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U.S. Beats Brazil, 1-0, For Gold

The U.S. women's soccer team just won the gold medal, with a 1-0 win over heavily favored Brazil in overtime at Beijing's Workers Stadium.

The skilled Brazilians, who had the better of play for most of the night, collapsed in tears, sitting by themselves, scattered around the field. The Americans, on the other hand, grabbed flags and jumped over the walls ringing the field to celebrate with their fans.

Natasha Kai ripped off her jersey, in a move reminiscent of you know who. Her sports bra was pink, if you were wondering. Goalie Hope Solo, whose benching against Brazil was the signature moment of last year's failed World Cup, ran around the stadium with dime store gold medals around her neck. There was hugging galore.

When these Americans opened the Olympics with a 2-0 loss to Norway, with star forward Abby Wambach sidelined with a broken leg and a roster that had yet to prove itself on the international stage, they were considered no better than the third favorite, behind Brazil and Germany. But now, the U.S. has its third gold medal in the four times women's soccer has awarded one. Two in a row have come by one goal against Brazil in overtime.

In some ways, this is likely the most satisfying gold for the U.S., coming as undermanned underdogs against what seemed the obvious best team in the world. And it's a massive triumph for first-year coach Pia Sundhage, who took over a shaken program and produced a gold medal.

Extra time: Two more glorious chances. Marta beats two, sends a cross, but Hucles clears. Then there's another cross, but the header is weak. And then the whistle blows.

120th minute: Final U.S. sub. Stephanie Cox for Amy Rodriguez. Brazil has a corner that Hope gets a hand on. It goes to the foot of Fenata Costa, who puts it into the side netting. One minute of extra time.

119th minute: Hucles has a chance but does nothing. Still 1-0, U.S. Photographers set up to shoot the winning team.

117th minute: Lloyd beats her defender (Ester), fires a shot that beats the goalie cleanly but hits the far post. On the other side, Brazil is offsides, twice. Still 1-0, U.S.

115th minute: Cristiane squibs a chance. Still 1-0, U.S.

114th minute: Francielle to Rosana, but no shot. Brazilians coming in waves. Marta sends a blast into leg. Kai picks up a yellow. Crowd roaring for Brazil. Marta's free kick is watched by 21 players, bounces once in front of Solo, and skips wide on the far side. The Brazilians clutch their heads. Still 1-0, U.S.

111th minute: Marta spins, creates space out of nowhere, unleashes a left-footed drive that's just high.

109th minute: Brazil corner. Lloyd heads it out. Another Brazil corner. Just past a diving Brazilian foot. Another Brazil corner. Fans getting loud. Marta takes it and puts it onto the roof of the goal. Still 1-0, U.S.

108th minute: Yellow card for Erika. Still 1-0, U.S.

106th minute: Yellow card for Rosana. Still 1-0, U.S.

105th minute: Whistle blows. Teams switch side. Americans are chipper. Cheney and Sundhage chat. Kobe holds his daughter. Fifteen more minutes. This is the longest blog post of my life. Sorry about that.

104th minute: Nifty passing by the Brazilians but Fabiana is ruled offsides. Brazil makes its second sub: Rosana comes in for Simone. The crowd is trying to will the Brazilians on. They get a corner, and the Americans clear. Brazil makes its final sub: Francielle replaces Formiga.

102nd minute: Marta has two chances. The first crashes into Rampone, the second is bottled up by Markgraf, who claps while Marta lies on the ground. Still 1-0 U.S.

101st minute: U.S. makes second sub, Natasha Kai for Heather O'Reilly. Kai waves her arms at the crowd.

100th minute: Marta nearly finds Fabiana, but Rampone clears for a corner. Fail.

96th minute: Goal U.S. Brazil fails to clear. Lloyd takes a few steps, sends a left-footed drive to the far side from one step outside the box, past a diving Barbara. 1-0 U.S. Rodriguez pressure had set up the play.

93rd minute: Body language is just completely changed. Brazilians holding up arms in frustration, putting hands on hips, etc. Lloyd dispossesses Erika, who drops like a rock.

On the other end Rodriguez gets herself a left-footed look, but sends the drive right at Barbara.

Break: Several Brazilian players are on the ground, getting their legs rubbed out and stretched. Formiga is clutching her back. Coaches are waving towels over the Brazilians, and massaging Formiga's back. The Americans have stood throughout the break, with Cheney visibly saying "We got this" in the huddle, amid some laughter. No American has so much as taken a knee; the entire Brazilian team is on the ground.

Extra time: Brazil has a corner. Desperate Americans survive. Then O'Reilly, with the ball, attempts to win a foot race down the left side against two Brazilians. Formiga finally stops her, and the whistle blows. That's regulation, still 0-0.

89th minute: Boxx jostles Marta, who hits the deck, earning a dangerous free kick. Cristiane gets her head on it, but it's harmless. Then suddenly Rodriguez has a breakaway in the other direction. It's an amazing chance, but her quick chip doesn't particularly challenge Barbara, who reaches up for the ball. A moment later it's another chance for Rodriguez. Their best offensive moments have come late in the second half. Two minutes of extra time.

