Perhaps you are already a diehard soccer (or fútbol) fan, and are watching this tournament as we speak. Maybe like many Americans, you find soccer to be monotonous, slow and anti-climactic, and are sad that hockey, football and basketball seasons are over. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you should give the women’s World Cup tournament a chance. I have been following it since the first game in early June, and there’s plenty to get excited about…especially if you’re a fan of Team USA. I will speak as an American and a Team USA fan, but I have been impressed with nearly every team I’ve seen play, in on way or another. As a lifetime sports fan and fanatic, it has kept me hooked, and there are 3 reasons why you just might like it as well:
- They’re really good-Overall, our team this year is solid, and the team is stacked with talent from the goaltender right on up to the strikers. They are capable of creating exciting and dynamic plays and goal scoring opportunities, and they have converted on many already in this tournament. There isn’t much downtime in any game I’ve seen where some exciting play doesn’t present itself. Team USA has also never lost a World Cup match when they score first…and they have not been behind yet in this tournament.
- Impressive grit, integrity and sportsmanship-One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed so far between the Men’s game and the Women’s game is that the women seem to be tougher, both mentally and physically. Yes, you read that right. In almost every men’s match, you will witness someone rolling around on the ground like a dying animal, or a fall after being slightly touched by a defender that would win an Oscar award. You simply don’t see that in the women’s game. It’s incredible! They suck it up, work through the pain and frustration, and simply keep playing on. Even when there is a legitimate penalty, they don’t try to embellish. They seem to play the game with more honor. That, to me, is worth celebrating and supporting.
- They’ve worked hard to earn our support-I enjoy watching any sport with athletes competing well at the highest level. That is impressive to me, and when they leave it all on the field consistently, that will keep me supporting them, win or lose. I want to see bloody knees and elbows. I want to see effort, will, and desire. I want to see someone sacrificing their body to keep the ball in play, or taking a big hit in exchange for a perfect pass. That is honor in sports. The American (and other!) women’s team have done that this year. They are a great squad, and as athletes and professionals, they deserve our support and viewership.
I hope you give them a change. I think you’ll be as impressed as I am.
The next Team USA game is the quarterfinals against the host France. It is this Friday, June 28 at 3pm (EST)