Women are often viewed as enigmas. The USA Women’s national team continued that belief during their opening match of the 2012 Olympics in Great Britain. Playing against a good France team, USA began horrendously by going 2-0 down in the opening minutes. However with great perseverance the team roared back to a 4-2 victory, rekindling memories of an exciting 2011 Women’s World Cup, and they are now on track to compete for a medal during these Olympics.
The spark that has repeatedly lifted America to greatness is Abby Wambach. The veteran forward is a remarkable player and is extremely good at headers. During the 2011 World Cup, she gained monumental fame for her 120th minute header to equalize against Brazil, as well as a couple other headers including one in the semifinal vs. France, and one in the final match against Japan.
In yesterday’s match, Wambach scored a crucial header that got the US on the score sheet and began the comeback. The goal came five minute after we went down 2-0 and were appearing to crumble. Wambach displayed the type of leadership that is paramount to a team’s needs. Headed goals can come out of nowhere and her talent for scoring these types of goals in vital moments is simply amazing.
The goal gave USA a new sense of purpose. They began to play more open and were able to muster up more goals through Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.
Alex Morgan is again playing very well, especially for her young age. She has a great calmness in front of goal that enables her to take advantage of every opportunity. She is already a superstar and will likely become the leader of this team in the future.
Although there is definite reason to criticize the USA after the way they started their first Olympic game with horrendously sloppy defending, there is an overwhelming sense of pride in how they restored the lead and won this match. With the ability to come back like they do, there is always a hope that America is never out of any game. This trait will draw fear into the opposition and will keep our confidence high.
I feel that it all starts with Wambach though. She is the defining character of this team and scores most of the important goals. I think that this will be her tournament based on the past and with the all-important header against France. Look out for her the rest of the way in Britain, because she makes women’s soccer incredibly exciting.