USA women's soccer win a potential boost to local girls coaches.
TORRINGTON: Soccer coaches across America woke up this morning giving a special ‘Thank You’ to a team that may just have gotten them a few new players who have been infected by the accomplishments of one inspirational national team.
After the United States Women’s National Team disposed of Japan in an historical 5-2 rout (five goals in soccer is akin to 10 runs in baseball) in the finals of the World Cup, the buzz created nationwide was stunning.
Girls across the land who play the game at various levels may just hang around a little longer with more going the distance to play from their very early years all the way through high school and beyond.
Numbers in girls’ sports in our area have fluctuated for years, in some cases team barely have enough to field a varsity team, forget about a junior varsity squad.
Seeing the USA win it all on the biggest stage is something that garnered the attention of a nation that may put soccer on the back burner at times, but certainly comes out in full force when their countries team plays at the highest levels.
Having watched Carli Lloyd single handedly demolish the defending champions with a three goal explosion in the first half will no doubt have kids all over the land envisioning themselves taking that 55-yard shot (if they have the leg) when they catch a goalie too far out.
Many will practice being Lauren Holiday catching that high bouncing ball in mid-stride before rifling it past Japan goal keeper Ayumi Kaihori for the games fourth goal.
How many of us have hit that ball high up in the stands? Most.
Who will want to be the next Hope Solo, who had been the talk of the tabloids coming in with multiple issues off the field but found peace in the place she calls her office, the net.
Scoring goals is what draws the most praise but as any coach knows, defense wins you championships and the US had a stellar one that those coaches can point to when talking to players who need to be part of the most important part of a team.
Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Saverbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg anchored in front of Solo and made her life easier and teaching moments were plentiful.
With Japan having to gamble on the offensive end after getting down 4-0, the pressure they brought may have cracked a lesser group but this was not any ordinary collection of players but ones who used finesse to regain possessions instead of simply trying to blast a random clear out that led to trouble.
When it comes to sticking to it, no better example comes to mind than that of Abby Wambach, who won her first World Championship after being on the short end three different times.
Alex Morgan, one of the better known names to the casual soccer fan, may not have made a splash in the final but having the reputation coming in certainly made Japan pay closer attention to her, allowing Lloyd to flourish on Sunday.
This team had a quiet confidence that showed in the way they played. They played their game. It was defense first, offense second and when it counted the most, the “O” shined brightest.
USA head coach Jill Ellis had to juggle a ton of personalities during this run and did a marvelous job of doing just that.
Coming into the tournament, the United States was by no means the favorite and was said to have a tough bracket to advance from but advance they did, step by step, game by game.
In the end, it may be the youth soccer coaches of the country that benefit the most from this win, at least in the short term.
Having watched their countries team hoist that trophy high into the air may just lead to girls across the land wanting to be in just that position someday.