pure luck.
- Christine Brennan writes in USA Today about the “young, entertaining and completely unpredictable U.S. women’s Olympic soccer team.” This is nice stuff …
- Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, meanwhile, writes a nice article about the USWNT and manages to inject a Minnesota connection. It’s nice to hear that there’s a lot of singing in the locker room these days. Pia, you do good work!
- Marcus Hayes, of the Philadelphia Daily News, picks up on the singing theme, but has a kind of strange take on the USWNT. In typical Philly fashion, he focuses on the “chip on the shoulder” and seems to be assuming that internecine warfare is continuing in some form. An odd bit of writing.
- In another Philly-based article (this by Mike Jensen from the Inquirer we read about Heather Mitts’ soccer journey … and other tidbits, like the fact that she appears to currently be dating AJ Feeley (back-up quarterback for the Eagles).
Turning to the other side of the pitch – the Germany-Brazil game was an amazing display (and a scary one if you’re a USWNT fan). Jennifer Doyle writes wonderfully about the match on her blog From a Left Wing. After getting off to a slow start, the Brazilian side went on to dismantle the German defense with four beautiful, creative goals. Thursday’s match-up should be a high-scoring, fun game to watch!