87th minute: Americans suddenly have life, with a tremendous corner from Hucles winding up in the goalie's arms, and then Hucles having a chance on a cross. Best U.S. chance of the night; her grounded ball is just within goalie Barbara's grasp. Another foot could have meant gold. Still 0-0.

82nd minute: Another U.S. turnover in midfield, this time when Cheney and Boxx collide. Marta's resulting chance feathers into Solo's arms. Still 0-0.

81st minute: Some lazy U.S. passes continue to be intercepted. But, you know, it's still 0-0. Too early to start dreaming of Solo's ultimate redemption in PKs?

77th minute: First Brazilian sub. Fabiana for Daniela. Fabiana appears to have played 4 minutes thus far in the Olympics. And Lloyd again shoots, sending it high, but it was a nice thought.

76th minute: Lloyd tries a blast from way out. Gotta try something. Goes wide. Attendance announced at 51,612.

72nd minute: Best chance of the game. Marta goes past Mitts and Markgraf, who collide. Marta blasts a low liner from close range at Solo, who, as she's falling down, ricochets the ball off her right arm. Solo certainly making a statement thus far. Still 0-0.

71st minute: First sub, Lauren Cheney in for Lindsay Tarpley. Hucles drops back, but it's not the sub I would have predicted.

69th minute: Fans whistling Americans for failing to attack. Still 0-0.

65th minute: With fans again chanting in rhythm for Brazil, the free kick is taken into the wall. Simone tries to catch Solo asleep with a long ball, but it's off-target anyhow. Still 0-0.

63rd minute: Fans clapping in rhythm for Brazil. Marta unloads from just outside the box, but it soars high. U.S. now struggling to escape zone. Hard foul from Mitts on Daniela, who evidently wanted a card. Dangerous chance here.

60th minute: Cristiane goes 1-on-2, then falls down. No call. On the other side Renata Costa twirls through the defense, but passes on an open look and settles for a corner. The ball finds Renata Costa, but she can't shoot. Another corner. Still 0-0.

57th minute: Marta tries to find Daniela, who's one-on-one with Mitts. Mitts takes care of it. Moments later, Marta beats Mitts, but Mitts recovers. How to figure how the Americans are gonna score, though. Still 0-0.

53rd minute: Mitts loses the ball to Cristiane. Eventually it leads to a corner, which leads to a dazzling march by Marta down the end line, which leads to a hard cross gobbled by Solo. Still 0-0. Fans liked that one.

51st minute: Mitts fouls Cristiane. Daniela tries to send the free kick in front of the goal, but it's long. Then Rodriguez has a moment in the other direction. Her lack of speed compared to the Brazilian strikers is striking. Still 0-0.

49th minute: Hucles sends a corner over everyone. Still 0-0.

48th minute: Another U.S. turnover without pressure just outside the final third, this one from Rodriguez. If you were drafting teams out of these rosters, I'd say at least the top three picks would be wearing yellow. But it's still 0-0.

46th minute: Someone told a joke in the U.S. huddle. Those seemed like legitimate laughs, right?

Halftime: 0-0, with the U.S. backline doing well to hold on against Brazil's speed and skill. Any U.S. fan would have gladly accepted 0-0 at the half, I'm guessing. Both teams have thre shots and one shot on goal, but Brazil was the clear aggressor.

The PA announces the gold-medal standings, earning a huge roar. (China's leading, if you haven't heard.) And now, for the last time for me: Olympic soccer cheerleaders. (And Kobe Bryant is indeed here. That man has, without a doubt, watched more live Olympic events than I have.)

45th minute: Nobody loves the wave like Chinese women's soccer fans. U.S. keeps some possession in the Brazilian end. One minute extra time.

43rd minute: U.S. backline looks gassed. Cristiane gets free outside the box and has a look with the left; it's a strong shot but it goes high.

41st minute: Angela Hucles sends a volley wide. I had forgotten that the U.S. was allowed to shoot.

39th minute: Marta's left-footed restart looks extremely problematic. Solo backpedals and makes a nice play on the ball. Then Marta slices past several defenders and it's another dangerous cross, that Chalupny guides out of bounds. But the U.S. will be in trouble if this pressure continues.

37th minute: The Brazilians counter so quickly it can't help but cause trouble and get the crowd bubbling. Formiga gets checked by Mitts, who earns a yellow as Formiga log rolls down the field. Then it's Marta down the left side, but Solo grabs the cross.

34th minute: Marta somehow goes directly through Rampone and Markgraf, but her left-footed attempt is well wide. Still, those are the two most dangerous moments of the game thus far. This crowd is definitely on Brazil's side. And there are an awful lot of players hitting the deck. The footing cannot be too good.

