Last year, I was on South Africa time for a month during the World Cup. This year, it's Germany. My Nigerian ladies were eliminated during the Group phase. Sigh. I just finished watching the Germany v Japan quaterfinal match of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011. Japan pulled the upset and eliminated Germany (1-0), the defending champions and the host country. It was a great game! Japan was the underdog coming in and they played hard. This was after France and England played to penalty kicks (and England's squad was peppered with hobbled players)! France missed their first PK and I didn't know how it was going to play out. I stood the entire time. But then England missed a PK and,well, France didn't. This sets up a pretty interesting semi-finals.
Tomorrow morning it's USA vs Brazil for breakfast.
I'm not a fan per se of Men's USA team. It always seemed to work out that they'd be playing a team I was a fan of (Brazil, Italy, Argentina etc.). But the Women's team? Yeah, I'm behind those ladies. I'm from the era of the World Champion 1999 team. At the time, I was 18, in college, my life revolved around sports, health, fitness and it was great to have women athletes on a world stage to watch and root for. Inspiration. I remember all the buzz around Brandi Chastain's sports bra revealing celebration (plus the nude photos of the team and other female athletes at the time solidifying my belief that strong, hard bodies are sexy). I had a girl crush on Mia Hamm and at the time, when I'd watch Briana Scurry, my left thumb would still "act up" from an injury I sustained playing goalie a few years prior. The next year, they played to the Silver medal in the Olympics.
Tomorrow's game is going to be a good one. Not sure who to root for. I won't be surprised if the Samba Ladies win. I won't be surprised if the US wins. I won't be surprised if it's yet another game that goes into extra time or even penalty kicks. The jinx on Abby Wambach seems to have been broken. Hope Solo is focused to defend the net. I cut my fingernails today. There won't be much to bite.
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