It’s just a little before 8:00am ET on a Saturday morning, and here I am, tapping away at my little laptop. By that, I mean that I am awake at 8am on a Saturday morning. By that sentence alone, you can tell how uneventful my Friday night was.
I bypassed good times with great friends, meeting strange women and filling my body with unhealthy beverages. Instead, I have awakened early to greet more familiar women, and honestly, I take great pride in it.
I’ve always been of the opinion that I’d rather watch the US WNT than go to a strip club. Why? Because I admire any one who can play this wonderful game – male or female. It’s a beautiful game, and I love watching it played. I love seeing the country’s best female soccer players battle it out on their biggest stage.
You see, I don’t have a girlfriend. Hard to believe, I know. So in order to compensate for said lack of girlfriend, I have 18 women all fill that void simultaneously. Not one, two, three…but 18, thank you. Abby, Carli, Lilly, Hope, Stephanie, Briana, Lindsay, Leslie, among others. If I could take them all out to eat, I would. Take them all to the movies. Play mini-golf with them, and take them all to my company’s Christmas party.
But anyway, I’m getting gcarried away. On to the action….
7:53am ET Players march out onto the pitch.
US looking as intent as ever during the pre-match festivities….England…a little scared.
7:56am ET American National Anthem
7:57 am ET British National Anthem
Pants! I forgot my Carli Lloyd jersey upstairs…gotta hurry back.
Back! Wow, they’re really promoting this “My game is fair play” mantra. I can’t picture this in any other men’s match.
8:00am. ET - AGH! Carli Lloyd starts off on the bench. Wow, that’s big, as mentioned by Julie Foudy.
8:02 Shot of Abby…I think she’s gonna have a big game. Two goals maybe?
1-England kicks off.
3-US opens up in 4-3-3
3-Kelly Smith takes the ball near midfield. Wow, she can cross!
5-Foudy states exactly what I was gonna type. Both teams just trying to find their rhythms.
5-England starts pressuring…until the ball goes wide of the near post. Solo sends it away on the goal kick.
8-England makes another trip into the US end…but no shots taken.
9-US attacks briefly as Christie Rampone races down the right flank before her cross is headed away by the British.
11-Possession at this point-67% England 33%USA
11-Whoa…USA attacks and ball finds the doorstep before the English keeper corrals the ball as Chalupny tries to pry it out.
12-Foudy makes first reference to the ’99 team.
Side note: I was supposed to be at Riverside station in about an hour and a half to catch the bus to the Meadowlands.
14-Kelly Smith turns the corner, and Markgraf defenders her well, as the ball is poked out of bounds. Wow, Kelly Smith is sick. I mean good.
15-Lopez gets the throw in from Whitehill, and launches a rocket. England heads it away.
17-England free kick yards after the center circle, and the ball sails close to the doorstep but sails out for the goalkick.
19-Here we go…first corner kick. Play it short or launch it? Ball bounces around, but nothing doing.
20-Crap. England gets caught off guard, when Casey Stoney seals the ball near the box Markgraf saves the day. Fewf!
22-England counters quickly, Carney crosses into the box, and Solo, Lopez and Jill Scott all violently converge a few yards in front of the goal. Lopez down for a bit Amazingly, Solo is fine, even though it looked like she took the brunt of it. Could’ve easily been a goal for England.
24-Lilly tries to cross from the left flank to Abby…nothing.
27-Carney sends a long range shot on goal. Stuffed by Solo.
28-Chalupny tries to cross, ball deflected out. Corner. C’mon ladies! Rachel; Brown bats it away, but goals beyond the goal line. Another corner, but Lopez’s cross fails to find an open player.
31-England brings numbers, and attacks well until Leslie Osborne clears the ball away down field. England is really dominating this match thus far. The American attack looks lethargic, while England’s is on Red Bull. They’re just way more energized for this match.
34-Abby penetrates the box, but the ball is defended out. Corner. Lopez. Nothing.