31st minute: Lloyd loses the ball, Brazil has a three-on-three, and Christiane breaks free. She stumbles, though, with help from Chalupny (?), and Solo scoops up the loose ball and sends Cristiane flying. She stays on the ground, the U.S. plays on, the crowd whistles, and finally play is stopped and the tournament's leading scorer walks off.

30th minute: Rampone again beats Cristiane to a ball, although it leads to a corner. Formiga sends a great ball into the box, but Lloyd is there to head it out.

27th minute: Cristiane nearly finds Formiga in the box, but Rampone is there to break things up. U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage is wildly waving her arms on the sidelines. Then Lloyd goes down in the box after some jostling, but the official isn't having that.

25th minute: Remember when I was asking the American players on Tuesday whether the final would be a shootout?

19th minute: Rodriguez sees a gap and launches a shot from outside the box, but it's well off target. Another Brazil whirl of possession ends in the final third. Lloyd nearly coughs it up to Marta. I still am relishing the feeling of being full. I gotta eat at Bellagio Cafe more often.

17th minute: A run by Marta is broken up by Rampone. Brazil has the better of possession, but still hasn't seriously threatened the goal

16th minute: With all the talk of the Americans being massive underdogs, you wonder if the longer zeros stay on the scoreboard, the more the Brazilians might feel some pressure. And the Americans take their first corner, with Hucles putting it out of bounds.

13th minute: Brazil gets the first corner of the game. Nothing doing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I never expected the women's soccer crowd to be one of the livelier in this city. Of course, maybe I've been to too much team handball and not enough badminton.

11th minute: I'd say the Brazilians were winning the midfield battle, but that would suggest there was a midfield battle. And the fans do the wave.

9th minute: Daniela gets through cleanly but her low try from the right side isn't a problem. Then Cristiane nearly breaks through. And immediately the Brazilians reload and come back.

Also, considering they made a big deal about this being a ticketed media event, there sure are a lot of empty media seats. .

8th minute: Now the crowd is roaring for Brazil. Rodriguez launches a lazy bid, that bounces once and is handled by the Brazilian keeper. Marta attempts a quick counter, but is offsides.

6th minute: Marta gets free for the first time; Rampone breaks it up. The Americans counter, but Marta tracks back and breaks that up. Still no scoring chances for either team.

3rd minute: The U.S. has already sent several errant passes out of bounds, while the Brazilians have failed to string anything together. Chalupny spending lot of time very close to Cristiane. Maybe they're discussing scoring technique. Through ball to Rodriguez at least one stride too long.

1st minute: And we're underway, with a crowd that looks to be in the 45,000 range, at least if past totals have been accurate. There are already rival chants: "U-S-A," "Brasil" and "Jiayou!" from the neutral parties. The rain has stopped, but the field will obviously be damp throughout.

And it takes 35 seconds for a player to lose her footing: Rodriguez, near the Brazilian end line.

Greetings from a chilly, misty, foggy Workers' Stadium, where I've just eaten my first actual meal in about a week (Taiwanese fried tofu and greens!) and I'm ready to see my first gold medal soccer game. It feels more like September than August, and with Germany just finishing off Japan, 2-0, for bronze, the field is already showing some strains.

The fans have been given free ponchos and it's a sea of shiny yellow out there, making it look like a partisan Brazilian crowd. There are, in fact, dozens of Brazilian flags in the three-quarters full stadium, but there is also a nice American contingent. I just saw who I assume were Hope Solo's grandparents, wearing t-shirts with her picture and a scrolling medallion that blings out her name.

The cheerleaders have already done their thing. SI's Grant Wahl reports that Kobe Bryant will again watch the game. And to try to avoid the media disaster that afflicted the Argentina-Brazil match, this is now a ticketed event for media.

If you haven't heard, these teams have something of a history: 2-1 U.S. in the 2004 Olympic gold medal game, and 4-0 Brazil in last year's World Cup semis here in China. Brazil will start eight players who started that match; the U.S. has five repeat starters.

USA LINEUP (4-4-2): Solo; Mitts, Rampone, Markgraf, Chalupny; Tarpley, Boxx, O'Reilly, Lloyd; Hucles, Rodriguez. (Although the start list calls it a 4-5-1, and yes, it's the same lineup used in the semis and quarters.)

BRAZIL LINEUP (4-4-2): Andreia, Simone, Tania, Renata Costa, Erika; Maycon, Daniela, Formiga, Ester; Marta, Cristiane.

The latter's five goals are the most of any player in this game, and her 10 career goals is tied for the Olympic career lead. Marta has three in this event, while for the U.S. Hucles has four. Brazil will also use the same lineup for the third straight match.

I'll be updating this thread throughout the game, adding the newer stuff on top. Please add your comments to the bottom.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 21, 2008; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  Olympics  
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Next: Amaechi, Kobe and Being Uncomfortable

Comments

Dan way to hang in there dude, thanks for covering this big game!!!
Go USA!
I'd love to see Hucles with a Hat trick!

