I”ve been watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team with delight. Less than 10 minutes after this blog post goes up, I’ll be plopping myself in front of the TV to watch them take on Japan. Both teams arrived at this moment because of their skill, determination, conditioning and desire.
Players like Abby Wambaugh, Hope Solo, and Christie Rampone are experienced international players. They’re used to listening to the women on the other teams shout out encouragement and orders in a different language. The first time I experienced something like this was at a soccer match for my son’s club team when we lived in Italy. I had become used to the sound of his coach shouing “Die, die, die!” at his players. (It was really the Italian word “Dai,” a shout of encouragement. But it was odd to hear the German coach roar, “Schnell! Schnell! Schnell.” (Fast, fast, fast.) I managed to work some of this disconnect into my soccer novel, Defending Irene.
My guess is that Japan will dominate the time of possession, but that the Americans will find a way to win. Go, USA!