The U.S. recently lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup Finals to end a tight run for the men but now it’s the Ladies turn!
They opened with a sweet 2-0 win over North Korea in the first round. Lauren Cheney was a star, scoring her 14th goal for the National Team. They play Columbia (reeling from a loss to Sweden) on Saturday.
But lets take a look at some of the stars.
Shannon Boxx is a 34-year-old veteran of previous World Cups with 22 international goals. She is the seasoned leader of a strong group of youngsters like Kelley O Hara who also has some international play at age 23.
Hope Solo of the Boca Raton magicJack is slated to stay in goal if she can remain injury free, which has been a problem for her recently. Abby Wambach is a strong forward playing in her 3rd World Cup and she has strong support from defender Christine Rampone, the team captain who is sure to enjoy her 4th World Cup appearance.
Legendary Swedish player Pia Sundhage is coaching these ladies and she has a wealth of experience to draw from. In a 22-year international career she had 146 appearances, scored 71 goals and once scored the game winning penalty kick against England in 1984 to give Sweden its only European title. As she transitioned into coaching she was considered a front-runner to be the coach of Sweden’s Men’s National Team.
Women’s soccer at this level is just darned exciting. The U.S. needs a win as badly as Columbia. The U.S. Women’s Olympic team made players like Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers household names. We’re sure going to be watching some soccer this weekend and we can’t wait to see which superstars emerge from this crop of strikers!