Posted by: dadryan | August 21, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Stuck at work. nbcolympics streaming video is not. ussoccer match tracker not active. what's happening?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to get ahead of myself, but certainly much happier with the quality of play in first 10 minutes. Like I said, our only hope is to keep the attacking pressure on and keep them from getting into a rhythm.

I hope they prove me wrong!

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Anon:

I think Dan disabled them so we'd stick with his feed instead!

Posted by: TG | August 21, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Again, my Dan you are my life line. Not able to stream at work. Glad to hear your belly is full. Keep up the good blogging for us back here in the states!

Posted by: dcsoccergrrl | August 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I've always been a fan of Carli Lloyd, but:

PLEASE GET HER OUT OF THE GAME! Her giveways are going to cost the USA any chance of winning this match!

Posted by: Ash | August 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Vamos Brasilllllllllllll!!! Go Brazillllllllllll!!! Go Martaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Posted by: Eu | August 21, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

What, Brianna Scurry isn't in goal????

Sorry, bad joke! Go USA!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hope Solo actually looks like she's on her game today and the defense is playing solid. Too bad Brazil's display of un-sportsmanship (bogus Christiane 'injury' to stop a US counter, and then kicking the dropped ball out deep in our defensive third) changed the momentum of the game.

C'mon US! Keep the pressure on!

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

As much as I like Mitts (and y'all know how much that is), her passes up the wing have been too long for O'Reilly to get. On the other hand, O'Reilly has missed some opportunities to make runs.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The last pass on every build up by the US is bewildering. There's real possession in the middle third, then some hopeful boot into space with nobody around... argh...

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I-270: The problem is O'Reilly is not making the runs until after Mitts makes the pass, and then it is way too late. She should take off as soon as the pass is made to Mitts or whoever, and be running onto the pass already. Even if she doesn't get the ball, she can stretch the defense and leave space behind.

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Frustrated, I thought the same thing. Good passing, work by Mitts...then where was that pass supposed to go? Watching the women's game can be so...frustrating.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. The mid-field giveaways have been a problem all tournament long. The glass-half-full perspective is that they are putting 2-3 passes together before giving the ball away. That's an improvement.

They need to get the ball to Rodriguez more. She is bothering Brazil's back line. When they're sufficiently annoyed with her, team her up with Kai (maybe for O'Reilly with Hucles moving to the wing).

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Slippery field is one thing, but these Brazilian babes are working the refs, trying to sell them on fouls. Way too much rolling around on the ground in the last 10 min of the half.

Posted by: sportsbabe21 | August 21, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Are we playing Guate?

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Holy boring. Two shots on goal in the first half. I join the bewilderment at the consistent buildup to a pass to a phantom player. Defense is hanging well with Christiane and Marta tho.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

With all the CD/DVD piracy that they're known for, you'd think the Chinese can play something other than the HS Musical soundtrack. Some Rush, Molly Hatchet? Scorpions?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. game, both men and women, is based upon an incredible work rate, not excessive skill. When we play quality sides, we cannot connect more than 2 or 3 passes before we play an overly ambitious ball over the top. Every couple years you expect a difference, but alas, no. Even if our women beat Brazil, it's clear who has the better and more imaginative soccer players (and they keep improving).

Posted by: john | August 21, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Gary Glitter just got out of prison, and is in Asia -- he could drop by.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

OMFG. I'm not going to ruin it, but there's a huge upset at the Olympics.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Are we playing Guate?
Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 9:52 AM
===========

No, this stadium has lights.

Is that chickin'-pickin' coming from the stadium or NBC?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

KOBE IN THE HOUSE!!! That was Kobe wasn't it?

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Important question: Do the cheerleaders look good?

Posted by: DC | August 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

By all means, let's waste another corner.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The Brazilians love the ground! They need to get up and keep playing. Soccer is a contact sport, get over it!

Posted by: dcsoccergrrl | August 21, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Solo did well there...

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Again, where was that pass going...

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

That yellow team looks a lot like Italy ... the diving team I mean. Nice layout, Renata!

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mitts changed her 'do. Maybe that's the rally bun.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Oh get up you got the foul

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Defense is playing pretty well. But it is a nutmeg fiesta on the Brazilians part. I think we must be used to being faster than our opponents.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Man if fitness is supposed to be one of our advantages our offense is not looking very fit. Some of them look like they're wearing cement shoes.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

SOLO!!!!!!

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have saved that.

Posted by: Briana Scurry | August 21, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Great save there. And I guess I spoke too soon regarding the d. Shouldn't get beat 1 v. 2.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If this is the future of WPS...it won't get off of the ground.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Who's #7? Very vexing player. Does well coming back on D. but constantly has poor touches and passes in the O.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

C'mon RK! You don't think US fans will love to see Brazilian samba and great saves in the WPS? Surely you don't think the game has to have a lot of goals to be good soccer? I think most of our fans are more sophisticated than that.

