Monday, July 18, 2011

What a Match

Team USA midfielder Carli Lloyd goes up against a player from Japan in the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup final in Germany yesterday. Just looking at them makes my knees hurt.

Team USA, you should be proud of yourselves. It was a fight to the very end, alas Japan took the victory, which is pretty amazing if you think about it. They were the shortest team in the tournament (which explains why USA kept attempting those mega-high goals) and they come from a country where only about 24,000+ women play the sport. Meanwhile, in the United States soccer is the most popular women’s sport. Heck, my daughter could play in a league at age three! So for the Japanese women to win the World Cup championship in a sport where there's not a lot of backing, well, that's quite an achievement.
Teammates Alex Morgan (left) and Abby Wambach celebrate a goal during yesterday's game.

So, congrats Japan. Well done. And to the USA team, you kicked ass, ladies. We're proud of you.

I love that throughout homes and sports bars across the country, heck, the world, soccer fans sat riveted. And not even soccer fans, just folks cheering on their home team in general.

Sporting events like the Women's World Cup bring us together and give hope to young girls, throughout the world, that they can do anything.

My kids had a swim lesson while the game was underway, but I had a moment to duck into the workout facility at our swim club to see the game’s progress. The young woman working the desk was quite excited about the match, since, at the time, the USA was leading 2 – 1. Sports can certainly create a connection among many.

On another sports/fitness note, what is "planking?" Is it an extreme form of yoga or pilates? Is it good or bad for you? From images I’ve seen, it involves contorting your body in a position I used to do as a kid, and my six-year can do very well, but I don’t think this 38-year old should attempt it. Lately, I've heard mention of it on Facebook and other blogs, but I don't get a sense of what it is, so, if you know, please share.

Happy Monday, friends!
Images from and


vir beātum said...

It was a good game. The US should have been more clinical in front of goal. They might have scored ten, and Japan never had a clear-cut chance of their own making until extra time. From that point of view, it was the wrong result, especially as the Japanese defence was really terribly organised. Maybe the US played a bit too beautifully, when route 1 would have paid dividends. Not sure if this kind of result is good for the sport, ultimately. Entertaining, yes, but frustrating from a footballing purist point of view.

As for 'planking', it is about lying down in weird places and having people photograph you. It is stupid and pointless. It certainly won't get you fit, but there are possibilities for being arrested or injured.


JMW said...

Vir, good points about the game. I am far from a footballing purist - just happy to see our team make it to the finals and love seeing young girls excited about sports, when all-too-often coverage of our sports is secondary.

That's planking?? Dumb.

vir beātum said...

Exposure for women's sport was certainly the winner. And by the way, the spirit and sports(wo)manship on display yesterday far exceeded anything you'll ever see in the men's game.

Renée Finberg said...

after today...
i could use a good 'planking!'
today was tough and i am especially sore in my neck.

if only i could contort my body again...
those were the days.


paula said...

they did play a good game.

Planking does sound quite odd. ha.

Ella said...

Have followed this World cup and seen many matches and I agree with you the Team USA should bee really proud. And as a Swedish woman I'm also proud of the Swedish Team who came on the third place but also because I've always been a big fan of Pia Sundhage. She was a really good player when I was young.

About Last Weekend said...

Great to see woman sportsplayers get the audiences they deserve! Planking...can't help you but sounds not much pirating fun...