Women’s World Cup Championship Open Thread

This is it. Share your thoughts on who is going to win.






323 replies
  1. 1
    Steeplejack says:

    USA will probably win, and I’m okay with that, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an upset by Japan. Particularly if USA comes out complacent and “We own this.”

  2. 2
    JenJen says:

    Go USA Women’s National Team!! I’m so stoked. I’m so proud. I can’t wait to watch this match.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    NIHON GA GAMBAI!!

    (nothing against my home country. But the Japanese could REALLY use the good news.)

  4. 4
    Ronnie P says:

    Japan has already had the good news in just making the finals. Go USA!

  5. 5
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    If Japan succeeds where China failed, my mother will have an aneurysm. Go, USA!

  6. 6
    handsmile says:

    The knock-out round victories by the United States were the result of a storybook quality of collective fortitude in adversity, glorious moments of individual brilliance (Rapinoe, Wambach, Solo), and a French goalkeeper the likes of which offenses encounter usually only in their fondest dreams. Yet a victory, however scrappy, is still a victory.

    At the same time, the Nadeshiko were the beneficiaries of smiling good fortune in the 108th minute of their match with pre-tournament favorite Germany who failed repeatedly to capitalize on scoring chances, and, against Sweden, their own encounter with a blundering goalkeeper (who belatedly redeemed herself with a superb performance in yesterday’s third-place match). Nevertheless, Japan defeated two higher-ranked, more physically imposing squads through adroit ball movement and exemplary positional organization.

    (The frequency of goalkeeper howlers and failure to strike successfully from advantageous positions has tormented me into reliving Arsenal’s 2010-11 Premier League season.)

    In this one man’s opinion, to claim their third WWC champions trophy, the US should maintain a high defensive line to compress the midfield; the fullbacks should maraud forward; and the Japanese backline must be spread out wide. To accomplish that, the pace of Heather O’Reilly and Alex Morgan must be deployed throughout.

    Of course, employing such tactics will leave that team vulnerable to counterattacks and well-knit passing but the American central defenders have been shrewd and economical thus far, and Hope Solo is a candidate for tournament MVP.

    I don’t believe the US should adopt the favorite tactic of all mid-table English clubs: hoofing the ball to the big guy up front. “Even the liberal NY Times” in its profile today of Abby Wambach showcased her physical prowess and offensive capabilities. Japan will certainly prepare for this. Wambach’s preeminence will be amplified if the Japanese defense is stretched along the flanks. To play for set pieces and corners will be the most effective US strategy. Japan’s likely control of midfield, certain possession advantage, and recent technical superiority, will be rendered less decisive thereby.

    With all the deserving approbation heaped upon the Guardian for its coverage of the Murdoch scandal by Balloon Juice readers, I am somewhat reluctant to link the following article that may discomfit those whose sensibilities cannot abide other than full-throated USA huzzahs: http://www.guardian.co.uk/foot.....al-preview

    To those I would reply that, as a group, the Guardian football writers set the standard and would strongly recommend the comments section in which, much like this very blog, you will find much to amuse, inform, enrage.

    Dispassionately, I cannot foresee anything other than the US Women scoring more goals than the Japanese. Dispassionately, I cannot begrudge a victory by Japan.

  7. 7
    Kirk Spencer says:

    From the Onion

    U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Better Not Fvcking Blow It

    MÖNCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY—In light of the enormous momentum and goodwill they are carrying with them into the Women’s World Cup final in Frankfurt this Sunday, sources confirmed the U.S. women had better be damned sure they don’t fvcking blow it. “Their gutsy yet elegant win over Brazil got everyone behind them, and their victory over France—complete with the second Abby Wambach header in as many games—made them look like a team of destiny, so they’d better not fvck this one up, because they’ll look like complete idiots,” thousands of bandwagon fans from across the United States said Wednesday, adding that if the team loses Sunday, its whole World Cup run will have been a fvcking waste of everyone’s time.

    [more at link]

  8. 8
    cmorenc says:

    US will most likely win 3-1, but if Japan can keep the match even through the late minutes or go up a goal, Japan has a strong chance.

    Japan’s problem is that they don’t really have a good answer for Abby Wambach, especially not any that won’t leave other stronger, taller US finishers open too often.

  9. 9
    JenJen says:

    @Ronnie P:

    Japan has already had the good news in just making the finals. Go USA!

    Word!

  10. 10
    Martin says:

    Man, we need a better national anthem.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @JenJen: Oh well, it’s not like I haven’t been in the minority here before. :)

    How’s the puppeh?

  12. 12
    Patrick says:

    USA is in the finals even though they have had a hard time stringing three passes together. Japan can string 30 passes together. I’d like to see Cheney playing where Lloyd has been so inexcusable, like at the end of the France game.

  13. 13
    stuckinred says:

    Hugh ESE

  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: I like the US and I can not lie
    Those other countries can’t deny
    When a country walks in with freedom of speech
    You get patriotic

    Or we could just go with Woody G.

  15. 15
    eastriver says:

    Of course the first shot from Cheney is IN THE FACE. Natch.

  16. 16
    Patrick says:

    Cheney is up top, and Boxx and Lloyd are back to giving away balls in midfield.

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    I hate to pick on Lloyd, but can she ever keep those on frame?

  18. 18
    Bill Murray says:

    Man the US needs to put some of these chances on goal

  19. 19
    JenJen says:

    @Yutsano #11: Young Lord Stanley is doing great!! A coupla pics of puppeh for you. He’s four months old!!

