Japan 2 - 2 USA

Japan 3 - 1 USA (PSO)

Thanks to all teams for a fantastic World Cup.

Farewell fair weather fans and bandwagoners, ESPN and the rest of America can go back to pretending soccer/football doesn’t exist.

As a side note: the US was ranked 1st by FIFA before the World Cup and Japan was ranked 4th. A far cry from “coming out of nowhere” and a “Cinderella Story.”

OK, now that I'm calm.
  • 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.
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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.

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.

-Danny Rinehart