USA Soccer Goes for World Cup Title vs. Japan

Abby Wambach ties the game in the final minutes against Brazil.

Today is the day. The USA Women’s Soccer team will take on Japan today at 2:00pm on ESPN to try to return the World Cup title to the United States for the first time since 1999. The team has reached the final after entering the tournament as one of the favorites but after nearly being bumped out by an upstart Brazil squad two games ago. That game was saved by an improbable goal on a header by USA veteran Abby Wambach with only minutes left in the match. The USA won that game in a shootout as Goalie Hope Solo was successful in stopping a Brazil goal as the United States responded by making all of theirs. The amazing victory occurred perhaps fittingly on the anniversary of the team’s last World Cup title victory in 1999. The win propelled the girls into a semifinal match with France which resulted in a 3-1 victory.

Hope Solo records a save against Brazil to help propel the USA to victory.

The run by the USA has set them up with a matchup against a team that has never in history advanced this far. Japan is making their World Cup Final debut and they are playing for a lot more than notoriety. Japan has become the sentimental favorite in light of the devastating tsunami and earthquake that ravaged the country earlier this year. Many members of the team were directly affected by the disaster and they are playing for their country and their families. The meteoric rise by the team has been a welcomed distraction for many Japanese citizens and they seem happy to have something to root for as they continue to rebuild their homeland. The Japanese team has become a unifying factor for a country that so desperately needed it.

The question is, can the USA team do the same for their country? In recent years, amidst a financial crisis and political turmoil, the United States has seemed more and more divided every day. Major news outlets spew their agendas about issues to the point where constructive conversation is nothing more than me  regurgitating what MSNBC said while you regurgitate what FOX News said. Progress in this country seems farther away everyday because there is no unity. Both sides are so afraid of the other being wrong that they allow nothing at all to happen and do nothing is never the solution to any problem.

The USA Women's Soccer team will look to return the World Cup to the US for the first time in 12 years.

So perhaps the USA Women’s Soccer team has a little more on their shoulders than winning a World Cup. Maybe they can be the reminder that Americans need that we can accomplish anything if we work together and that does not have to merely be a line that politicians throw in their speeches. The USA Women’s Soccer team’s perseverance to this point has been a fantastic display of the American Spirit and maybe after they are through with the World Cup, the rest of us Americans, especially the ones in Washington, can start showing that American Spirit as well.

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