    And speaking of Lord Stanley, the only time I don’t root for Team USA is when Team USA calls itself the Boston Bruins. ;-)

  20. 20

    USA! USA! USA!

    Okay it’s Margarita Sunday. Hubs and I saw the Harry Potter movie, went to our favorite Mexican place and had two giant margaritas, and are now home watching the world cup. Needless to say, anything I write for the next 3 hours may not make any sense.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @JenJen: LOOK AT THOSE EARZ!! He’s gonna be a biggun too!

    My confession (which I already made but I’ll say again anyway) I was going for Canada in the Olympics. I’m such a traitor sometimes. :)

    the only time I don’t root for Team USA is when Team USA calls itself the Boston Bruins. ;-)

    A-FUCKING-MEN!!

  22. 22
    TB says:

    がんばれ日本!

  23. 23
    eastriver says:

    The Japanese fans just did the wave. 35 died.

    (too soon?)

  24. 24

    @eastriver:

    Of course the first shot from Cheney is IN THE FACE. Natch.

    She’s no relation, is she? Honestly other than watching the matches I haven’t really been following this …

  25. 25
    Hawes says:

    Carli Lloyd needs to stop shooting from 30 meters. The USWNT is doing everything right except finishing.

    Pretty much the opposite of the Brazil and France games…

  26. 26

    @eastriver:

    (too soon?)

    Umm … yeah … maybe …

  27. 27
    dsc says:

    I don’t have cable–is there a FREE live stream anywhere?

  28. 28
    Hawes says:

    Time to unleash the Krakken Wambach.

  29. 29
    Hawes says:

    ESPN3 has had previous games

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Hawes says:

    That wave joke was incredibly tasteless.

    I laughed though, so I’ll be seeing you in purgatory.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Comrade Luke says:

    Wambach is being marked very closely in the box.

    Main concern right now is that the strong start with no finishing leaves them vulnerable to a counterattack when they eventually catch their breath.

  34. 34
    HumboldtBlue says:

    I absolutely hate it when a team I am vacking starts fast, dominates early and can’t finish. Bodes ill.

  35. 35
    HumboldtBlue says:

    backing, even

  36. 36
    stuckinred says:

    Ya’ll some down in the mouth mofo’s.

  37. 37
    JenJen says:

    Gaaaaaaaah so close. Keep it up, Abby!

    @Yutsano #21: Knew you’d like that. ;-) The pics, of course, but mostly the Bruins slam!

    @Southern Beale: Margarita Sunday, eh? Sounds lovely. Here in JenJenLand it’s 7-and-7 Sunday!!

  38. 38
    Hawes says:

    Karli Lloyd=LVP

  39. 39

    Funny ….

    A Plothole in Atlas Shrugged to Drive a Train Through

    Rand’s premise is that ‘producers’ are so special, so different from the others around them, that without them the world can’t function. That they are, in fact, irreplaceable. And that, readers, is belly laugh worthy. As any military can tell you, when an officer falls in battle, the person promoted to the position either rises to the occasion or doesn’t – but even if the officer’s absence hurts in the short run, in the long run there is no such thing as someone ‘irreplaceable’.
    __
    The correlary to the idea that business leaders are irreplaceable is the assumption that those who aren’t already leaders are incompetent. There are certainly plenty of incompetent people in the world, especially if you define that as ‘not having a certain set of skills yet’. But there are many, many highly competent people with leadership ability (perhaps as yet undeveloped) that for one reason or another do not function in a leadership role.

    This is why basing real policy on fictional characters is stupid.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @eastriver:

    The Japanese fans just did the wave. 35 died.
    __
    (too soon?)

    Nah. I think it’s wise to get in ahead of the inevitable “meltdown” quips.

  41. 41
    HumboldtBlue says:

    there’s the counter attack danger

  42. 42
    gwangung says:

    The Japanese fans just did the wave. 35 died.

    Tasteless and tacky.

    I have a spot open on my Asian American comedy group….

  43. 43
    Hawes says:

    Don’t want to jinx it, but this is the best midfield defense the US has put up so far.

  44. 44
    freelancer (iPhone) says:

    Goddamn, this is ridiculous in terms of opportunities.

  45. 45

    How come there are no vuvuzelas?

  46. 46
    HumboldtBlue says:

    They were banned by the entire world cept SA

  47. 47
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Ian Darke must be doing TV because we have some cockney dude Thomas or something with Ol’ Onoin Bag for color on radio

  48. 48
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Buehler? Beuhler?

  49. 49
    Hawes says:

    Vuvuzelas were banned in Germany at the same time as Mein Kampf.

  50. 50
    dsc says:

    ed, you have to chose a cable provider to watch at ESPN and you have to sign in via your provider for remote access

    tried the arab emirates, but being in the US is a no-go territory

    I like FREE TV–we have and antenna and I REFUSE to pay for TV–can’t understand why ABC did not see the advantage of showing this–but it is WOMEN, so, …

    It’s not even at the top of the news on Google

  51. 51
    dustycrickets says:

    @46…

    “They were banned by the entire world cept SA”…and Tampa Bay Rays home games.

  52. 52
    Hawes says:

    Nice, smiling Nazi referee..

  53. 53
    JenJen says:

    @HumboldtBlue #47: Ian Darke and Julie Foudy on ESPN’s telecast.

    @dsc #50: I found multiple, free, non-ESPN3-streams of coverage just by googling “watch women’s world cup live.” Good luck and hope you’ll find one that works for you!

