Will the USWNT party like it’s 1999?
The U.S. Women’s National team won the World Cup against China in 1999 on American soil. The two squads have not met in a World Cup match since then. Fast forward 16 years, the USWNT is ranked 2nd in the world and China is ranked 16th. The two will meet again on Friday night for a chance to go to the semifinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. The only thought running through American minds is, come Friday night… will we party like it’s 1999.
Everyone remembers that shot of Brandi Chastain ripping off her white USA jersey and showing off the sports bra in celebration after hitting the World Cup winning penalty kick on the last kick of the 1999 World Cup. The U.S. and China battled through regulation and overtime to a nil-nil draw. The World Cup was coming down to penalty kicks from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. For those of you too young to remember this moment, or those who may have forgot, let’s relive what is probably the single greatest moment in U.S. Women’s Soccer history (so far)…
This video actually gave me chills reliving that moment on U.S. soil from the Rose Bowl. You could not write a better ending to a story. Briana Scurry made all the plays in regulation against a China team that swept group play, beat Russia 2-0 and Norway 5-0 in route to the finals. Scurry also made a key stop in penalty kicks that left the door open for Chastain to win it all with the final quick. This match and result helped put not only Women’s soccer on the U.S. map, but American soccer on the world map. It made Mia Hamm a household name. And it gave us a historical moment that provided a historical image that is still talked about today. It gave American boys and girls a reason to want to get out and kick around a soccer ball. Most likely even a young Alex Morgan who had just celebrated her 10th birthday the week before. The kick, the moment, the image that was the talk of the world. Even older kids joined in the craze…
So enough of the trip down memory lane. Let’s talk about this years group of amazing U.S. Women that hope to create a new best moment in U.S. soccer history. The USWNT won the group of death, Group D, and landed in a Round of 16 matchup with Columbia. The game was nil-nil at the half. Shortly after the start of the second half, Alex Morgan was tripped in the box by Colombian goalkeeper Catalina Perez. That sent Abby Wambach to the mark for a penalty kick. She missed it. The USWNT and Colombia would play on, with Colombia playing with ten, for a few more minutes until Alex Morgan hit a strong shot right off the backup goalkeeper’s hands and into the net. It was Morgan’s first goal of this World Cup. The USWNT would have another penalty kick situation ten minutes later that would send Carli Lloyd to the spot. She nailed it. Finally, the U.S. could take a deep breath and feel good about their chances of moving on. The final score was 2-0 as a proud Colombian team heads home, and the USWNT moves on to another date with China, on the big dance floor.
While Friday nights game is not for the World Cup, it would bring back some great memories of our last World Cup title and bring the USWNT one step closer to the cup in Canada. A win would send the ladies to the semi’s to meet the winner between Germany and France. Friday nights game will be in Ottawa, only an hour or so away from the U.S. border. The American crowd should be nuts. A win for the U.S. would be an outstanding accomplishment, but it’s not the ultimate goal. After losing in penalty kicks to Japan in the finals in 2011, 2015 is about redemption. What better way to get to redemption than through China. And just hope that China isn’t thinking the same thing about their 1999 loss to the Americans in the finals and wanting payback of their own.
So to all the current USWNT members, who were probably not old enough to drive yet, I encourage you to update your phones and ipods with some of the hot music from 1999. And if your really feeling nostalgic and superstitious, burn these classics to a CD…
Scar Tissue-Red Hot Chili Peppers
Fly Away-Lenny Kravitz
All Star-Smash Mouth
Livin’ La Vida Loca-Ricky Martin
Every Morning-Sugar Ray
Genie in a Bottle-Christina Aguilera
So congratulations to our USWNT on your success so far. Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Abby Wombach, Sydney Leroux, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Lauren Holiday, Tobin Heath, Amy Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Heather O’Reilly, Kelly O’Hara, Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris, Whitney Engen, Morgan Brian, Lori Chalupney and Shannon Boxx…we are all proud of you. Good luck and come this Friday night…we will party like it’s 1999 with a big win over China!
How far do you think the U.S. Women will go in this years World Cup? Leave your comments below.
Brandon covers soccer for MyFantasySportsTalk.com and you can follow him on Twitter @New_Breid
“I promise to bring information, insight and strong opinion...let the debate begin.”
You can follow Brandon on Twitter @New_Breid