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

those of you criticizing the brazilians for diving, fair enough, but at least they know how to actually play the game and entertain all at the same time. Wake me up if the US ever puts together more than 2 passes in the attacking third, or more than 4 passes in the middle third.

Posted by: john | August 21, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Frustrated - that would Shannon Boxx who I've said all along has been playing very poorly. But I guess Pia doesn't have another strong body to put in the center. Where is Michele Akers when you need her.

Posted by: :-( | August 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

John - you're right, but it's apples & oranges. Brazilians are diving because a) apparently it's genetic; and b) they're frustrated, which is a sign of a solid defense.

I do wish we could get back to the form of the first 15 minutes. Maybe if Pia would list en to me a PUT NATASHA KAI IN!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Greg Louganis | August 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The US is playing abysmal football, except for a hanging defense. Lack of development / growth since the WWC is showing, Pia or no Pia, this is the same ole team.

The Brazlians are playing better, but by now, they should have a goal.

NBC feed on PC has commercials! Egads.

Bring on Kai.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Feathers? Gets the point across I guess.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

USA pressing - Hucles with the chance...

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 21, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Who is to say that the Brazilians will come to WPS? They are playing in toher leagues right now.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Nice move by Rodriguez in the 85th.

Nice to see USA in the attacking 3rd.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd hate to say this, but we need to learn to fall better.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Marta gets a 9.5 for that half-twist layout!

Posted by: Greg Louganis | August 21, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

RK - true dat - Marta with a better dive than the Chinese right there to win the free kick...

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 21, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Kai scores right there...

Posted by: jhorstma | August 21, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

THAT'S why they dive. Because it works.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Marta gets gold for womens diving.

What a CHIP!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Nice touch, rubbing the elbow. Makes the dive look somewhat legit.

Posted by: sportsbabe21 | August 21, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Diving works because the refereeing is horrid. That should have been a yellow on Marta.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

We're just...not...fast...enough.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Sad but true. But Cat is right - we're not fast enough nor skilled enough nor imaginative to keep up. We could still squeak out a win but we're not the better team.

And to paraphrase Hope Solo: Natasha Kai would have scored that goal! Pia - PLEASE put Kai in!

RK - Of course the Brazilians will come to the US. While it lasts it will be better paid, better crowds, etc... And it's in the US after all.

Posted by: Greg Louganis | August 21, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Sad but true indeed.

Yep, the Brazilian women will come. Germany/England, not sure, but Brazil will come for the money.

PUT KAI IN.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the old strategy of "let them run all over us until they're tired".

Posted by: Kim | August 21, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think neither team is figuring out how to play against better competition. We're giving Brazil a little to easy a ride for not scoring - they clearly aren't adjusting to a defense that they have to work a bit harder to get through. But the US on offense...oof. Whoever said they are not used to playing against faster players nailed it. I'm still a homer though so GO US!

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Wasted shot, missed the pass on that one.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

YES!!!

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL!!!!!

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Yeessssssss!
Goal USA!!

Posted by: dadryan | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Agggh, PC feed is not the same timing as the TV feed.

GOAL!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@greent

It is not the same old team. That team had Wambaugh on it. You do not think the score would be 2-0 if she were playing.

Posted by: A Hardwick | August 21, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I was just about to post that the Brazilians seem to be getting tired. Not quite as much pressure on the ball.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

When are they going to put Kai in?

Posted by: kris | August 21, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Goal does not eliminate horrendous midfiled giveaways. Argh.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Notice the goal was scored after a bit of individual flair, something we had yet to see. I will be thrilled if they prove me wrong!

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

High time for Kai...

Posted by: Rob Iola | August 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@Hardwick

Perhaps it would be 2-0. It wasn't the last time we met, but this is the Olympics, not the WWC.

But that too would be the same ole team. Give it to Abby, and wish. I can see some changes (like our total reliance on set pieces is diminishing), but ... so far, same ole team.

That said, GO USA for I too am a homer.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

kris,

Now.

Posted by: B.A. | August 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Okay! Kai is coming in now! They read my mind!

Posted by: kris | August 21, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

FINALLY! C'MON KAI!

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

KAI!!!!!!!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Come on Kai! Kick Brazilian culo! Or culao. I don't know how it's spelled any way!

Posted by: Yee-hah! | August 21, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What's with announcer Chastain dissing Kai?! Saying what the US needs is someone more "rational" at this point. Jeez.

Posted by: sportsbabe21 | August 21, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Brandi was a great player but is a babbling idiot as a TV announcer.

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Solid goal, hang in there d.

Btw, for those at work who are upset that the streaming feed isn't working, consider this: CCTV isn't even airing this game in China. Or the Argentina-Nigeria final.

They're showing live coverage of the 500m canoe finals instead.

I wish I was making that up.

Posted by: dco | August 21, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@anony__

No diff between World Cup and Olympics in women's soccer unlike mens. These are the National teams. This USWMNT is better that WC team. To one and all, if Brasil is so good why are they out of shape?