  54. 54
    stuckinred says:

    dsc

    ABC didn’t have the British Open on live either and now that is what is on.

  55. 55
    Ed Marshall says:

    @dsc:

    I didn’t know, I’m on comcast so it just plugged me in automatically I guess.

  56. 56
    Hawes says:

    Wambach goes down easier than a tranny hooker when the fleet is in town.

  57. 57
    HumboldtBlue says:

    They’re a good team, Jen, although for years Foudy was un-listenable, she’s gotten a whole lot better

  58. 58
    Comrade Luke says:

    If Wambach doesn’t take a dive in the box there she would have been in great position for a shot

  59. 59
    stuckinred says:

    And if she hadn’t made the goal last Sunday she’d be sitting next to you on the couch!

  60. 60
    Comrade Luke says:

    I admit it: I have the hots for Krieger.

  61. 61
    eastriver says:

    58, I said the same thing

  62. 62
    Brian R. says:

    No stoppage at all? Really?

  63. 63
    Hawes says:

    I’m with you, Comrade Luke.

  64. 64
    HumboldtBlue says:

    I’m hot for Krieger!

    That could be a song

  65. 65
    Bill Murray says:

    half time. Seems like Lloyd and Rapinoe are trying a little too hard to be the heroes.

    and dsc Justin TV may have the game feed live

  66. 66
    Origuy says:

    The positive steroid results that caused the North Korean team to be sent home were the result of a traditional medicine given to them to treat effects of a lightning strike during training.

    North Korea officials blamed traditional musk deer gland medicine used after a lightening strike for five positive tests for steroids at the Women’s World Cup, the biggest soccer doping scandal at a major tournament in 17 years.

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    An entire tournament’s worth of quality chances, and nothing to show.

    Sphincters tightening, US fans?

  68. 68
    cmorenc says:

    Anyone else think it’s a bit weird that one of the prime sponsors for this game is ROGAINE (hair restoration goo for men)?? OK, so there are plenty of men watching the WWC games and final too, but then why are there no beer company sponsorships?

  69. 69
    stuckinred says:

    burnspbesq

    Slow down
    you move too fast
    You got to make the moment last now

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    Football fans should boycott Allstate. Their commercials with Tim Howard are the epitome of suck.

  71. 71
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Sphincters tightening, US fans?

    If it got any tighter I’d be a Republican Tea Bagger who bemoans the evils of pop culture on America’s utes.

  72. 72
    Hawes says:

    Wow, that was the worst commercial I’ve ever seen.

  73. 73
    JenJen says:

    @burnspbesq #67

    Sphincters tightening, US fans?

    Not a bit. Pitch is practically tilted. USA playing very well.

    @burnspbesq #70

    Their commercials with Tim Howard are the epitome of suck.

    NOW you’re talkin’! Good grief. I’d rather watch a complete block of JG Wentworth ads* than see that Allstate awfulness even once more.

    *OK, not really

  74. 74
    Hawes says:

    Morgan with the game winner! Calling it now.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    Cheney is out with an ankle. Morgan in.

  76. 76
    Comrade Luke says:

    Man, that is one weirdly happy referee.

  77. 77
    shirk says:

    I was glad to see that Sundhage sat Amy Rodriguez, who I felt has been really unimpressive in the previous matches. The US would pick up the pace significantly when Rapinoe would sub in, and it seems starting her and moving Cheney forward have helped with the scoring opportunities. Now if some of them would actually find the back of the net…

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Hawes says:

    How is that possible?!?!

  80. 80
    Bill Murray says:

    Morgan is known for her clutch goals — well those are about the only goals she has scored being the youngest player on the team.

    off the inside of the post, 3rd one in this game

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    Fuuuuuuuuck. Another post.

  82. 82
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Watching this and the Copa America on Univision which feature Brazil and Paraguay, later Chile plays Venezuela. Yesterday saw an good match between Uruguay and Argentina.
    Uruguay won.

  83. 83
    Hawes says:

    Saranwrap on the frakking goals.

  84. 84
    John O says:

    I’m calling it now. Too many posts clanked already to win in 90.

  85. 85
    dsc says:

    feed removed from Justin Tv for copyright violations

    this sucks

    JenJen is your feed still working

  86. 86
    Comrade Luke says:

    Anyone catch what Krieger’s tatt says?

    “I heart Comrade Luke”?

    ETA: Appears to be “Liebe”, German for Love.

    So – close enough!

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade Luke: Yer drooling again dude. And yer gonna get Burnsy’s hopes up about Hope Solo again.

  88. 88
    Hawes says:

    Of course, Krieger means “warrior”, so I guess all’s fair.

  89. 89
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yes, I’m drooling. Admitting it is the first step to recovery.

  90. 90
    Comrade Luke says:

    Japan is stepping up…

  91. 91
    Hawes says:

    Foul not called and handball not called.

  92. 92
    Comrade Luke says:

    While “Liebe” is Germain for “Love”, I’m pretty sure “Box” translates to “turnover” in some language.

  93. 93
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Frustration builds …

  94. 94
    JenJen says:

    @dsc Don’t know if this will work for you, but please, to try!

    If it doesn’t work, try atdhe.tv; they have six links up right now and I’ve been able to access three of them easily.

  95. 95
    freelancer (iPhone) says:

    Hands off. Bring me Solo and the Wookie.

  96. 96
    Bill Murray says:

    Hey the US got one on goal, after the poor offside call

  97. 97
    Bill Murray says:

    While “Liebe” is Germain for “Love”, I’m pretty sure “Box” translates to “turnover” in some language

    I used to think the same for Chastain as you think of Boxx.

