Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.
A brief history…
Soccer has always been “the beautiful game”. It’s the most popular sport in the world – outside of the United States. That’s why it was such a big deal when the Men’s National Team qualified for the World Cup Finals in 1990. It was the first time we’d made the tournament in 40 years, and it started increasing the visibility for the sport in the US. It gained even more attention when the U.S. hosted the cup in 1994. I remember classmates of mine going out to the Pontiac Silverdome, (the one Detroit sports stadium that refused to be destroyed. At least at first) to watch games.
Since then the men’s national team performance on the greatest world stage of soccer has been anything less than impressive. That’s why I’m not going to waste much more time even paying them any attention. Did I forget to mention that they didn’t even qualify for the last World Cup? Oh I didn’t? Well now I did.
Anything You Can Be, I Can Be Greater
So to those of you that are familiar with our site it should come as no surprise that I have been filling my sports-less void with re-airings of old USWNT games. For those of you who may be new, let me introduce myself…
My name is Katie and I am a USWNT-aholic. There are probably at least a half dozen pieces collected on this site that I have devoted to writing about them. So, today I thought it only appropriate that I fill this void by re-visiting the tournament, and more specifically the game that first fueled my love, or obsession as some would call it, with these amazing groups of women. I present to you…
The 1999 Women’s World Cup.
I’m not going to go super deep into game analysis here. Because for the 90 minutes of regulation it was essentially a defensive battle between two world powerhouses. There was a splattering of narrow misses off of set pieces that were few and far between.
The thrill came when the stakes were raised as they headed into extra time and “golden goal” territory.
China almost won it in the 99th minute, had it not been for the glorious forehead of Kristine Lilly that stood between the ball and the back of the net. After a few missed passes and opportunities in the second 15 minutes of extra time by the USA, the game was still tied at 0 and headed to penalty kicks.
While decisive, PK’s can also be, derisive. It comes down to who in that instant is better in a one on one situation, where one of those people is at a massive advantage over the other. But after running around a soccer pitch on a hot summer day in Southern California for over 2 hours with few breaks, I’m sure there was as much relief as well as nerves among the first five players chosen to take the kicks that it would soon be over. And that a winner would soon be declared.
In the span of about 10 minutes, Briana Scurry would make a humongous save (even if she came off her line a little early. But what keeper doesn’t?). And the confidence of Brandi Chastain to say yes to Tony DiCicco when he asked her to take a shot with her left eventually immortalized her (and the sports bra) in American sports legend.
Sooner or Later, I’m Greater Than You
Remember how I said I wasn’t going to talk about the men’s team much more? I’m still not. The only reason I bring them up again is to rub it in their face that they have never won a World Cup. In fact, they’ve never made it past the quarterfinals since their re-introduction to the tournament in 1990. The women have WON 4. All those stars above the US Soccer Crest on their jerseys? They were earned by the women. In the soccer world, it is the women who are acknowledged as the perennial powerhouses. And since US Soccer still doesn’t want to give them their fair share I think it’s left up to us to do so. When and where else do women get to brag so openly about their accomplishments?
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