If you watched it Sunday, then you know something pretty incredible happened. I mean, I think it's pretty incredible. I unfortunately missed it, but I definitely heard about it.
Of course it's the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The United States team claimed its second title in a row, and fourth overall. Fighting their way through teams like Thailand, Sweden and Chile, and then making it through to the quarterfinals, where they faced an unbeaten France team. The U. S. team was unbeaten too and defeated France 2-1 to advance to the semifinals.
In that round, the U. S. team pulled off a victory by taking that extra goal and won over England 2-1. The Americans defeated top teams within their groups, and both teams the U. S. faced were undefeated before matching up with the U. S. team.
In the final, the United States shut out the Netherlands 2-0 to gain the victory and take another championship home.
The United States appears to be displaying a fantastic show with women's sports in the national soccer team. In 1991, the women's team won the first of its titles and closed out the '90s with another title after defeating China in the finals. This year the team posted back-to-back wins by the United States after taking the game from Japan in 2015, 5-2.
The 2-0 victory here against the Netherlands showed something with this team. Team members can come and go, as with any sports franchise, on any level. But it's the heart and drive of each of those members that lift a team up, and how each of those members handle adversity that set teams apart. I know sometimes a team can come together, fight hard, and still might come up short. However, it is those moments when things come together and the players find a groove, and then find a way to win that makes winning moments like the one on Sunday so much more wonderful.
I saw it many times within Dumas High School sports and Sunray High School sports. It's about how teams keep fighting and rise above pitfalls and obstacles. And then take that energy into the next game to play harder (after winning or losing).
This is how it seems this U. S. team perseveres. It appears the players have the same qualities that make up great teams. They took to the field and kept battling until there was a winner – and fortunately it was the U. S. team.
Some could argue this year's women's team could rank up there with the first two teams who won the World Cup. Even possibly with other great U. S. teams like the 1980 Winter Olympics U. S. hockey team. I was sill only a child that year, and as I've said, wasn't much into sports at that time. Especially watching sports. I don't know if I truly realized the event until about 24 years later when it was turned into a film, starring Kurt Russell. And even then, I didn't get around to watching it until well after it was out on DVD. Stories like that usually make compelling films. I mean it was a great film, and it wasn't called "Miracle on Ice" for no reason. But moments like that just make you feel good and want to stand up and cheer.
Perhaps a future column might be about the best sports film of all time.
But I digress.
The 1980 Winter Olympics victory was a great, unforgettable moment, much like how the women's national team won the World Cup four times through two different decades. It is the result of hard work, determination, a sense of purpose and heart that was shown for the win to become one of the most memorable moments in sports history. And it just occurred to me as I'm writing this. They won in 1991, basically right at the beginning of the new decade. They won again in 1999 to close out the decade. Their next victory came again in 2015, about four years into another new decade. And now, four years later, another World Cup to close out this decade. It's just an observation, but I think an interesting observation nonetheless.
I believe this win does account for something. And I believe it does say something about the U. S. team. Not only do they have powerful players, but they have powerful coaches that can bring together those players to bring forth their best team effort and have shining moments like the one on Sunday.