  98. 98
    Hawes says:

    OK, my sphincter is getting a wee bit snugger…

  99. 99
    Tommy says:

    I will openly admit I find soccer to be about the most boring sport to watch, but my gosh did I love playing the sport as a very young kid. At least where I lived soccer was about the first sport you could play. But alas, as I got older I went to other sports as just about everybody else did.

  100. 100
    the exile says:

    France is the first women’s team I’ve ever seen i that actually plays classy, stylish, Brazil- or Barcelona-style soccer with great ball control and pinpoint passing. The first team to convince me that maybe the women’s game might be worth watching. And then their goalie and a top star get hurt and they get beat by a USA team that plays in the typical boring, artless English- German- American style that I so hate: long passes, all scoring from headers off corner kicks or free kicks, all force and speed, no creativity. So I’m back to watching the men– Copa America’s pretty exciting.

  101. 101
    Comrade Luke says:

    FUCK YEA

  102. 102
    Bill Murray says:

    Morgan off the great ball from Rapinoe. 1-0

  103. 103
    Hawes says:

    MORGAN!!! Called it.

  104. 104
    shirk says:

    Yes! Alex Morgan!

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    Unbelievable angle.

  106. 106
    Dee Loralei says:

    YAY!!!

  107. 107
    Comrade Luke says:

    What a shot.

  108. 108
    JenJen says:

    Megan to Alex ET LE BUUUUUUUUUUUUT!!

    Wooohooo team USA!!

  109. 109
    burnspbesq says:

    Hmm, I was just about to say Rapinoe was spending too much time inside …

  110. 110
    eastriver says:

    Like Ron Jeremy, she found the back of the box.

  111. 111
    HumboldtBlue says:

    goal

  112. 112
    Tommy says:

    Well so much for all the “experts” I heard say before the game that the Japanese women were too fast for us.

  113. 113

    Awesome goal by Alex Morgan!

  114. 114
    Brian R. says:

    Sweet goal. Time to put it away.

  115. 115
    Bill Murray says:

    Like Ron Jeremy, she found the back of the box.

    Like Grampa Simpson she bulged the old onion bag. said in a bad Tommy Smyth voice

  116. 116
    Comrade Luke says:

    @burnspbesq: Yea, I was getting annoyed about the hotdogging with the ball, and then she played the perfect ball. Again.

  117. 117
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Rapinoe has certainly been a revelation, with her amazing energy off the bench against France to her whipping that poor Japanese right back in the first half to the assist

  118. 118
    Randinho says:

    Eastriver FTW!

  119. 119
    Patrick says:

    Only British broadcasters talk about the win at 1-0 with 20 min left…

  120. 120
    Comrade Luke says:

    Sooooo much soccer left…

  121. 121
    aretino says:

    I used to think the same for Chastain as you think of Boxx.

    I used to think Chastain meant lucky not to get a read card for that.

  122. 122
    JenJen says:

    @Hawes #74

    Morgan with the game winner! Calling it now.

    You just may end up being right! Alex is soooooo fast. My gawd, what a pretty goal. Watching her approach the ball is almost like watching Mia Hamm in her prime.

    ETA: OH SHIZZ Japan with the equalizer.

  123. 123
    Comrade Luke says:

    Jesus. What a terrible clearance.

  124. 124
    Hawes says:

    Absolute breakdown.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    Horrible panic.

  126. 126
    Randinho says:

    Utterly disorganized at the back just then.

  127. 127
    Patrick says:

    Need to get Buehler off the field!

  128. 128
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Those first half misses now loom huge

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    How bout you try to clear, hmm?

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    Good cross, but better D

  131. 131
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Corner Stone: And not into the center of the box.

  132. 132
    Bill Murray says:

    pitch looks like it’s getting slick. Buehler slips on the Japan goal and so did Lloyd think.

  133. 133
    Bill Murray says:

    How bout you try to clear, hmm?

    well Rampone did but right to Japan to start the move. Buehler was on the ground and the ball mostly just hit Krieger

  134. 134
    HumboldtBlue says:

    where’s my goddamn bong …. mumble grumble

  135. 135
    Comrade Luke says:

    We look tired.

  136. 136
    Patrick says:

    Rodriguez should sub for Rapinoe

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bill Murray: Yeah, easy for me to say. But better to turn and kick it out of bounds and set up a corner.
    Should never shove it back to center under pressure.

  138. 138
    HumboldtBlue says:

    what drama, fantastic stuff

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    Shoulda smashed that one touch.

  140. 140
    Hawes says:

    Well, it almost had to end this way, didn’t it?

  141. 141
    shirk says:

    I, for one, blame @Hawes #74 for jinxing it… :-)

  142. 142
    JenJen says:

    Anyone who doesn’t love the fact that the Women’s World Cup Final is heading into 30 minutes of extra time probably isn’t a sports fan.

    You kind of have to love it. USA! USA! USA!

  143. 143
    Hawes says:

    They’re blaming Buehler, but it looked like Krieger kind of screwed the pooch more.

  144. 144
    Hawes says:

    I for one, accept the blame…

  145. 145
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Hawes:

    I don’t agree. Buehler crossed it back into the center of the field. I doubt Krieger was expecting that.

    ETA: The one that really blew it was Rampone. Unforgivable, unforced turnover.

  146. 146
    Corner Stone says:

    OooOOooOOoo!!

  147. 147
    MikeJ says:

    The people in the crowd with the hope goalie gloves need to make sure they’re together so they stop signalling “Ho”.

