Kelly O’Hara (August 4th, 1988): O’Hara is an American Olympic gold medalist who plays as a wingback for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team and a forward for the National Women’s Soccer League club Sky Blue FC. She has played previously for FC Gold Pride and the Boston Breakers. As a forward for the Stanford women’s soccer team she was the recipient of the 2009 Hermann Trophy. In the U.S U-20 team she is tied as the third all-time leading goal scorer and is sixth in number of caps played. At the senior level she competed in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of three players for the U.S that played every minute of every game in the 2012 Olympic women’s football tournament.
O’Hara has competed on behalf of the United States in various youth teams from 2005 to 2010, scoring 24 goals in 35 U-20 caps. She was first called into the senior national teams training camp in December of 2009 and attended again in January of 2010 for the lead up to the 2010 Algarve Cup. She earned her first senior team cap in March of 2010, coming on as a substitute during a friendly match against Mexico.
Throughout her national U-20s, collegiate and club careers O’Hara was one of the top young offensive players in the United States but in 2012, under head coach Pia Sundhage, O’Hara was converted to play outside back after her teammate Ali Krieger went down with an ACL injury early in the Olympic Qualifying run.
USA gave the ball away VERY cheaply way too many times. There were many instances in which I definitely questioned the decisions they made. I know that it’s hard to have a lot of options when you are down a player, but seriously there were so many times when they kept playing in a small, crowded space, or going somewhere where there were SO many defenders, rather than looking in the other direction and switching the point of attack.
This ref was horrible. There were many calls on both sides that were just ridiculous.
Dear Erika, that is what you get for your outrageous time wasting. If you hadn’t been so RIDICULOUS, there wouldn’t have been as much stoppage time and the US prolly wouldn’t have scored, so thanks for that one.
I felt bad for Marta. The entire crowd-the brazilians was booing her and I’m not really sure why, as she didn’t actually do anything wrong. Of course I was happy to join in but still, she didn’t do anything.
It made me really happy to see so many neutrals on USA’s side. Badass.
Hope Solo is great. Of course my two favorite players on both of the USA’s teams is the keeper.
Flashback Friday Alex Morgan (USA) & Ali Krieger (USA) The United States Women’s National Team defeated the Italy Women’s National Team 1-0 in the second leg of their 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier playoff at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Photography by Andy Mead.
Alex Morgan (July 2nd, 1989): Morgan is an American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist who joined the U.S. U-20 team in 2008 and achieved her first cap with the senior womens national team in March of 2010. She currently plays the forward position for both the Portland Thorns of the National Womens Soccer League and the United States women’s national team.
Morgan made her professional debut with the Western New York Flash in 2011, where she was drafted number one over all in the WPS Draft, going on to help her team win the league championship.
At age 22 she was the youngest player on the national team during the 2011 FIFA Womens World Cup. In the 2012 London Olympics she scored the game-winning goal in the 123d minute of the semifinal game against Canada. She finished 2012 with 28 goals and 21 assists, joining Mia Hamm as the only American women to score 20 goals and collect 20 assists in the same calendar year, and making her the sixth and youngest U.S player to score 20 goals in a single year. She was subsequently named U.S Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and was a FIFA World Player of the year finalist.
For her work on the field, U.S Soccer announced Morgan as the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year. Morgans exploits have also earned her a place on the FIFA Ballon D’or shortlist, ultimately finishing third in voting.
France score 4 against Canada in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. France dominated the match with better tactical awareness, quicker passing, and more determination as the game was out of sight early in the second half. France showcased women’s football too the world with a style that was easy on the eye. More importantly, this beautiful football came from another team besides Germany & the USA which shows the growth & depth of the women’s game across the globe.
Becky Sauerbrunn ( June 6th, 1985): Sauerbrunn is a professional defender who currently plays for both FC Kansas City and the United States women’s national soccer team. During her international career she played one semifinal match of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-1 win against France, and during three matches in the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the semifinal and gold medal matches.
She attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the Virginia Cavaliers women’s soccer team from 2003 to 2007. With the Cavaliers she became the only three-time NSCAA All-American in school history and was named First-Team NSCAA All-American and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt senior in 2007. She was also named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Sauerbrunn was picked up by Washington Freedom during the 2008 W-League season, played every minute of every game with them in 2009 and 2010, and moved with the team to Florida when they became MagicJack. Following the suspension of the Women’s Professional Soccer league she joined D.C. United in 2012, though her availability was limited due to NT obligations. In 2013 she was one of the three members of the US women’s national team to be allocated to the new NWSL club FC Kansas City, along with Nicole Barnhart and Lauren Cheney, where she would go on to co-captain. She was awarded defender of the year in the league’s inaugural season, and again in 2014, making her the recipient two years in a row.
Inspirational USA Performance in World Cup Ends in Agonizing Defeat
On a day where the only thing that anyone was talking about was the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, I had to make this the SMH moment following a stunning loss to Japan. Words can’t even express the disappointment going through millions of Americans right now. The U.S. had a lead of 1-0, and then blew it in the 81st minute with poor defense in the box. The U.S. then had a lead of 2-1 before blowing it in the 117th minute of extra time. Of course, with Japan having the momentum, they would go on to win the game, beating the U.S. 3-1 in penalty kicks. It’s just heart breaking for the USA because fate seemed to be on their side throughout the tournament, after that miracle against Brazil and the late goals to beat France. But perhaps higher forces may have prevailed, because after the countless number of missed opportunities by the U.S. which could have blown the game wide open, it seemed all too apparent that fate was on the Japanese side yesterday.
It’s definitely tough to see the Americans go down in such devastating fashion, but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Japan had been the giant slayers throughout the tournament. Nobody expected them to get anywhere close to the tournament final, much less win the thing. But that’s exactly what they did, including taking down tournament favorites Germany and the USA along the way. So I have to congratulate Japan on their impressive victory. Hopefully this will serve as inspiration as their nation continues to rebuild from the devastating tsunamis. Now we start looking ahead to the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 World Cup. Will Hope Solo and Abby Wambach be back for another run in 2015? Solo, who will be 30 at the end of the month, said she intends to be back, looking to add a gold medal to her bronze and silver medals, but who knows what could happen between now and then? Wambach is 31 years old and has been broken down by injuries in the past, so I’m not sure if she’ll be able to hold up. Americans will keep their fingers crossed and hope for the best. That makes it even more heart breaking that the United States couldn’t bring home the cup yesterday. This team played like true champions throughout the tournament, and should continue to hold their heads high. Yes, we are all disappointed that the 2nd place couldn’t be 1st place, but you still have to admire what this team did. They brought a great amount of popularity to a sport that Americans for the most part have ignored for so long. They had the support of our country through win, lose, or draw, and they played their hearts out over these past couple weeks. They have no reason to hang their heads. These ladies captivated a nation throughout this unbelievable run, and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. They’ve given us memories that we won’t soon forget. I for one know that the Wambach header against Brazil is going to be my favorite sports moment for quite some time. And with promising young talent such as upcoming superstar Alex Morgan, who is only 22, and who had her coming out party in Germany over these last two games, as well as several other key players who will give it another run, we will bounce back. Because after all, that’s what Americans do.