As some of you may know, this week marks the beginning of the 2011 FIFA women's world cup. The majority of people in the world could not care less about this event. The goes doubly for America where soccer is considered a sport for fairies. These facts aside, the women's world cup is still a major event. The first women's world cup was held in 1995, when i was still too young to understand or care. Four years later, however, I had established soccer as my favorite sport and I was fascinated by the idea of professional women's soccer.
I still have a poster I bought at an elementary book fair of the 1999 women's soccer team after they won their second world cup. There's obviously Mia Hamm, probably the most famous female soccer player in the entire world. She was immensly talented, an amazing leader, and according to many interviews; completely insane. (it seems she was one of those throws-chairs-if-we-lose type of leaders).
There was Briana Scurry, the goal keeper. Not only did Scurry play pro soccer but she was also took time off from that to play pro basketball. Ridiculous. The US won the 1999 world cup in a final round of PK's which basically means it is completely up to the goalie to save the team's ass. And she did just that.
Right in the middle of the poster is a picture of Kristine Lily. You guys probably have no idea who this is but she is probably the most impressive person on the poster. Lily played in four world cups before retiring. That means that, until this year, she had participated in every single women's world cup in history. That is 20 years of consistency
I used to stare at these women every night before I went to sleep with awe. They were my heros and I was pretty sure they were the most badass women in history. The fact that not a single one of them is on this year's team almost doesn't make sense in my mind. They are women's soccer. What we have now are new heros in their place.
Abby Wambach, the US' current leading forward is one of those new heros. She is their leading scorer, team captain and has a scary butch hair cut that shows that she means business. Wambach's latest quote about the cup? "Excuses are for losers. We should win this tournament". Baller.
Lauren Cheney is a newer forward who has been on and off the starting line up but proved herself this morning by scoring the first world cup goal for the US off a header against North Korea.
Hope Solo is also on her way to legend. If her name wasn't enough to make her a badass, she is inching closer and closer to Scurry's level of skill in the goal. North Korea put multiple, quality shots on goal today and Solo made all of them non-factors.
I guess this means i should start looking for a new posters. Too bad I never go to book fairs anymore. i do have one major regret about this tournament and that is that Natasha Kai is not on the team. Natasha Kai is not only amazing at soccer and Hawaiian, but she is also covered in the sweetest tattoos I've ever seen. Unfortunately Kai had shoulder surgery in 2009 and is still not fully recovered. I'll just cut out a picture and tape it to the poster I buy.
My girlfriend Natasha
The US women's team plays Colombia next on July 2nd at 10:30 am, and after that Sweden on July 6th at 1:30 pm. I would like to encourage all of you to watch these matches.