  148. 148
    shirk says:

    @Hawes: I agree. I think Buehler’s attempt to clear across the goal was reasonable given her position, and it was unfortunate that it hit Krieger. I also thought perhaps Krieger was mistakenly trying to clear it back to the other side and mis-hit, but I’ll wait for another replay to see.

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    Call me a xenophobe but all I can think of when they talk about the Japanese players is how delicious they would all sound at my local restaurant.
    Yes, I’ll have the kumagai please.

  150. 150
    Comrade Luke says:

    Christ, Boxx can’t hit a proper ball.

    ETA: AGAIN!

  151. 151
    Hawes says:

    Shannon Boxx really isn’t a fan of possession is she?

  152. 152
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Hawes: Not US possession anyway.

  153. 153
    Patrick says:

    Japan is targeting Buehler, she is a penalty waiting to happen…On the goal, Solo should have come and got it. She is a great shot stopper, but she is on her line watching things too much sometimes.

  154. 154
    shirk says:

    Boxx knows that the U.S. is wearing white uniforms, right?

  155. 155
    Comrade Luke says:

    You’re wrong Julie Foudy: O’Reilly has not had a good game.

  156. 156
    MikeJ says:

    The just mentioned O pic.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    BALLS!!

  158. 158
    JenJen says:

    ABBY WAMBACH IS A BOSS!!

  159. 159
    Randinho says:

    Wambach’s height rules!

  160. 160
    Corner Stone says:

    Fucking cross for the ages!!

  161. 161
    Comrade Luke says:

    Fucking perfect cross.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Corner Stone:

    HighFive

    :)

  164. 164
    Randinho says:

    Now stay focused!

  165. 165
    Bill Murray says:

    @Bill Murray: Yeah, easy for me to say. But better to turn and kick it out of bounds and set up a corner.
    Should never shove it back to center under pressure.

    totally agree with that,

    and what a ball by Morgan for the Wambach goal

  166. 166
    Corner Stone says:

    @Randinho: Ha! That was sheer balls, not height.
    Perfect cross.

  167. 167
    Brian R. says:

    FUCKING A

  168. 168
    Bill Murray says:

    I’d probably bring in Sauerbrunn here or maybe Lori Lindsey

  169. 169
    JCT says:

    Keep up the play by play guys — I’m in the air and cannot stream anything!

    Go USA!

  170. 170
    Comrade Luke says:

    Really need to stick with the game plan here. Don’t let them get another lucky break.

    And especially: avoid the turnovers in your own end!

  171. 171
    JenJen says:

    Here’s a terrific photo of the First Family watching the World Cup Final. USA! USA! USA!

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    It may be just me but it seems Morgan would rip people’s guts out with her bare hands in order to win this match.

  173. 173
    MikeJ says:

    @JenJen: The one I linked to is bigger. :P

  174. 174
    Comrade Luke says:

    Jesus Christ. Boxx. Just shoot it at your own net why don’t you?

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    Jesus fucking christ! Clear the fookin thing!!

  176. 176
    Comrade Luke says:

    I hate the prevent defense. In any sport.

  177. 177
    Martin says:

    Man, dodgy defense…

  178. 178
    Bill Murray says:

    How ther heck did Julie Foudy get through Stanford with her math skills

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    Possession on their end is good.

  180. 180
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Bill Murray: You’re asking how a professional athlete got through college based on their intelligence?

  181. 181
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m kinda in love with that blonde Nazi ref.

  182. 182
    Hawes says:

    Another breakdown. Holy crap.

  183. 183
    Corner Stone says:

    Kill! Kill! Kill!!

  184. 184
    JenJen says:

    Oh good grief that was a scary moment for USA defense. WTF happened? Hang on, Sloopy.

    @MikeJ #172: I defer to you. Yours is bigger. ;-)

    Also, a soccer thread has 183+ responses? This is awesome. :-)

  185. 185
    Comrade Luke says:

    WOW. What is with our clearing skills?

  186. 186
    Randinho says:

    Coronary time!

  187. 187
    Corner Stone says:

    Jesus. Get someone in there who knows how to smother a fucking ball.

  188. 188
    Martin says:

    And what the hell was that mess?

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    @JCT: JCT, get ready for a cardiac arrest at 30,000 feet.
    They can’t seem to clear shit for any amount of blood or money.
    This is gonna be balls in to the wire.

  190. 190
    Bill Murray says:

    Rapinoe was looking pretty dead there. I’m hoping Heath knows how to clear from the back

  191. 191
    Hawes says:

    Heath needs to stop thinking net and start thinking pass.

  192. 192
    Martin says:

    Rapinoe earned that substitution.

  193. 193
    Comrade Luke says:

    These unforced turnovers are giving me a heart attack

  194. 194
    MikeJ says:

    Jeebus.

  195. 195
    Hawes says:

    WTG Captain

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    Fuck! Kick!!
    Jesus fucking christ!

  197. 197
    Bill Murray says:

    It’s not a US WWC final without a clearance off the line. and Solo is hurt. I kind of wonder how this late in the game with a one goal lead anyone can get behind you.

  198. 198
    Comrade Luke says:

    Wow.

  199. 199
  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    son of a bitch

  201. 201
    Hawes says:

    What a shit sandwich

  202. 202
    Bill Murray says:

    and Sawa scores off the nicely taken corner

  203. 203
    shirk says:

    Dammit. My heart had just started working again after Rampone’s clearance, and then…

  204. 204
    JenJen says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO

    I’m feeling a bit ill. C’mon USA. Fuck. Please please please don’t let this come down to PK’s.

