One week and 12 years ago, the United States captured their second Women's World Cup title, defeating China at the Rose Bowl, and reinforcing their place as the elite team in the world of women's soccer. Tomorrow, the 2011 Women's World Cup Final features USA vs. Japan in a match that would give the Americans more championships than any other nation.
The Final will take place Sunday 7/17 at 2:45 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Americans' quarterfinal win over Brazil came exactly 12 years since the 1999 World Cup victory, and it was just as emotional. The odds were certainly stacked against the USA. Both of Brazil's goals came off questionable and incorrect calls from the official, but with only 10 players on the field, the U.S. fought back anyway. Abby Wambach's goal in the 122nd minute sent an entire nation into elation and tears. It was well deserved, and it hopefully won over a lot of new soccer fans. They'll be watching again tomorrow.
Because tomorrow, the United States can tell the world that we are still the best. Or at least certainly the most resiliant.
Japan won't be an easy matchup for the Americans. They defeated host nation Germany in extra time in the quarterfinals, and then knocked off Sweden, the only team to beat the USA previously, in the semifinals.
Will another Women's World Cup victory be enough to increase the popularity of Women's Professional Soccer? Probably not. The latest attempt at a professional soccer league for women might not fare any better than previous attempts. But at least for one day, the whole country will be paying attention to some amazing women doing some amazing things.