August 10th, 2012

stock: cow didn't quite

fabulous ladies doing fabulous things win fabulous medals

Destiny is Ruthless
How do you explain the U.S. Women's National Team and their gold-medal performance?
by Brian Phillips

On Thursday, at around 10 p.m. in London, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard, and permanent high noon on the clock in Abby Wambach's head, the U.S. Women's National Team beat Japan 2-1 to win their third straight Olympic gold medal. Which, when you write it down like that, almost sounds like it makes sense. Like: There was a schedule, and things happened according to that schedule. Like: U.S. coach Pia Sundhage had a plan, and the team executed that plan. Effort was invested; results were obtained. Tournament-mandated sideline vests were sported. Business as usual. Move along.

In fact, though, the win over Japan culminates an Olympics — really a full year of international competition, maybe more — during which the defining characteristic of the U.S. women's soccer team was how completely, boundlessly, ostentatiously crazy everything that happened to them has been. I mean, in the Hope Solo era, every training camp is going be a self-contained maelstrom of minor drama, but what's really astonishing is the team's penchant for on-pitch chaos. Every time they take the field in a big match, Arkham Asylum breaks out.

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source and rest of the article here

I enjoyed this article, though I disagreed with its conclusion and some of its major points: 1) I don't think Solo is that dramatic in camp (any more) and 2) the US can play really lovely, technically minded soccer. Last year's World Cup final is proof of that. They still lost.

But this is just a good excuse for a party post. USA USA! (But feel free to post/share/spam your favorite moments and players from the rest of the women's teams as well.)

Pinoe thanks you for your time.

Nadeshiko Japan win hearts in defeat

Japanese soccer fans began their Friday bleary-eyed, many having shed tears but most philosophical, after they were beaten 2-1 by the United States in the women’s Olympic soccer final in London.

As hundreds of supporters wearing Japan soccer shirts, faces still painted in national red and white, rolled out of bars around 6 a.m. local time, an impromptu party broke out on Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya “scramble” crossroads.

“Gold, silver - it doesn’t matter. Japan were the best team,” 32-year-old chef Kensuke Arai told Reuters as revelers danced in front of police and early commuters.

Nadeshiko Japan embodied the iron-willed spirit of a nation battling to recover from disaster as they won last year’s World Cup.

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So proud of the ladies ;~;