Posted by: A Hardwick | August 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhhh Hollywood.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so my Remove Lloyd Now! advice wasn't so great. Nice goal.

Posted by: Ash | August 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree. If Brasil is so good, why the theatrics?

Posted by: sportsbabe21 | August 21, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hardwick: again that's apples & oranges. Just because we're in better shape doesn't mean we're playing better soccer. We are however playing the way we need to given the skill gap. Like the MNT vs Italy in the WC.

This WNT is the same as the WC team except for lack of Wambach & Scurry and a little more time for Kai (not enough imho), so how are they better? Their possession still leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The US training regimen is second to none. I doubt another NT can match the US in fitness. The WUSA helped the rest of the world because it introduced teams like Brazil to the importance of training. But no-one does it better than the US. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by: GR | August 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If we're retracting comments, I'll take back my fitness remark. (But not the cement feet part. Guess that was just less speedy, not tired)

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@Hardwick

I am also the @anon poster. And I know about the womens game. I'm not a novice.

This USWNT is better in certain ways (ala: in shape, set pieces are down, run of play is beginning to return), in other ways (lack of poss., lacking a midfield holder/ playmaker, running opponents into the ground) it is the same ole team.

Brazil is prolly out of shape because they don't play as often, train as often or have the budgetary/team resources of the USA.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It's true, we've not gotten any slower! Too many corners being given up.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Kai was very composed in holding the lead against Japan. Didn't Brandi call that match?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

!@#$%^& INTERNET FEED!

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@sportsbabe:

The theatrics are part of their game. Always have been, prolly always will be. Like our physicality - it is part of the USA game.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

USA! USA! USA! USA! HOOOO!

Posted by: hacksaw jim duggan | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Buffering...buffering...whew ok.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

LOL Cat - I concur

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Losing days off my life here. Ack.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

No call on that arm to the back??

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

heart attack...I thought that was going in...

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So what does Hollywood say about Kai's card?

Silly foul... c'mon defensive clear.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Good news for us if the Brazilians all keep trying to do it alone.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Oh Carli!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow... unlucky there. I wish we'd continue to play instead of boot.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Nice fall there Kai, taking lessons from the masters.

Please KEEP POSSESSION USA.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Post!

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Holy Crap! Off the post!

And no card for that elbow to the back of Kai's head?

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

WOODWORK DENIED!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This is epic!

Posted by: JkR | August 21, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Given right to us but an awful first touch

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Was that Hucles with the almost chance?

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

SOLO! That's putting your goalie gloves where your mouth is!

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Careful Dan,

"setup to shoot" means something different over there.

Posted by: Kim | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

s0l0

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

seriously. a week off my life now.

Posted by: cat | August 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Nice hand Hope!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Perfectly timed sub by Pia.

Brazil has had their chances...

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow... what an accomplishment. Especially with missing Wambach. May have not have been a deserved win, so to speak, but it was a win.

Posted by: Frustrated | August 21, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Never so happy to be proved wrong! Solo makes two GREAT saves at the end!

And where can I get a pink tie-dye sportsbra like Kai's?

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe we won that.

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

seriously... come on now....

Posted by: Go Skins Go | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

ugh did the nbcolympics feed really cut out with 1 minute to go, right before that corner? it switched to some crap about volleyball!!

Posted by: pat | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

S0L0

(those are zeroes)

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

USA USA USA!

DEFENDING GOLD MEDAL WINNERS!!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

GOLD!

REDEMPTION!

HOPE MADE THAT SAVE!

Congratulations ladies on a tough, hard-fought match against skillful opponents!

Thank you Coach Sundhage!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

online feed has been perfect for me

Posted by: RK | August 21, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

.........OLE OLE OLE OLE........

Posted by: Go Skins Go | August 21, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

online feed was buffering alot, but I had no other issues with it.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

unbelievable!

As a Chinese, I congratulate your victory!

You will probably get a women's volleyball gold. Another surprise, right?


Shanghai, China.

Posted by: A Chinese | August 21, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

OLE OLE OLE OLE USA USA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dcsoccergrrl | August 21, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, A Chinese. Y'all put on a good tourney.

Posted by: gringo | August 21, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Dude. I was refreshing and refreshing! You could've put the FINAL score up...

Yay USA Women's Soccer!

Posted by: um | August 21, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!!
You go girls!!! Congrats on a great tourney and bringing the GOLD home to the USA AGAIN!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

Posted by: Rick | August 21, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Anybody tried to get onto the US Soccer Web site? I think it crashed... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 21, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

How dopey does Greg Ryan look now? Maybe next time the sorority will stick up for their team mate.

Posted by: Tommie | August 21, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

por poco, Brasil ganara la proxima.

Posted by: yvo | August 21, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey Wash Post...please give this front page coverage on A section and Sports sections of print and online material. It's hard to fathom you all hiding this soccer coverage as a mere footnote as you've done in the past. Take the USA Japan softball off the page.

