USWNT: Americans Rest, Reload After Emotional Win in Olympic Opener
The celebration finished almost as quickly as the comeback itself. The recovery will have to be just as swift.
The United States women's soccer team spent Thursday recovering from Wednesday's 4-2 win over France, a match that served as an emotional roller-coaster for the players and their fans.
In what was both teams' Olympic opener, the French took a stunning two-goal lead early in the first half, only to see the US tie it up by halftime and complete the turnaround with two second-half goals.
Abby Wambach started the fightback with a trademark header, Alex Morgan scored twice and substitute Carli Lloyd—who's a friend of B/R, by the way—notched the winning goal with a picturesque long-distance piledriver.
It was a stirring comeback, but as satisfying as it must have felt, Pia Sundhage's team simply doesn't have time to bask in its own glory. Now it's time to settle in, refocus and—perhaps most importantly—move on.
Judging from the American players' presence in social media, that won't be a problem. Here's Lloyd, the match-winner:
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) July 25, 2012
Next is goalkeeper Hope Solo:
1 game down, 5 to go?Proud to have opened the tournament w a come from behind victory.Shaky start, but we had style & grace to the end! #fb— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 26, 2012
Finally, a pair of recovery updates from Wambach and Megan Rapinoe, who helped spark the second-half surge from her wide midfield spot:
Wambach's closing sentiment—gold or bust—is a common theme for this team. After the disappointment of the 2011 Women's World Cup final, the Americans have set their sights on a third straight gold medal.
Up next is Colombia on Saturday, again at Glasgow's Hampden Park. Colombia lost 2-0 to North Korea on Wednesday.
According to the Associated Press, the US spent Thursday preparing for the match with rest and a bit of team yoga. The team then plans to train Friday and watch the opening ceremony on TV.
Back home, the team is already becoming a mainstream success. The New York Times, the most important and most mainstream of all newspapers in America, dedicated prime front-page space—above the fold—to Wednesday's comeback win.
The news isn't all good for the US women. Midfielder Shannon Boxx injured her hamstring against France, and her status for Saturday's match against Colombia is uncertain.
But despite the scary-looking recovery Twitter photo, Wambach is fine and expected to play. She's also saying the type of inspirational things we've come to associate with her as a team leader.
"This team, no matter what bumps we approach, we hop over them together," Wambach told USSoccer.com. "We had to finish this game off and we had to get three points out of it, and I’m proud of us for doing that.”
Wambach isn't the only one. If the US women keep playing like they did Wednesday, they'll keep gaining admirers throughout the country and around the globe.
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