The thrill of it all: A perfect pass helps the U.S. women advance | Bleader

The thrill of it all: A perfect pass helps the U.S. women advance


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I'll admit that I haven't been paying one lick of attention to the women's World Cup. Considering my addiction to the men's World Cup in South Africa last year, I don't really have much of an excuse either. The U.S. women's team has been a dominant force in the sport dating back to the 90s, having won two World Cups and three gold medals. Hell, Brandi Chastain's celebration after her winning penalty shootout kick in the 1999 World Cup finals against China remains one of the more iconic sports shots of the last 20 years.

The U.S. vs. Brazil quarterfinal match yesterday encapsulated everything great about the sport and made me wonder what I've been missing since the Cup began on June 26. The controversy over Rachel Buehler's red card for her foul on Marta, early entry into the box by a U.S. player during the subsequent penalty kick goalie Hope Solo's "early movement" on a penalty kick, and Brazil's outrageous, freakishly frustrating flops (one of which aided the U.S. with some crucial extra time) all built to one of the better sports moments I've ever seen when Megan Rapinoe made an utterly perfect 30-yard pass to Abby Wambach for the tying header. I was actually at the gym during the second half of the game cheering and booing along with the other 20 or so people who were watching on the mini treadmill TVs. It only added to the intensity. Sports will forever be the great unifier.

I seriously can't get enough of the Rapinoe-to-Wambach video. Please watch it over and over again. Oh, and if you're oblivious and have no use for any sort of news outlets whatsoever, the U.S. won 5 to 3 in a penalty kick shootout.