Posted by: Mike | August 21, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: A Chinese | August 21, 2008 11:33 AM.
===============

Forgive my Mandarin:
Shei Shei (Thank you) and Cong Shi (congratulations) on hosting a great event.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Sung to Brazil:

Walk on,
Walk on,
With Hope in the goal,
You will never win the gold,
You'll Neeever win the gold.

Posted by: Scouser | August 21, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@Mike
You got that right!

Posted by: sportsbabe21 | August 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

LOL, that is a great chant (any tune to it?).

I wonder if they'll make another Dodge Caravan commercial. Rematch indeed!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't go there Tommie. Just because Hope played a great game doesn't excuse what she did last year.

Posted by: not | August 21, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

LOL on the Dodge Caravan comment. I'd like to see that made!

Posted by: Ron | August 21, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Dodge commercial will feature the women (sans Abby), in grass-stained kits, driving away with smiles on their faces and gold on their necks. No dialog necessary.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 21, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What you miss in America, Dan, is the best soccer commentator ever.

Brandy Chastain.

Now let me clarify. I'm a dude, I love sports, and frankly, I'm not usually keen on female announcers or color analysts...especially those Mary Carrillo types with the monotone baritones.

But Brandy Chastain is the best analyst I've ever heard on any soccer contest, and I could listen to her views and style for each and any game I ever watch.

She's fantastic, sorry you miss her in Beijing.

Posted by: Stephen | August 21, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Stephen - you're kidding, right?

Posted by: babbling | August 21, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I-270 - quick, call Dodge - that is perfect! And Hope should be driving!

@not - Nothing excuses the team/USSF for what they did afterwards.

I'll have to disagree with ya - the post-loss comments were a tad impolitic, but it was not the HORROR the USSF made it out to be. They used Hope's words to cover for the horrid coaching decision.

A team is a team. If one player screws up you don't ostracize that player. Not allowed to be at the stadium? Not allowed to fly on the same plane home with the team?

Greg Ryan screwed that up, and the USSF structure screwed that up. Blaming it all on one player is just wrong. Or, from ESPN:

"Focusing on what Solo said after that historic loss is scapegoating a player who actually had nothing to do with that result, as much as she wished she could be involved."

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=468317&root=womensworldcup2007&cc=5901

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Congrats. As a Canadian, I was disappointed when the US (yet again) knocked off Canada earlier. But the competitiveness and level of play is great for female soccer.

Posted by: Chad from Canada | August 21, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Who attended the game knows that the heading would be better with the Brazilians…

Posted by: Dimas | August 21, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@greent: Totally disagree with the apology for Hope. Glad she has redeemed herself and delivered a great game after some shaky performances in China. BUT her behavior last year was inexcusable! You do not throw a teammate under the bus, no matter what. I don't defend Ryan or the poor coaching or poor play -- which has continued through this tournament -- but none of that compares to what she did, and is no excuse for her comments about a great player who had a bad game (behind a poor defense). She got just what she deserved.

And yet, the US players have shown that they have forgiven and she is back in there anchoring the defense. I hope she keeps getting better and better. This should be a confidence builder.

Posted by: not | August 21, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

so when can hear more about this gold medal on front page of the washpost or any other local media tv coverages? Are you continue to cover up and deliverately ignore this great sport? Are you continue to put someone crowling in the water like dead fish or someone throwing a tennis ball and try to hit it like bunch of bored children to get out? It's time that you should recognize something everyone knows in the world.

Posted by: WakeUpAmerica | August 21, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan, how can I express the collective thanks of us stuck a work?

OK...here's how:

Great, great job.

You rule.

Posted by: seahawkdad | August 21, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, totally agree with seahawkdad, this was awesome, Dan.

I just hope this high-visibility success can be parlayed into something that will permanently establish the women's game as a fixture on the American sports landscape, something like, say, a professional women's soccer league, right here in the US of A... I know, I know, it's a crazy idea, but with the momentum coming off this gold medal there's no way it wouldn't work...

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | August 21, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@not, to each their own.

She threw Ryan under the bus, not Scurry. And.. she was correct: it was not 2004, she was the # 1 keeper, and she should have started. (The "i coulda saved those" was what is often referred to as 'athletic humility', not a crack on Scurry). Truth hurts.

Shaky performances in goal?

She's shown she can forgive her teammates too. Screw redemption. She was our # 1, and she is our # 1. She's GOLD.

Peace!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Almost nothing has been said about the way this game was refereed. The Czech referee was simply magnificent, and her two assistants were also excellent. They called all of Brazil's soft fouls meant to throw off their US opponents. The terrible Swiss referee never called these but let play continue; I know the US women were happy that they didn't get the Swiss referee in their game with Brazil. They got her in their semifinal game against Japan and she did okay there since the Japanese don't do the petty fouling like the Brazilians. The referee team today wasn't going to let Brazil engage in their usual gamesmanship by fouling. Every yellow card received by players on both teams was deserved.