  205. 205
    middlewest says:

    Oh god what the hell.

  206. 206
    Corner Stone says:

    JCT, put your head tween your knees and breathe deep. Tie at 2 all.

  207. 207
    lol says:

    Most surprising Japanese strike against the US since 1941.

  208. 208
    pete says:

    On behalf of all the lurkers, thanks for your comments … I keep cutting between this and the Guardian MBM and the Yahoo UK one, and I feel i’m getting a sense of it … and I’d better post this before y’all commit ritual suppuku …

  209. 209
    JCT says:

    @Corner Stone — lucky I’m a cardiologist .

    Crap sounds like we’re tied again — c’mon!

    OMG, starting our descent into DFW — DAMN. Fingers crossed for a miracle win.

  210. 210
    scav says:

    I’m getting the distinct impression “Epic” is the word here. Good luck all. Breathe.

  211. 211
    Bill Murray says:

    Wambach blows the great ball from O’Reilly

  212. 212
    Bill Murray says:

    Good red from the Japan defender

  213. 213
    Brian R. says:

    Red card! Wow

  214. 214
    Corner Stone says:

    Flop.

  215. 215
    Randinho says:

    A deserved red card.

  216. 216
    HumboldtBlue says:

    wwow

  217. 217
    Comrade Luke says:

    If there’s any such thing as a “good red card”, that was it.

  218. 218
    Corner Stone says:

    Alex Morgan just wants this more than everyone else combined.

  219. 219
    Martin says:

    Wow! Great call. Hair’s breath to a penalty kick.

  220. 220
    Hawes says:

    Gotta win it here.

  221. 221
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: Bullshit

  222. 222
    Martin says:

    That was a really nice setup. Shame it didn’t work.

  223. 223
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: She sold it, but Japan had to take her out.
    Don’t kid yourself.

  224. 224
    JenJen says:

    All good will and intentions to Hope Solo. COME ON USA!

  225. 225
    SRW1 says:

    Man, this is going to be an epic classic a la the Italy – Germany 4:3 in 1970.

    Now, who’s gonna be Italy?

  226. 226
    middlewest says:

    Oh god Hope Solo looking shaky

  227. 227
    Yutsano says:

    @JenJen: Did anyone think Japan was just going to roll over and play dead here?

  228. 228
    Comrade Luke says:

    Great game. Shame it comes down to this.

  229. 229
    shirk says:

    Who takes Rapinoe’s place in the PK lineup?

  230. 230
    Davo says:

    Hope’s got this for us..

  231. 231
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: Selling it isn’t flopping. She was tackled nice and hard, it put her down, and she stayed down longer than she needed to.

  232. 232
    burnspbesq says:

    Japan is down to 10. What happens if the shootout goes 11 rounds?

  233. 233
    John O says:

    Soccer would be better without PK’s.

    Endurance and mental toughness are taken out of play.

  234. 234
    Hawes says:

    Boxx=LVP

    I’m letting Lloyd off the hook.

  235. 235
    Bill Murray says:

    Japan is down to 10. What happens if the shootout goes 11 rounds?

    They start over at their #1. Boxx misses her first one just like before.

  236. 236
    burnspbesq says:

    Poor PK by Boxx.

  237. 237
    Martin says:

    Bad start…

  238. 238
    Corner Stone says:

    This is gonna be something.

  239. 239
    Randinho says:

    I don’t have a good feeling about this . . .

    Lloyd Baggioed it.

  240. 240
    Comrade Luke says:

    Boxx & Lloyd fuck up. Who could have guessed?

  241. 241
    Hawes says:

    Congrats Japan.

    Well earned.

    I jinxed it again, didn’t I.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    Oooookay

  243. 243
    Bill Murray says:

    I don’t think the US can overcome this bad shooting

  244. 244
    middlewest says:

    USA falling to pieces, damn.

  245. 245
    shirk says:

    @Randinho: you said it…

  246. 246
    Comrade Luke says:

    Unbelievable

  247. 247
    Randinho says:

    0-3 dreadful

  248. 248
    Hawes says:

    Wow, fail sandwich.

  249. 249
    Corner Stone says:

    Man.

  250. 250
    burnspbesq says:

    Unreal.

  251. 251
    MikeJ says:

    As a supporter of England I’m used to outcomes like this.

  252. 252
    Patrick says:

    We choked up 1-0, choked up 2-0, and now we can’t hit the penalty kicks. Pressure undid us.

  253. 253
    Bill Murray says:

    Solo with a piece of it but can’t keep it out. Uff da

  254. 254
    Corner Stone says:

    Ugly.

  255. 255
    stuckinred says:

    sayonara

  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    Nice pace, good strike.

  257. 257
    PanAmerican says:

    Well shit

  258. 258
    JenJen says:

    Congratulations, Japan. Pffffffft. I’m still so proud of you, USA Women’s National Team.

    :-(

  259. 259
    Martin says:

    Well earned, Japan. Not giving up is how we got to the finals.

  260. 260
    Hawes says:

    I feel terrible for Abby Wambach. She should have had a World Cup to her name.

  261. 261
    Comrade Luke says:

    Terrible way to lose, but when you give a team that many chances to stay in it you have no one to blame but yourselves.

  262. 262
    stuckinred says:

    JenJen

    Hell yes

  263. 263
    shirk says:

    Oh. My. God.

    Congratulations, Japan. Well deserved. What a final.

