US Women’s Soccer Team Built-In Excellence

WC Winners US Soccer Team 1999   US women’s soccer team built-in excellence and over 30 years in the making.

Many talk about how well the 2015 World Championship US team played this year

in Canada, however in 1985 it all started with a shoe string budget and a huge dream.

In August 1985 Coach Mike Ryan took the US women’s team to their

 

first international match, in 1991 the US entered the first ever women’s world cup event in China. The

US won their group stage and eventually made it to the final four. These final teams

have been some of the strongest women’s programs for over 24 years, Germany, Norway, Sweden and

the USA have been strong for most of these last three decades. Japan, China, France and Brazil now

have up and coming talent to challenge for top billing in the women’s game, but the US have won the

most, and have always been the biggest threat. Coaches like Anson Dorrance, Tony Dicicco, Lauren

Gregg, April Heinrichs, Greg Ryan, Pia Sundhage, and now Jill Ellis with Tom Sermanni stepping

in one year to help out Jill Ellis. These coaches and their assistants / trainers put this US team from

almost nothing to the well oiled success machine in the world of women’s football today. Many great

players laid the foundation for what we have today in the US success, Carin Jennings and April

Heinrichs were two of the first success stories. Then came Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly,

Joy Fawcett and maybe the strongest defender the US has ever had Michelle Akers. Akers would

mark the best players from any opposing team and crush their will to be affective, all while she battled

chronic fatigue syndrome. Even though Michelle was one of our toughest warriors and Hamm, Foudy,

Lilly, and Fawcett always found a way to get a goal. Defender Carla Overbeck and Goalie Briana Scurry

really took this team into the late 90’s getting ready for the 96 Olympics in Atlanta and the 1999 US

hosted World Cup. The US won the gold medal in 1996 but NBC did not air the match or even cutting

away for a five-minute peek into the ladies winning the gold. This bad decision was corrected in 1999

when the US hosted the world cup and the largest stadiums were booked by Fifa to play these

matches. Every one of the games was a sell out. ABC got it right, when we all witnessed the China

USA match go to pk’s. Every US player nailed theirs, and Briana Scurry stopped the 3rd Chinese

players shot, setting the stage for Brandi Chastain’s ice water in the veins shot that sent the US

into a victorious ROAR. And oh, btw, she took her jersey off in the celebration showing her sports bra,

you’ll see more shin on any given beach these days, but some people had to make it an indictment,

listen you win a world championship and let’s see you react after 17 yrs of hard work and practice /

training. Listen, practice your pk’s,  look at the ball, take a big breath before you start your approach

to the ball, get your heart rate down, then attack it and put it on frame to a corner with pace, don’t

over kick it, you have the advantage, use it , practice it. Overbeck, Fawcett, Lilly, Hamm, and Chastain

all showed you how to take a pk, learn it, win it.

The 1999 Rose Bowl final was the largest watch US women’s sporting event ever watched. It’s great

watching these great plays over and over. Look for a defensive save Kristen Lilly made vs China in

1999 using her head just like Klingenberg did this year vs Sweden.

Watch this great video below about the US women’s soccer team built-in excellence and remember where we came from.


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