Today, Brazil as well as the US had to play soccer, so the game was really good and fair. I have to say that I thought the Brazilians played better overall and were unlucky to lose, but that's soccer. The US defense won the game, but they had a lot of luck to do that.

Posted by: Steven | August 21, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to agree to disagree. That kind of mental vomit has no place in a team sport. Your twisting of the circumstances to make it an attack on Ryan is not going to fly. It was her teammate who was the collateral damage. She should have played in that semi-final game, but I doubt she would have done much better. And Ryan's bonehead coaching doesn't excuse her behavior. Athletic humility? Ever heard of grace under pressure?

Shaky performances? You bet. Last time I remember Briana Scurry taking out one of her teammates (Michele Akers), she saved the goal too, a feat Solo failed to achieve against Norway.

Like I said, I'm glad to see her redeem herself. And I think she is a very good goalie. I also happen to think Scurry was better in her prime, but that's history. She is the No. 1 - hopefully she'll continue to behave like it.

Posted by: definitely not | August 21, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Steven - totally agree! I was so very happy we didn't get the Swiss ref. Her horrendous performance, especially the red card against Boxx last year, had a lot to do with the WC semi-final loss.

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@not

It was her teammate that got slammed by the media coverage focusing on one line of her comments. I twisted nothing, I also didn't focus on that one line. That type of "mental vomit" (I liked that) exists in all sports, team or individual. I try not to hold women to a higher standard.

We don't know what would have happened in that semi-final game, but she was holding shutouts in every game to that point, so again, we'll just have to disagree.

Shaky performances indeed. That's all ya got? The opening game was a horrid match for the TEAM. But sure, Solo is not Scurry. Boxx is not Akers. O'Reilly is not Hamm.

You obviously really like Scurry. I get that. I liked her too, when she was # 1. She was brilliant in her day, in 1999 and 2004. Her day is past.

Grace under pressure. Yeah. Like I said, her comments were ill-timed and impolitic. Ever heard of a person making a mistake? Seems you still haven't forgiven her. Glad it is not you or I that matter.

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Sung to Brazil:

"Walk on,
Walk on,
With Hope in the goal,
You will never win the gold,
You'll Neeever win the gold."

AHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHA

Scouser, WAIT

Posted by: AL | August 21, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Sung to USA:


You will never win the wORLD cup,
You'll Neeever win the wORLD cup

Posted by: AL | August 21, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@Al:

We have. Twice.


Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You will never win the World Cup men's soccer .NEVER!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: AL | August 21, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Now you're twisting what I said. Solo's a good goalie, I'm glad she's back, leading the team to victory. She was brilliant today.

My point is you can't use her performance today to excuse what she did last year.
The media may have overhyped Solo's comments, but they didn't put words in her mouth. That's all on her. I've heard plenty of male (and some female) athletes trash coaches, opponents, officials, etc... but thankfully rare to hear them do it to a teammate. That's what I, and clearly her other teammates, objected to.

And yes I like Scurry better in her day. But I don't think she should have played in that game last year. Stupid coaching move, although supposedly Solo was violating team rules. Whatever.

Solo made a mistake, but that doesn't detract from how she played today either. That's my point. But today doesn't erase the mistake, it just shows she's proved herself again. Good for her.

Posted by: not | August 21, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Brazil champion World Cup soccer :1958, 1962,1994 ,1970 and 2002!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Austi | August 21, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Get outta here Austi! This is about women's soccer and we won! Deal with it. Maybe if your federation would support the women they would be more fit.

Posted by: :-) | August 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@Al and @Austi:

oooooooohhhhh you want to talk mens scores? of course you do, you gotta be men!

Here's one for ya:
Argentina 3
Brazil 0

it's the Olympics silly!

------------------------------
@not: I hear ya, and I'm not twisting, I didn't get that this was your point: "My point is you can't use her performance today to excuse what she did last year."

My bad. I don't think she needs to be excused for anything any longer. Her performance today didn't "prove" anything but that she is a good keeper.

Though it may be "rare" for athletes to diss their teammates publicly, it is not unique. Yet a year later, someone still has to apologize and prove themselves? How is that forgiveness? Forgiveness needs no proof.

The team moved on, Solo moved on. Let's join them. USA all the way!

Posted by: greent | August 21, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo was treated like dirt in 2007 and everyone involved - Ryan and her team mates who ostracized her - looked like juvenile bullies retaliating against anyone who dared to criticize the “party line.”

It's great to see Hope vindicated. And it's great to see the whole country (as opposed to just the soccer cognoscenti) educated on how poorly Hope was treated by Ryan and her team-mates last year.

Posted by: Tom R | August 21, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Unconfirmed announcement: As an extra prize, the US sponsors of the olympics, Coke and McDonalds will award a lifetime supply of their products to each medalist. And, in a show of good sportsmanship, Brazil has offered lifetime plastic surgery to each American.
(Maybe Coke and McDonalds could give away free liposuction coupons, too.)

Posted by: bgreen2224 | August 21, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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