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The Higher You Fly, the Harder You Fall

Sunday, July 17, 2011, 22:33 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

After the World Cup finalI haven’t blogged about the success of Team USA at the women’s World Cup because, sadly, my American readers probably weren’t following it and my international readers were rooting for their own teams. But I have to take a minute to say that this afternoon’s final was a great big downer.

The Americans made many scoring opportunities for themselves and twice led Japan, but twice Japan tied it up, the first time late in regulation time and then again in extra time. Japan’s goalkeeper really was the difference, especially when the match went to penalty kicks. Anything can happen with PKs, but I was completely unprepared for Carli Lloyd to kick her shot high over the net. Even she couldn’t believe what she had done. It really isn’t fair to single her out for blame—two other kickers saw their shots stopped, and a hurt Hope Solo was porous in USA’s net—but Lloyd’s shank was the point at which I figured a win wasn’t in the cards.

Getting this far and losing is bad enough, but to have the lead (did I mention we led twice?) and the high that comes from that, only collapse at the end, is salt in the wound. It would almost have been easier if they’d just lost in timed play.

And who knows how long it will be before we’re back in the final? The last time was 1999; I watched the dramatic victory while sitting in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport awaiting my flight home from a business trip. That was 12 years ago, which isn’t a long time until you consider that in another 12 years, I’ll be 59. Ouch.

Update 07/18/2011 11:15: Blogger Bryan Preston says it’s the fault of President Obama’s kiss of death.

Update 07/18/2011 15:28: Photo added.

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