Team USA soccer returned to the mountaintop at the 2012 Summer Olympics. They took out Japan to win the gold medal and get a bit of revenge for the 2011 World Cup. Thanks to the outstanding play of Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and the leader Abby Wambach, the USA squad was riding high.
Morgan started the fun early with a perfect cross into the middle where either Wambach or a diving Carli Lloyd put the ball in for an early 1-o lead. It was a perfect pass from Morgan, who played wonderfully the last two games of the tournament. She was always in the right spot at the exact right time.
Solo took over after that. She made some huge saves early as Japan had some easy chances to score but the goalie was able to deny them at every turn. She may have gotten a little bit lucky but some of the shots she saved were just incredible.
The second half was more of the Lloyd show as she nailed a perfect strike to give the US a 2-0 lead. That was a big goal as Japan was finally able to capitalize on all their chances to score a goal in the 63rd minute. Japan had more chance to tie but that is when Solo came up big again as she made a huge save to preserve the lead with just under ten minutes left.
This was a huge win for Team USA soccer as they felt they should have won the World Cup last year if it wasn’t for that meddling Japan. It was not the easiest tournament for the US but they were able to score goals at crucial times in order to get the victory. They had some outside distractions but they played their best ball when they needed to.
Soccer is slowly growing stateside. Twitter was abuzz every time the US squad took the pitch and a lot of people actually care about the sport. It will take some time before it grows into one of the big sports, but people enjoy America and cheering for teams that represent that. Soccer always gets the people to pay attention and it just might be enough to push it ahead in the country.
Nothing better than getting revenge on a team that denied you a title the year before. Team USA soccer certainly has a reason to celebrate.