35-Posession starting to even out a little. 52%England, 48%US. But England’s possession has been a lot more potent, with a lot more quality attacks than the US.
36-Faye White down near midfield. Looks like she got elbowed pretty bad.
39-White gets back to her feet. Hopefully she’s ok.
40-White returns, with the ubiquitous wad of tissue up the nose. She’s a fighter. (What a cheesy remark…but it works).
42-Lopez dances near the box, ball deflects off her mark, retakes it, and fires it into the box. Abby kicks a rocket on the pass, but it flies high over the bar.
43-Lilly races goalward, and puts a nice shot on net. USA starting to look like their normal, attacking selves.
44-I’ll say it right now. The first mistake will be the fatal mistake. This game will end with only one goal. Who will get it.
45- 2 minutes of stoppage indicated.
45+-England corner, and Solo parries it away.
8:49am ET: First half concludes. I’m hitting the shower…maybe that’ll help with the team’s chi.
46-RRRRRR!!!! Just back in time for the second half, just five seconds late. I know, I know. Inexcusable. No subs for US to start. US attacking right from the get go.
48- Lilly corner. Abby rises near the back post unmarked and BOOM into the back of the net. YEAH!!! Wow, what a goal. How good is Abby? Big, BIG goal. JP agrees with me.
51-Quick English chance. They’re not going away anytime soon.
55-Lilly to Boxx just before the area. But the numbers just aren’t there.
57-Lilly plays it waaaay out to Rampone, who gets it back to her forward moving teammates. Boxx gets the ball, fires…and goal! Goal into near corner! NICE! The lead’s a little more comfortable now, but then again…it’s still the dreaded two-goal lead. Way to go ladies!
59- Lilly turns her defender near the box and launches a shot on goal.
60-Long ball to Lilly, and Rachel Brown badly misplays it, as the ball bounces above her. Lilly follows up, takes the ball, runs past Brown, and calmly taps it in for the easy goal. Poor Rachel, you know she wants that one back. Wow. I need to start taking showers more often…errr….
63-US attacking again. I hope England has a backhoe, because they’ve got a lot of digging to do if they’re to catch up with only half an hour left.
67-US dominating this second half. Talk about night and day. It was exact opposite during the first half.
68-oooooohhhh England now attacking. Corner kick for Carney, defended well, as the ball skips away.
69-free kick taken, and Hope does well to knock the ball away near the far post.
71- US attacking as Chalupny sends a ball wide of the far post. This is like the tale of two halves. In hindsight, England were unlucky to not get goal then.
72-Whoa, Lopez is bleeding pretty bad. Gets some attention from the medical staff. Back in a flash.
76- Agh! I jus trealized I forgot to throw my Carli Lloyd jersey back on. Let me do that right now…
77-There we go. Maybe Carli will come on a sub within a few minutes?
78-Lilly throws a hard shot on goal. Just noticed that she sports neon yellow boots as well.
79-Solo tested with a long shot. Easily catches it and turns it back upfield.
82- Carli’s coming in! YES! She comes in for Boxxy, and now all is well with the universe.
83-Carli getting some nice touches before passing it forward to Lilly.
85-England pushing forward. Attack dissipates shortly thereafter.
86-Natasha Kai for Abby. Abby applauds the crowds in her typical classy fashion. She’s had a very good match. She didn’t net the two goals I predicted, but a solid second half performance nonetheless.
89-Corner for England. No shot. England continues its pressure.
90-Kelly Smith finally records her first shot of the match, as it sails above the bar.
3 minutes of stoppage.
91+ - Yankee launches a shot on Solo. England just looking to break the shutout.
93+ - Quick attack by England, and nearly clinches the shutout-breaker with a couple of furious attempts in the vicinity of the goal.
9:52am ET: Final whistle blows. As much as you root for your team – I’m seeing a few English players just distraught. They really were on fire in first half, but that fire just seemed to be extinguished as the second half commenced. A well-played second half by the USA did them in.
Onto the winner of tomorrow’s Brazil-Australia match tomorrow!