  264. 264
    burnspbesq says:

    And the missed chances in the first 30 minutes come back to haunt us.

  265. 265
    Hawes says:

    Now we know what Brazil and France feel like…

  266. 266
    Patrick says:

    Congrats to Japan :) The USA got to the final by playing 10 minutes of brilliant football per game, and in this game they played brilliantly except for 10 minutes…

  267. 267
    Corner Stone says:

    It just breaks your heart.

  268. 268
    Violet says:

    Well done, Japan. They’ve had a pretty awful year as a country. Nice they have something like this that is so positive.

    Can I just say I hate penalty shoot outs. I always feel so bad for the keepers in that role. Just sucky all the way around.

  269. 269
    Randinho says:

    Every time I have watched a pk shootout, I have always felt that the pressure is not on the goalkeeper, but the penalty taker. Nothing has exemplified this more than this shootout.

  270. 270
    burnspbesq says:

    Three fucking posts.

  271. 271
    Patrick says:

    @Hawes: She had the ball 3 yards out and hit it over the bar…it will haunt her. But she has 2 gold medals I believe, which is just as good in Woman’s Soccer.

  272. 272
    Hawes says:

    Why didn’t Sundhagen sub in Sauerbraun?

    Let the second guessing begin!

  273. 273
    lol chikinburd says:

    Absolutely a Hollywood ending (and one in which the USA were not the protagonists). Well done, Japan.

  274. 274
    Corner Stone says:

    Is Sundhage drunk? Or just a Viking?

  275. 275
    Violet says:

    @Randinho:
    It’s on both, I’d think. Still hate them, no matter where the pressure is.

    I heard a suggestion somewhere of playing X amount of extra time with the full team. If score is still tied, each side removes ones player, then play X more time. If still tied, remove one player again, etc. Eventually someone will score.

  276. 276
    Hawes says:

    Why are there a bunch of flight attendants on the field?

  277. 277
    Linkmeister says:

    PKs are annoying. It’s like deciding the winner of a baseball game with a home run derby if they’re tied after nine innings.

  278. 278
    Corner Stone says:

    Wombach is a better man than I am. Standing on her feet and taking those inane batshit questions.
    Fuck that.

  279. 279
    Hawes says:

    And – on cue – the “Pressure Makes Us” ad comes on and makes a mockery of the previous thirty minutes…

  280. 280
    Randinho says:

    I’m not sold on that Violet.

    It’s worth noting in the 1938 WC quarterfinals Brazil and Czechoslovakia played to a tie. The entire game was played again a few days later.

    Blame it on television.

  281. 281
    Comrade Luke says:

    Right after Wambauch intimates that they pressure of the stage had a part in everything we see a Pressure Makes Us ad from Nike.

  282. 282
    burnspbesq says:

    The US is the defending Olympic champion. Are they in automatically, or do they have to qualify?

  283. 283
    Randinho says:

    As France and Sweden made it in by getting to the semis, I’m sure the USA is in as well.

  284. 284
    burnspbesq says:

    @Hawes:

    Because Emirates is a presenting sponsor?

  285. 285
    Spiffy McBang says:

    @Hawes: Wambach absolutely should have a WC to her name. But she’s from Rochester, so maybe the Buffalo Sports Curse has some reach. :\

  286. 286
    Patrick says:

    @Hawes: I thought the same thing. 3 chokes is a bad lead up to that commercial.

  287. 287
    Randinho says:

    And in the Copa America Elano Baggioed the first pk for Brazil.

  288. 288
    Corner Stone says:

    Don’t center the rock under pressure.

  289. 289
    Randinho says:

    Brazil has failed on both pk’s and Paraguay missed their first.

  290. 290
    Patrick says:

    Stupidity by ESPN as usual. Can’t just let something be its own. Here is the tale of the tape:

    1980 USA vs. Russia: Under 22 amateurs vs. professional all stars.

    2011 WWC: #1 vs. #4 ranked teams.

  291. 291
    Randinho says:

    Andre Santos Baggioed his attempt as well.

  292. 292
    Randinho says:

    Paraguay 2 Brazil 0 in pk’s so far.

  293. 293
    sb says:

    As good a sporting event as I have ever seen. Remarkable.

  294. 294
    Randinho says:

    Brazil misses 4 penalties. Paraguay on to the semifinal, Brazil goes home.

    Puta que pariu!

    I feel even more vindicated by my position on where the pressure is.

  295. 295
    JenJen says:

    @Randinho Paraguay to the semi’s!! ACABOOOOOOOO!!

  296. 296
    Corner Stone says:

    “Pressure Makes Us”

    Someone should have the God given decency to kill those commercials.

  297. 297
    Patrick says:

    @Randinho: I think everyone agrees, the keeper is not supposed to save any. Pressure on the shooter. Which is why it was strange to let Tobin Heath take the 3rd PK. She was barely in the game and think of all the Americans who never had a shot at a PK: O’Reilly, Morgan, Krieger, etc.

  298. 298
    Patrick says:

    The idea that the US Women’s team would miss 3 PKs and the Brazil Men’s team would miss 4 PKs, is unfathomable.

  299. 299
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    I blame Pia Sundhage for not using the bully pulpit

  300. 300
    Corner Stone says:

    There was zero pace on that kick by Tobin Heath. Not sure she knew where she was going with it.

  301. 301
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t get why Heath was even in the list. She was barely in the game.

