Wambach: World Cup final not about revenge

“I’m so happy that she got to win that 2011 World Cup”. But if the USA manage to win, the classy ambassador for women’s sports, upstate New York and soccer in general will have accomplished everything in the sport a player of her caliber deserves.


O’Reilly has endured a very different World Cup than she is accustomed to. “It’s been a constant reminder”, Wambach told U.S. Today of the heartbreak of losing in 2011.

Like Yogi Berra said, its deja vu all over again as the United States and Japan meet in the Women’s World Cup final for the second straight time. “I want to win it for myself and the team, but being her last one, I will do whatever it takes”. The USA, meanwhile, have won twice, including a 4-1 win in Sweden three years ago.

“Even though we’re in Canada, these matches have been feeling like we’re at home”, USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe said. The Americans haven’t allowed a goal in more than 500 minutes and seem to be peaking at the right time, including a 2-0 victory over Germany in the semifinals, after a couple of uninspired results early in the competition. “We don’t really have as much power but we have the skills, the technique and the network among the players”. “These are two talented teams with a lot of history and rivalry, and I think it will be a classic matchup”. Lloyd has been a star ex- in this tournament having scored in all three knock-out games. The stout back line has provided a wall intruders can not break, leaving Hope Solo to be a spectator most games. There’s no reserving energy. “It’s full throttle”. While the US Team is favored in winning the Federation Internationale de Football Association Championship, Japan is sure they will retain the title they stole from the the 2011 Federation Internationale de Football Association Women’s World Cup finals.

Ellis said her team would not fall into the trap of trying to close down the Japanese constantly throughout the game but expects fans will be treated to some high quality play.

Japan is patient and will try to break down that wall, so the entire team will have to get back and defend at times, but also pick and choose times to pressure up the field as it’s done so successfully the last two games.

Julie Johnston has been the defender getting the most attention, but other members of the back four – Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg and Ali Krieger – have played extremely well, too.

Yet, to see them toy with the Netherlands in their round of 16 game – a match they somehow only won 2-1 – was a reminder of just how good this team can look on their day.

You may have heard, but the Americans haven’t conceded a goal since the first half of the opening game. She has just one goal so far in the monthlong event, the lone point in a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the group stage.

The Japanese team also will say goodbye to a revered player, 36-year-old midfielder Homare Sawa, who is in her record sixth World Cup. The scheduled to play Japan on Sunday. That was the source of our energy.

The viewing parties are organized by various chapters of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the USA men’s and women’s national soccer teams. But for soccer players, World Cups are the tournaments that matter most, so American players think they have unfinished business. A goal from Alex Morgan and a spot kick from Carli Lloyd against Colombia set up a quarter-final tie against China.

The United States is 90 minutes away from the World Cup.


Japan beat the USA for the 2011 title on penalty kicks just four months after a devastating quake and tsunami ravaged the country.

Will history repeat itself? The US women hope not