On Monday, August 6, the United States women's soccer team beat Canada 4-3 to earn a trip to the 2012 London Olympics gold-medal game. Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal with just seconds remaining in the second overtime period.
Here are three thoughts on the match:
North American first-division league needed
Soccer gets a bad rap in the United States, but it's even worse with the women's game. Two first-division North American leagues have folded in the past decade, which has placed the future of women's soccer in question in both the U.S. and Canada. This match proved that both the Americans and Canadians have elite players who deserve to have a top-flight league to call home. Hopefully, some investors with deep pockets watched this match and takes the initiative to build a league where women's soccer can continue to develop in North America.
Props to Canada
The U.S. women have had Canada's number for over a decade, but there were more than a few moments in this match where I thought our northern neighbors were going to win. The Canadians deserve credit for giving the world's No. 1 ranked team all it could handle for over two hours on Monday. They fought like champions and proved that they should be mentioned as one of the world's best women's squads.
I know that the Canadians feel robbed after the referee made a rather dubious handball call late in the match, but they still earned the respect of fans all over the world. I hope they take home the bronze medal.
The will to win
There's something special about the U.S. women's team. I'm not sure if the Americans are as talented as the team that won the 1999 Women's World Cup, but they have just as much character and heart. The U.S. proved it throughout the 2011 Women's World Cup, and they did it again by coming back three times against Canada. They simply refused to be beaten, even as Christine Sinclair torched the American back line for three goals. I'm not sure if the U.S. will beat Japan in Thursday's gold medal match, but the one thing I do know is that the American women will never give up.