  302. 302
    SRW1 says:

    Randinho

    There’s a quota for the continental federations, which in the case of UEFA meant that only two teams plus England as the host country would qualify. So, while it wasn’t directly tied to reaching the semi finals, I can’t quite see who could rank above the US from CONCACAF.

  303. 303
    Violet says:

    @Randinho:
    To each his own. I’m not a fan of the penalty kick shoot out match decider. Some people think it’s fine. I don’t think there’s a right answer, really. It’s just what people prefer. I like the Golden Goal solution better than playing complete periods. Some people don’t.

  304. 304
    shirk says:

    @Randinho: What’s your opinion of the idea that number of corner kicks should be the tie-breaker at the end of extra time?

  305. 305
    Bill Murray says:

    SRW1, technically Canada won CONCACAF WC qualifying

  306. 306
    JenJen says:

    @Patrick, #297

    The idea that the US Women’s team would miss 3 PKs and the Brazil Men’s team would miss 4 PKs, is unfathomable.

    I know, right? I’m still sitting here, stunned.

  307. 307
    SRW1 says:

    Randinho

    Bill Murray

    Wki is your friend:

    The 2012 CONCACAF Women Pre-Olympic Tournament will be an association football procedure to determine the two participants at the 2012 Summer Olympics. It will be held at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada between January 19 and 29, 2012.

  308. 308
    Peter J says:

    @Randinho:

    As France and Sweden made it in by getting to the semis, I’m sure the USA is in as well.

    The World Cup acts as a qualifier for UEFA.

    The qualifier for CONCACAF will be the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Pre-Olympic Tournament held between between January 19 and 29, 2012.

    Edit: 1 minute too late… :( ;)

  309. 309
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Luke: Just an awful kick in real time, and replay is not giving her the better end of this.

  310. 310
    aretino says:

    UEFA uses the Women’s World Cup to determine Olympic Women’s qualifiers because there isn’t enough time for a separate qualifying process. There is already a packed schedule of qualification for the European Women’s Championship in 2013.

    CONCACAF has a Olympic qualifying process which culminates in a tournament in Vancouver, Canada this winter. The top two qualify. Considering that the United States took third place in CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying, nothing is guaranteed.

  311. 311
    Comrade Luke says:

    Can they make the defender that got the red card the MVP of the game?

  312. 312
    SRW1 says:

    Comrade Luke

    Don’t know. But she would not have ‘deserved’ it half as much as that Suarez guy in the WC210 quarterfinal between Uruguay and Ghana.

  313. 313
    Mark Field says:

    They should. Best red card I’ve ever seen.

  314. 314
    Bill Murray says:

    US had 27 shots but only 5 on goal. Japan had 14 shots and 6 on goal.

  315. 315
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Bill Murray:

    Trying to figure out if the tactics at the beginning of the game were due to the players or the pre-game scouting. It sure seemed like there was a lot of individualism going on, where they were willing to take low percentage shots versus looking to pass.

    There were more than one short-side shots, which leads me to believe it was a scouting thing, but who knows if we’ll ever know for sure.

  316. 316
    MikeB says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw this coming after the insane hyping
    of the Brazil win. I’m sure that the US women are NOT overconfident
    blowhards, but the flag waving US media and commercial interests
    spent days goading them into looking that way, and as some have noted
    above, the “Pressure” commercial was the ultimate irony.

    I only saw the overtime periods, and I understand that the US missed
    some good opportunities in regulation time, but I thought Japan looked
    like the better team in OT and was actually surprised when the US
    scored, and was not surprised at the final result.

    Quiet confidence is a valuable attribute. I doubt that Japan’s media
    was guaranteeing a Japanese win after the semis.

    PK’s vs Golden Goals? Soccer is a low scoring game of attrition that
    doesn’t seem to lend itself to an elegant tie game solution. Maybe
    in finals like this they should play more games until someone wins on aggregate,
    a game every other day, I’d enjoy that : )

  317. 317
    Comrade Luke says:

    @MikeB:

    I think Rapinoe and Solo are blowhards, but the rest of the team seems very humble, certainly more than any other US team that is a favorite in their sport.

    And I tend to give Solo a pass because she’s a keeper. They’re a different breed.

  318. 318
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    games like this is why God invented booze.

  319. 319
    JCT says:

    Sigh.

    Thanks for keeping me up guys- I wasn’t the only one tapping on my iPhone when the wheels touched down.

    Connection delay so I’m watching the coverage with a huge beer.

    At least it was Japan, they needed this.

  320. 320
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    espn d-bag asked Hope Solo, “I can see the emotion in our eyes (decoded: you look like ya gonna cry), how do you feel”, and then the camera zoomed in for a close-p.

    To her credit, she didn’t fall apart.

  321. 321
    4jkb4ia says:

    The USA came out on the wrong end of a great story. The principal reason to want them to win was Abby Wambach, who has accomplished everything else.

  322. 322
    Paula says:

    I’m sad, but it was clearly a tremendous match for both sides. The USWNT improved on almost everything people were telling them to improve. Japan had to be perfect and they were. Solo was hurt, which cost the team psychologically but can’t really be blamed on anyone.

    I am proud of this team. And delighted by all the athletes who’ve basically shown up the Men’s World Cup in every possible way.

    The only the thing I hate right now is that f*&*^%%$%$@#g crossbar.

  323. 323
    PanAmerican says:

    The Japanese certainly could have won it in 90 minutes if not for a lousy offside call. But then we would have missed Sawa’s goal. Check out the reverse angel replay – it was a backheel that glanced off Abby. One of the most amazing shots in World Cup history – men or women.

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