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Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy-Sad Trials & Tribulation of WWC2015

A fan's Bucket List ... waiting on a jersey 
We let Belki enjoy a couple of days with our “Modern Family”….pickle ball, tennis/soccer carpooling, watching youth sports, planning meals, making meals, cleaning up after meals, and the last day of school which included the last day of packing a lunch..hip hip HOORAY! (for Amy)

Heather joined us again from Albuquerque on Monday night, and Amy whipped up her famous Peach BBQ Salmon and we dined on the deck on yet another beautiful PNW evening in Seattle.   We discussed our plans for the next day as it was the eve of the U.S/Nigeria game…the final match of pool play where the USWNT was attempting to #WinTheGroup.  

There has been much talk and banter about the USWNT. Are they playing the best system? Are they playing the right players?  What style are we trying to play? Who is currently playing best for the USWNT? There isn’t much disagreement here, as Julie Johnston and Hope Solo have both been more than solid. The other pieces of the U.S. back line have looked okay most of the time. There is a lack of possession, lack of midfield defending, and lack of chances being created that is more than cause for concern if you’re a U.S. fan. 

We loaded up the Pilot with SEVEN people this time and headed north to Vancouver. We took the
Lynden route this time and made a very important pit stop at Edaleen Dairy for Ice Cream!
YUM!!!! The border crossing wasn’t great but wasn’t awful and we rolled into Vancouver in time to park, get to the stadium and run into SOOOOOOO many people! The most fun was running into all of the Husky Alums that were at the game. G-Brew, Malia, the Bennett sisters Nikki Leith, Cheryl  Hirss, Diana MacMillen, and a host of other local friends that are huge soccer fans.  A bit of pride and nostalgia tends to creep in when we see so many former players continuing to live their passion as well.  Lucky coaches.

Solo never goes Solo on a GAME DAY
The game was okay, not great. The Super Falcons of Nigeria are athletic and feisty and in all honesty had the earliest most dangerous chance on a breakaway that Hope & Julie were able to thwart.  The goal was MORE than timely, as after many short corners (WHY?) a regular corner found Abby Wambach who finished a terrific left-footed volley just prior to the half-time whistle blowing. 

The second-half was okay, as Sydney Leroux came on a wreaked a little havoc.  Coach Ellis made some late game subs that seemed to calm the team with the experience of Boxx and Rampone. Nigeria did manage a few last minute flurries but nothing that panned out. The U.S. closed it out 1-0 and #WonTheGroup. Onto Edmonton where they have arguably the easiest Round of 16 Columbia opponent. Colombia is a fun team to watch and they play with a lot of confidence, with some personality players that are certainly making the most of each touch on the ball.  
On to Edmonton
The trip home was uneventful, but the 90-minute border crossing wasn’t the MOST fun we’ve had. Jack Griffin was patient behind the wheel and we rolled into Seattle before midnight.  Up in the a.m. to get Debbie to the airport for her flight back to Michigan. It was SOOOOO fun having her here. Not much has changed with all of us in 30 years and it’s fun to recollect some of the craziness that was our soccer careers. It’s good to have THREE people to recollect and then discuss: “Did that REALLY happen?” If our players now only knew some of the shenanigans that took place back in the day, they’d be a smidge more grateful.

We hung around Wednesday and played some badminton, corn hole and gardened…and turned the TV on a little late to see our other favorite team, Mexico, already done 3-0! This is the sad part of the story. Despite having 3 very good games, Veronica Perez couldn’t get her team to attack up to their capabilities. After an upset loss to Colombia in their previous match, France came out meaning business! Beating Mexico 5-0 and that is all she wrote for the tricolores. Amanda and V did the Huskies and their country proud and participated in a World Cup!!! Their careers are far from over and we know that will forge ahead to see brighter days. 
The Perez Sisters:  Words cannot express how much we love these 2
Thursday we took a time-out from the beautiful game for America’s favorite past time: Baseball! On a beautiful Northwest evening we took in an M’s game and watch King Felix dispose of the Giants (who outnumbered us in fans it sounded like).  A great night at Safeco where primarily Ben’s friend Ben aka entertained us: Mute. (oxymoron)

Next up is to pick up the R.V. and head off to Vancouver again and then book it to Edmonton. All-Star baseball for Ben and Jack gets juggled in there somewhere, but we’ll make it work. 

The TWO round of 16 games at B.C. place should be good: Canada/Switzerland and Japan/Netherlands! Lots of soccer to be had and oh, we may need to throw some work and recruiting in here eventually! Farwest Regionals begins in Boise and the ECNL Championships in Seattle are around the corner!  Busy and fun times ahead.  
And just for the record, I remember when no one cared a hoot about women's soccer.  I love this photo of the 52,000 fans that paid to watch along with the folks that are cheering, complaining, arguing, discussing the commentary, chalk-talking systems, and having an opinion.  We have a long way to go... but sisters.. we have travelled some distance in our time with the sport! Okay.. enough nostalgia.  On to the next round!

Go USA!  Oh…Sounders/San Jose tomorrow anyone? Germany/Sweden?  The games just keep coming!

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