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American Women Make Us All Proud!

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I will admit, that I am a moderate soccer fan, at best.  I have also been known to be very critical of women’s athletics.

However, I am a relatively patriotic guy, and I do like events like the World Cup, and the Olympics.

I have been watching sports, intensely, for over 30 years.  It is important to me, and many of my best memories in life are sports related.  I just never thought one of those “once in a lifetime” moments would come while watching a women’s soccer match.

I guess you just never know.

On Sunday, the American women overcame a lot more than just the Brazilians, and in so doing, showed all of us what the true fighting American spirit is all about.

It was about the most one-sided game I’ve ever seen, as far as the refs go.  A horrible call gave Brazil the equalizing goal at 1-1 on a penalty kick, and at the same time put the Americans down a player because of a red card.  The Americans fought on, playing 10 against 11.

But, very late in the match, the Brazilian striker, Marta, scored again, putting Brazil up 2-1.  Replays showed that the play was clearly offside – the goal should not have counted.  The referee missed that call, too, though, and it looked like the American dream was over.

But with just seconds left in extra time, Megan Rapinoe began making a run up the left side – it was literally the Americans last chance.  She sent a pass into the goal area, where Brazil had two defenders and their goalkeeper.  But at the far post, was American veteran Abby Wambach.  Rapinoe’s pass found it’s way over all three Brazilians, and they watch helplessly, as Wambach headed the ball into the back of the net for the equalizer!  Now it’s 2-2, and we’re headed for a shoot-out.

The entire Brazilian team dropped to their knees when Wambach scored, perhaps knowing that their fate was all but sealed, now.

The Americans made all five of their penalty kicks.  When Rachel Buehler scored the last one, the impossible comeback was complete.  The U.S. won the shootout 5-3, and are now moving on to play France, in the semi-finals on Wednesday, 10:30am CST.

Yeah, a soccer game made me cry, so what!?  They were good, victorious, patriotic, tears.  And if I can cry after two more wins – our gals will be World Cup Champions.  That would be OK with me.

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